Monday, 23 May 2016

Points of Blue

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.

“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.”

Ticketing issues

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?

Wider issues:

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.

Public relations: assumed that the club’s policy is not to respond to opinion pieces but seek retractions for untruths. This may not be enough for hostile journalists like Mark Ogden. If it was thought that banning people would only increase the hostility, the hostility seems unabated anyway, so why not ban individuals “pour encourager les autres”?


  1. Not directly to do with Points of Blue but connected a bit with club PR.
    As a Guardian reader I almost choked on my muesli when I looked at the crossword to see that it was 50th birthday tribute special dedicated to that red French kung-fu git. Plenty of clues mentioning manyoo, Scholes????. I had to put on my sandals and go out to hug a tree for comfort.
    F*** me but in yesterday's sport section was a lengthy interview with C*ntana including his opinion that Pep was going to the wrong Manchester club plus a full page size foto. The rest of the double-page spread was coverage of the 'chosen one'
    The Guardian chose not to print my letter but can we expect the City PR team to get us some positive coverage?

  2. I doubt it Geoff. The Sun has virtually run two page spreads every day for the last three days to date on the signings Mourinho wants, how he'll make United great again, how he's a better manager than Guardiola, ho.....etc, etc. Lots of Arsenal, Liverpool news, but barely a positive mention for us

  3. Also, if you go on the BBC ceefax ( it's not called that but I'm sure you know what I mean ), then the football gossip section starts with a united transfer rumour headline section leading the news. Anything else, clearly of far less importance, comes after this vital information. I do object to my license fee money being used in this fashion!

  4. As bizarre as it sounds, I'd like us to stay out of the press. What will set us apart over time will be our ability to not generate headlines for the wrong reasons i.e. sacking doctors, players sleeping with brother in law wives etc. I don't even like the fact we are in the gossip pages with which players are coming and going (I think we can all attest to the fact we are bored with Yaya's agent). I say let the press do what the press do, one day they will love us, the next hate us and no amount of PR from our club will change, so lets not waste our time and hopefully the club will generate all the headlines we need on the football pitch by winning trophies. Next season will be a circus, doesn't mean we have to be the clown. He's already employed at the swamp.

  5. Have the rags appointed Mourinho as their manager? - that must have slipped past me somehow.....

  6. Have you just returned from your trip to Mars RB? Today's back pages were full of the appointment again and boasts of how Mourinho was going to get revenge on Chelsea for his sacking by making United great again. Then the next couple of pages were comparisons of Rashford and Rooney's England debuts. Actually, there was one full page about a City player in The Sun newspaper, but it was an advert for Head & Shoulders with a picture of Joe Hart, so I'm not sure if that counts.

    1. Apologies, Tony. They say that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit but it seems to be something I am increasingly guilty of. Some years ago I responded sarcastically to a comment made by the boss. He said "Don't be faceiceous*, it doesn't suit you" to which I replied, "Oh, I find it suits me very well." I wasn't there very long after that......

      In my own warped way I was remarking on the fact that you can't turn on the TV, radio or pick up a newspaper without being bombarded with the fact. Anybody would have thought that they had signed the best manager in the world - some people might like to think that but it won't be long before the folly of that belief will be clear for all to see.

      I have already seen him being referred to as PEG - the Portuguese Eye Gouger. How appropriate! Lets hope it catches on.

      * I'm shure facietious is not spelt lyke that!

  7. RB,The comment was more irony than sarcasm which as we all know is a more intellectual form. If Tony thinks back he may recall the "whooshing" sound as it "whizzed" over his head. There was a line in "Yes prime minister" when Jim Hacker complained about the negative press comments affecting his public image,which was that the press panders to the prejudices of the public,it's how they sell papers.

  8. I was being sarcastic RB in jokey kind of way. Faceshus was spelt wrong by the way