East Stand Offices, 03.02.20
Attendance – Simon Clarkson (Chair, London Branch), Geoff Weston (Supporters’ Liaison Officer), Jim Mitchell, Nigel Davidson, Alastair Woodcock (CUOSC), Dan McLennan, Matt Spooner (TheCumbrians.net), Barbara Abbott (Disabled Group), Andy Hall, Amy Nixon, Nigel Clibbens (CUFC)
Apologies – Terry McCarthy (London Branch), Keith Elliott, Kate Rowley (CUSAT), Barry Carter (Disabled Group), Keith Ward (Scottish Supporter)
The minutes of the last meeting were accepted.
All items on outstanding action list covered in agenda.
Directors’ Forum – This event on Friday had so far produced 73 ticket sales. The coming football forum, to feature Chris Beech and other football staff, would be announced soon. The club had been asked to provide raffle prizes on the night. The group suggested signed footballs and shirts and match tickets. The club to provide these.
Protective netting – The netting to protect supporters during pre-game shooting practice had been identified and an order placed. The club were now waiting for delivery. They were expecting to have the nets in place for the Morecambe home game.
Ground maintenance – With ‘A’ Stand fully re-opened after roof repairs, the community ticket scheme was up and running again. Cumberland Building Society had also installed new sponsor boards. The club extended thanks to PMS, Carlisle Scaffolding and Pioneer for all their help during the repair work. The next stage of work would focus on replacement of life expired individual roof panels in the centre section of the roof (B, C and D stands). This was aimed for completion before the end of the season. PA equipment had been recently upgraded and tested. After some teething trouble, it was now working satisfactorily. Members said they could hear an improvement.
New tunnel cover – this has been ordered following a donation from the London Branch.
Scoreboard – use of this was improving with experience. Some recent software issues with the time display had been ironed out. The on-screen graphics had been improved.
EFL matters – Nigel Clibbens due to attend a meeting in Walsall on February 4 to discuss options for changes to SCMP (player salary cost controls) regulations, following the Bury insolvency. Shortly after this, the next EFL half-yearly meeting would be held.
Season ticket prices – The initial draft of proposed prices for next season had been produced by ticket office staff. The club was yet to formally discuss these. CUSG asked if the club was willing to engage with CUSG on ideas. Nigel C indicated a willingness to engage and consider ideas and opinions. One idea put forward from CUSG was to give fans aged 17-22 a price reduction, to be used in one specific part of the ground. The club and CUSG would consider this idea as part of the wider discussion about ST pricing.
FSA gambling material – information provided by the FSA (Football Supporters’ Association) had been sent out to supporter groups and received by the club that day. The club were yet to discuss these. CUOSC to liaise with club over the issues raised.
Shirts – several supporters had complained about smaller sizes from the new manufacturer this season. The club acknowledged this. Every year sales and size mix sold is reviewed and would be addressed in the ordering for the 20/21 season with the supplier.
Volunteers were in place for Friday to sell raffle tickets. Matt Spooner volunteered to handle questions asked via social media.
The batch of 750 pin badges had been ordered and were on their way from the manufacturer in China. The bucket collection on Boxing Day had raised £168. Michelle had produced a bi-annual financial summary which will be sent out with these minutes. The current bank balance was £1,899.53
Barbara Abbott had been in touch with the supporters’ fund about acquisition of a grant to cover the Warwick Road End facility. She had been urged to study other clubs’ facilities, which she had done at both Crewe and Forest Green. It was agreed that a detailed plan would be needed asap in order to expedite the grant application. Matt offered to provide a contact to get plans drawn up quickly. Up to £10k was available via this grant route. The London Branch had £1500 available to help with the project. The target was to get the platform constructed and ready to use by start of next season. CUSG funds would be available to cover the production of drawings.
Nigel Davidson had attended the recent Fans For Diversity meeting. FFD was a joint initiative between the FSA and Kick It Out. Nigel had joined the guidance group. It was noted that there were no representatives of LGBT or BAME groups within the CUSG. Plans were afoot to reach out to these groups. An event organised by Nigel and others within CUOSC was being planned for the end of the season and details would be announced soon. The club’s community sports trust was also addressing the diversity agenda, and had established contacts with Asian and Syrian communities within Carlisle. Diversity to be included now on as a ‘standing’ item on the CUSG agenda.
A group of formerly framed items of memorabilia from the West Stand was being reviewed. Items of memorabilia were earmarked for the Sunset Suite, which was shortly to be re-decorated and re-named as The Glass Bar. The shirts on display in the stairwell area leading to the ticket office had attracted interest from potential sponsors. This would help cover the cost of installing plaques beneath each shirt. In the meantime, another 25 hangers had been acquired to display more shirts and complete the stairwell display. £137 had been spent on these items. A mural was being planned for the top level of the stairwell area.
The design for the CUSG logo had been agreed and would be publicised in the coming days and weeks. Launch of new social media accounts, the CUSG website and production of CUSG stationery was still to come. Changes to the constitution had been agreed since the last meeting and the updated constitution was posted to the club’s website: https://www.carlisleunited.co.uk/news/2020/january/cusg-constitution/
Targets for 2020
It was agreed that CUSG should focus on completing existing projects (disabled platform in WRE, memorabilia and upgrading/re-naming of bars) for 2020.
35 Simon Clarkson
33 Dave Brown
33 Richard Coughlan
31 Ian Jardine
SLO – Geoff reported that the jackets the meeters and greeters had been given were not properly waterproof. Club offered to provide ‘here to help’ SLO umbrellas, and would look into sourcing improved jackets. Geoff asked if the club could provide ground passes for FA Cup games. This would be sorted out for next season. The EFL were not keeping details of SLOs up to date. Meeters and greeters were carrying out ‘queue management’ on match days, as some fans were confused about how to collect tickets that had been purchased already. It was agreed that the social media presence of the SLO needed to be improved.
CUOSC – agreed to publish a summary of their recent members’ survey, the results of which had been shared with the club. The website revamp was nearing completion and would soon be ready to launch. New additions to the board were being considered and would be announced after the next board meeting on February 19. Suggestions of a change of name and dropping of supporters’ club function were still to be discussed.
CUSAT – Keith Elliott had sent an e-mail which was positive, in regard to recent improved results on the pitch and overhaul of first team squad.
TheCumbrians.net – In response to a question about the six-part summer interview with David Holdsworth, Andy Hall explained that he had decided not to publish the last two parts of the planned interview due to changing circumstances (at the time).
Date of next meeting
The next meeting to take place on March 2, due to potential clashes with fixtures in following two weeks.