CPST meeting with CPFC (17th October)

20th October, 2017

The Trust had a meeting with the Club on 17th October 2017, the notes of which are as follows:-

·         The Trust expressed concern that although the manager of the Club had emphasised the importance of fans, the general administration of the Club is perceived to take loyal fans for granted and to ignore many matters identified by fans. The Club considered that it had a good relationship with fans, better than most clubs, and tried to consider all fan issues raised.

·         The Trust again raised the issue of the decisions made regarding the taking of ticket allocations for away games and asked again that the Club be ‘bold’ in its decisions, so that all fans could have the best opportunity to attend away games and provide the valuable support needed. The Club indicated ‘allocation’ decisions had to be made around 4 weeks in advance of the fixture, and a number of variables had to be taken into account, (e.g. tv games, timing of kick off, distances involved, form of team and results, etc.). The Club indicated it generally got decisions right. At Man. City a reduced allocation of 1100 were sold and at Man. U. a reduced allocation of 1400 were sold. It was accepted that the level of demand for the Newcastle game had been underestimated, but some extra tickets had been obtained since the first batch had sold out and now 2000 had been sold. The Trust indicated that demand was always going to be high for this fixture as many saw this game as the ‘start of the season’. A full allocation of 3000 had been taken for Spurs and had sold out. Concern was also expressed by the Trust at the number of phases for ticket sales for the Bristol City cup game, with only one ticket per person available during the first three phases. The Club defended this decision and indicated it did not want any complaints from those with relatively high numbers of ‘loyalty points’ not being able to get a ticket. This game too was close to selling out.

·         The Trust again raised the lack of / poor coverage of press conferences. The Club indicated there remained technical issues including ‘internet bandwidth’ which needed to be resolved. They are still working on it and would like to provide live coverage. However, tweets are sent out and a recording is available 45-60 later.

·         The Trust again raised the poor communication with fans. The late decision to close the Upper Holmesdale for the Huddersfield cup game had caused concern. The Club indicated the decision had been made due to poor ticket sales and to save money on stewarding / bar staff etc. All Upper ticket holders had been e-mailed and offered a refund if they wished. Only 1200 tickets had been sold in the Lower so plenty of room existed for the ‘upper’ ticket holders. The Trust asked why fans had not been told of the Man U. ‘no bags’ policy which had meant a number of  fans had to walk some distance to deposit bags, some missing the kick off and then having to leave early to collect bags to enable booked trains to be caught. The Club were adamant they had not been informed, even when it was pointed out by the Trust that other clubs playing at Old Trafford (eg Burton and West Ham) had clearly outlined the policy to their fans prior to their matches and had therefore clearly been informed by Man. U of the policy in advance of the fixture. The Club agreed with the Trust that the bag policy of Newcastle should be checked and any restrictions clearly relayed to fans in advance.

·         No major issues with coach travel appear to have arisen although the Trust understood that the coach got ‘lost’ on its return from Burnley resulting in a late return to Selhurst.

·         The Club were meeting with Brighton on 17/10 pm to discuss the fixture. The Trust indicated that Club coaches stopping at Hooley en- route and on return was welcomed by fans south of the M.25 when the play off semi-final took place and would want similar arrangements for this game. The Club would certainly consider this. A ‘special’ train from East Croydon and a ‘Beamback’ to Selhurst are also being considered.

·         The Trust asked if the Club were happy with its shirt sponsor being a betting company and how this fitted in with its adopted Safeguarding Policy. It was confirmed the shirt sponsor decision was a commercial decision made at board level.

·         Other minor points :-

1)   The Club shop is now well stocked for Christmas and has gift cards available this year.

2)   The Club have introduced a vegetarian cheese, potato and onion pie to its menu and is making strides to improve beer service at half time.

3) CPFC packaged food (eg from the ‘fan zone’) will be allowed into the ground.

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