CPST Meeting with CPFC 06 October 2021

8th October, 2021


Following an initial request for a meeting made on the 17 August a meeting finally took place with the Club on 6 October 2021 (a meeting arranged for 9 September 2021 having been cancelled by the Club). The agenda for the September meeting was followed although it was recognised on both sides that certain issues had changed or moved on in this time.

Communication and information provision.

The Trust indicated that this is a theme through the whole agenda. While the news on transfers and in relation to shop sales appears slick and impressive, the provision of basic information for fans for example regarding ticketing, attendance at matches and match day protocols is extremely poor. Earlier in the year the Trust had highlighted that the Club was placed 75th in the ‘Fan Engagement Index’. In the next round the Trust anticipated the position would be far worse.

The Club recognised improvements in its messaging and better communication were definitely required.

Ticketing – mainly season tickets and digital ticketing but also away games and under 23’s.

While the Trust recognised that digital ticketing was ultimately the way forward, it should have been introduced on a staged basis with proper testing in place. The Trust were disappointed that the change from season ticket cards was made so soon before the opening home game, that it was put forward as a requirement and that there appeared no recognition from the Club that there are many supporters without smart phones, or printers who are severely disadvantaged by this change. Guidance on the web site was much later than other Clubs had managed.

The Club recognised that this change in process was ‘too much too quickly’ and better consultation could have taken place. A new Head of Ticketing and new overseeing management structure was in place to manage the process from now on. The Club indicated that there were 16,300 season ticket holders. Taking account of those who had downloaded tickets and, under 16’s and others who had been provided with plastic cards, there were 3000 who remained in need of a solution for forthcoming games. The Club would consider requests for plastic cards on an individual basis, but their main focus was to get as many other supporters to download their tickets and initiatives to encourage this would be put forward

The Trust indicated there are still problems (eg NFC not working on certain turnstiles) and there needs to be clear information on how things are going to be permanently resolved to ensure that it is clear to all supporters how to get their season tickets, with options available so everybody has an opportunity to attend with no difficulties or worries in the future. The Club indicated they recognised some ‘sharing’ of tickets took place and did not want to stop this but there was a massive problem with touting which needed to be resolved.

The Trust expressed concern that no information on tickets for Liverpool away has been provided until 10 days before the fixture. Fans need time to book trains and hotels in advance. Delays like this mean prices are higher and supporters can’t plan ahead. Surely the Club can at least provide basic information on the allocation taken and likely loyalty points needed in advance of tickets becoming available to allow for such planning? The Trust hoped that this delay by the Club, and the relatively low take up will not be used as a reason for taking smaller allocations at future away games. The Trust, as always, asked that maximum allocations be taken wherever possible.

The Club indicated that from now on there should be lead in times similar to previous seasons to allow fans to plan and preventing the problems identified. No specific commitment was given on allocations.

Under 23’s

 Attendance at Under 23 games at the training ground was not yet possible due to a combination of works still taking place and covid protocols. The Club hoped that this would soon change and would also allow the promised ‘tours’ for Academy Founder Members to take place.

Works to stadium and training ground, e.g. Main stand and Holmesdale roof.

The Trust welcomed the Clubs identification of recent works to the stadium, which are of interest. However, two problems appeared to have been identified at the time of the originally planned meeting. Namely where the main stand roof has been cleaned, it leaked, and the structure/roof erected adjacent to block J of the Lower Holmesdale resulted in restricted views for some sitting in this area.

The Club confirmed the roof adjoining the Holmesdale had been moved back and ‘abseiler’s’ had been on the main stand roof and the problems, it was hoped, had now satisfactorily been resolved.

The Club were still actively pursuing the main stand development but no update or identified change in the position could be given.

Food and drink outlets and provision.

 While the Trust appreciated that, in the current market, that there may be problems with supplies of food and drink to the Stadium for match days this must be known in advance. Therefore, information could be provided to fans beforehand so that they could make alternative arrangements. In these areas the rules, not allowing food to be brought into the ground, could be relaxed. It is unfair to ask fans to arrive early only to find drinks and refreshments normally expected are not available.

A new catering manager was in place and indicated that although some suppliers were suffering difficulties the Club had over ordered and the Club indicated that there should be no shortages of food or drink in the future and that food should be readily available when gates are opened. They would welcome reports of any specific problems, even using the match day text number. The Trust welcomed the fact that some bars were at last pre-pouring beer.

Coaches for away matches.

The Trust wanted reassurance that coaches would be made available for all away matches (with no provision being made for Chelsea, West Ham or Watford). These provide a life line for some supporters, some of whom are elderly or disabled, to access games. Coaches are beneficial even for London derbies. The Trust disagreed with a message reportedly put out by the Box Office that there was no demand.

The Club confirmed that coaches have been re-instated and should be provided for all away fixtures from now on (as is the case with Arsenal and Man. City).

Loyalty Points.

 It appears that loyalty points have been added for away fixtures. But what about shop purchases and those points that used to be given for food and drink purchases? With the Club removing the use of the season ticket cards, there appears no mechanism for giving points for these, adding to the disincentive for people to arrive early and buy in the ground.

The Club indicated that it was hoped that points may be added by ‘phone in the future but no points were available at the moment for food and drink purchases. Shop or web sales of shirts etc. are recorded and added. The Club recognised that finding points totals was quite difficult on the web site and would try and make this clearer, with individual points additions being available to see. They would re-visit whether it was possible for ‘Friends and Family’ points to be made available to make ticket purchases clearer. The Club indicated the problem of different points totals being available of ‘phones and the web-site were now resolved.


 The Watford programme was on recycled paper and the Trust asked if the Club were looking at more sustainable options as opposed to the glossy magazine approach.

The Club hadn’t considered this but would look into it.

AOB. –

Home shirt availability : Since the agenda had been formed the position on home shirts had now become clearer and these would be fully available from 8 October. The third kit had proved very popular but it was unlikely that new stock of this kit would be received.

Safe Standing : The Club would not be moving forward on this until at least the end of the season.

Covid Protocols : The Club confirmed that sanitisers were placed at 10m spacing around the ground and refilled every game, but indicated better signage for these may be required. Defibrillators were located in each stand.

Remembering Palace fans who have died : The Trust asked if any plans were being made to further pay respects to supporters who had passed since the first lock down. The Club send cards and offer a flag for the coffin when informed of supporters who have died. The memorial garden in the Holmesdale end provides an area for fans to be remembered.

Terry Long : the Trust confirmed that although the deaths Jimmy Greaves and Roger Hunt (who had no direct connection with the Club) had been recognised by a minutes applause. Terry Long a stalwart of the Palace team of the 60’s with over 400 appearances was just quickly mentioned at half time at the Brighton game. The Club didn’t appear to have considered this.

Announcement of Substitutes : The Trust noted that although the names of substitutes were displayed on the big screen, they were no longer announced, which isn’t very helpful to those in the Whitehorse end who cannot see the screen. The Club were not clear why this change had taken place and would look to re-instate the announcements.

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