CPST Meeting with CPFC 3 March 2020

6th March, 2020

The Trust had a meeting with the Club on 3rd March, the notes of which are as follows:-

Away Ticket Allocations

Although the Trust were generally happy with the Club taking appropriate ticket allocations for away games this season, the Man. City game had sold out two weeks in advance of the game leaving some fans disappointed when a larger allocation could readily have been taken. The Trust hoped, with Bournemouth sold out quickly as expected, that the Club would be bold in respect of the remaining 4 away games. The Club indicated that it had been taken slightly off guard by the demand for Man. City, had based its judgement on previous games there, but confirmed it had misjudged the position. In respect of the Liverpool and Aston Villa games they would be cautious about taking the full allocation due to them being televised and at times when it would be hard for fans to return from the games by train. In respect of Liverpool, however, there was some flexibility until close to the game.

Season Tickets 2020/2021

The Club confirmed that season tickets would be on sale by the end of March. The delay this season compared to previous years was due to the introduction of a new ticket software system which would provide far more facilities for on-line purchasers. There would still be an early bird offer but this would be shorter than last year. The Club could not confirm prices/price increases at this stage. The Trust indicated it would be interesting to see the take up in respect of renewals, due to home form and the ‘entertainment’ level referring to the Club being bottom of the cost per goal premiership table (Palace fans paying the most expensive rate at around £40 a goal)

Business Club

The Trust indicated it was concerned that attendance at a business club meeting had been used by a company on a flyer to infer the Club endorsed its operation. While this was a minor issue it showed that the Club could become unwittingly associated with brands with which it had no connection. The Club indicated that it is constantly looking out for such instances to protect its image and welcomed identification of any other cases of inappropriate advertising.

Brighton Game Report Back

The Trust indicated that this appeared to have been a bit better in terms of organisation than some notorious earlier years. This probably being, in part, due to most Palace fans going to Falmer via Lewes rather than Brighton and the police ‘kettling’ being undertaken by forces other than Sussex Police. The ‘special’ train back seemed to also not be a problem although some fans would have liked it to stop earlier on the journey before Redhill. The Trust thought having the bars open after the game and allowing fans to walk back to the station with drinks allowed for a more relaxed atmosphere. The Club seemed to think there were not too many issues although they expressed concern at the smoke bombs.

Food survey/ BBS on-line comments on catering.

The agenda had originally been drawn up some time before the meeting and at the time there was considerable comment on line on the BBS about the quality and value of food served at the ground, although no comments had subsequently been made since the end of January. The Trust asked if a ‘food survey’ or similar was likely. The Club had seen all the comments. It indicated that it is always trying to improve matters and widening the range available, (eg by testing out new pies in the Fanzone last game), but only providing food on a large scale two or three times a month presents particular difficulties. However, all food was bought fresh, meal deals would not be limited to early arrivers, there are now kids’ meal deals and a kids’ kiosk in the Whitehorse stand. Extra independent van type units in the Holmesdale would be considered. In the Arthur Wait the Club have invested in a machine that pours pints quicker than the Tottenham ‘bottom up’ pints and, if popular, which testing suggests it is, then other similar machines will be put in other stands.

Stadium/Academy development

Steve Parish had now given an interview trying to set out, as best as possible, the position on major issues the Club needs to resolve. The Trust welcomed this, although if it had been done earlier it would have quelled some fan rumours, anxieties etc. In this regard the Trust hoped that similar interviews would provide updates in the future. The Club saw no reason why this should not happen but such interviews had to provide new information. The Club thought that the Academy development was progressing satisfactorily and a date for the planning decision had been given, although it had not been confirmed if officers were recommending that permission be granted. Similarly discussions with Croydon had been moving forward with a number of matters relating to the Section 106 legal agreement close to resolution. The land issue with Sainsbury’s was, however, still outstanding.

AOB

Gamble Aware – the Trust referred to the FSA’s Safer Gambling Hub resource and hoped the Club would indicate its support for this initiative similar to other premiership sides. In addition it was understood various posters had been sent to the Club relating to this and the Trust expected these to be displayed. As the current shirt sponsorship ends this season the Trust suggested a sponsor unrelated to gambling be found. The Club indicated any decision on shirt sponsorship would be linked to the financial benefit it would provide.

Under 23’s – although the Trust welcomed the fact that supporters could attend U23 games at the training ground, it was disappointing that they were restricted to a small corner area where views of the pitch were poor. It was also suggested that the Club look at other grounds, such as Dulwich Hamlet, to play the games that are away from Selhurst as these have better general facilities. For next season the Club would look at the possibility of expanding the area available at the training ground for supporters but other grounds are generally precluded due to the quality of the pitches. The Trust also confirmed that on-line viewing of games should all be free, the overall revenue the Club received from the £3 charge being derisory.

Transfer window – the Trust considered there was some fan concern at the transfer activity in the January window with only one first team signing. The Trust expressed the view that with the end of contracts looming and with the high average age of the squad it could be that up to 6 or 7 transfers will be required in the summer and this seemed unrealistic based on the current set up and past windows. The Club indicated that it looks certain we are about to enter our 8th season in the Premiership and fans should have confidence that the right decisions will be made.

Trust AGM – following the success of Roy Hodgson’s attendance at last years’ CPST AGM the Trust asked if Steve Parish could attend this year. The Club indicated that this would be considered.

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