Points of Blue, 17th May, 2016, Lass o’ Gowrie.
Acknowledgement but no response from club to previous minutes (22nd March 2016)
Points of Blue
Following the report of the government’s Expert Working Group on Football Supporter Ownership and Engagement, is the recommendation on supporter liaison precisely the role Points of Blue was fulfilling, viz. “meeting a representative group of supporters at least twice a year to discuss strategic / major issues”? City led the way on this but other clubs now have better liaison (Liverpool and Chelsea were cited as examples). Online surveys / forums (City Voice) are not adequate alternatives.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-expert-working-group-on-football-supporter-ownership-and-engagement NB page 22ff.
“The Leagues will recommend that this representative group of supporters includes the club's Supporters Trust. The Leagues will advise clubs that no individuals should be excluded from the meetings without good reason, and, if attendances at these meetings is restricted to a small group of supporters – which is the preference of SD / FSF – a significant proportion of this representative group of supporters should be elected, selected or invited to these meetings in line with basic democratic principles.
“The Group recognises that there is not a 'one size fits all' approach to either clubs or Leagues and that the fans’ appetite for specific information, and to discuss specific issues will vary from club to club. Whilst SD and FSF believe these meetings would be most productive with a tighter, democratically elected representative group of supporters with an interest in strategic and governance issues, the PL and FL support clubs having the flexibility to invite a broad and open group of supporters.
“Senior representatives from the clubs - either club owners, directors and/or senior executive management - should represent the club at these meetings.”
Ticket office: general appreciation of improvements but some self-inflicted wounds (one technical, one policy, one a mistake): For Real Madrid at home the site crashing; offering seasoncard holders extra seats for Real Madrid home leg was silly (and those on Cup Scheme didn’t know); mistakenly offering a starting point of 10,000 points for Swansea away should have been picked up.
Seasoncard renewal: some uncertainty among continuous direct debit users as to whether renewal was automatic – wording of information may need greater clarity, and more speedy confirmation of auto-renewal would assist.
Away ticket supply. This has been a source of discontent, especially with the small allocation at Bournemouth. Fears that tickets to “partners” /”sponsors” may go straight to touts – do players return unwanted allocations? Official travel partners seem to offer tickets at an immediate mark-up. Supporters club allocations still an issue, especially if branches are getting tickets but have not been holding meetings.
Ticket pricing. It was felt the PSG home leg prices were too high, and the club got lucky with the first leg result.
Away fans pricing. The Etihad has not been cheap for away fans (one of the dearest), so £30 maximum next season will help fill away end. At the Etihad and elsewhere, would home fans try to buy in away sections to save money? Will concessions still be available? (Swansea away was £45 but half price for concessions.)
External catering wagons. Are safety concerns in wet/windy conditions really a problem when they haven’t been before?
93:20 and other corporate sections. Empty seats even at the derby. Were we right about the expected take-up?
Real Madrid away. Has the club taken up with UEFA on fans’ behalf the behaviour of Spanish police?
Club for long-time supporters: has that idea died?
Last home match: not much to celebrate with CL qualification uncertain, not even the League Cup on display, youth teams no-one really wanted to see – no wonder the ground emptied before the team and manager finally re-appeared.