Attendees: Steve H, Malcolm D, Tom L, Steve W, Paul R Apologies: Zahra Z, Bill C, Neil M, Graeme C,
This meeting was called to pull together a number of discussion points that had been brought to our attention during the close season as well as giving us the opportunity to review how the loose format of the group has worked over the last 9 months and see what we could do better as this new season progresses.
1 Free the “Real” Two: A number of people have raised the issue of the dropping of the Three Legends from Real Radio and particularly the loss to the airwaves of our local hero and former NUFC star Malcolm MacDonald. Sport in the region is the lifeblood of many and the rivalry and banter that programs like The Three Legends give supporters of all the regions clubs the opportunity to air their views. It is disappointing therefore that Real Radio have chosen not only to drop the format but to also tie down the presenters to restrictions that disallow them from moving to other formats in the short to medium term.
We understand that Plans are being put in place for the Three Legends to resume on local Internet based broadcaster Star Radio and we agreed to do all we could to get the message out that The Three Legends will be back on the air soon.
2 Assistance to Local Sports Groups: following the assistance given to NUWFC in gaining sponsorship Steve W suggested that opportunities for other local sports groups could be provided to help in their own sponsorship seeking endeavours. It was agreed that this might be extremely helpful for struggling or fledgling groups who are seeking financial support. It was agreed that we would encourage approaches and do all we could to help. Naturally all requests for support would be vetted interested parties invited to pitch their requests for help to nufc fans utd.
3 Ticketing – booking Fees: the introduction of an away ticket booking fee levy was announced recently, with no dialogue, discussion or explanation forthcoming from the club as to why it was being introduced. On top of the need to be a member this booking fee appears simple exploitation of loyal supporters and a cynical way of extending club revenue from those who already support the club and team wholeheartedly by their presence at away games both here and abroad. It is viewed as another example of how the club fails it supporters and how its failed communication with supporters is damaging on many levels. We ask the club to explain the rationale behind this levy and why it see’s it necessary to introduce it on tp of what are already in many cases exorbitantly high ticket prices for most away fixtures
Anomalies: in the whole club ticketing arrangement situation are becoming more apparent as supporters, particularly for those who live outside the region and perhaps wish to attend an away game near their place of home. A recent example was that of a supporter who attempted to gain an adult and two child tickets for last seasons Swansea game. He was unable tom buy from Swansea because he was informed that he had to be a member and was unable to buy from NUFC because of the away allocation and points rules.
Other issues: with the ticketing include members losing loyalty points from their record due to changes of circumstances; a recent one being someone who lost points due to a change of name due to marriage, another following divorce.
Supporters are now reverting to social networks to create their own point swaps and matching fans with points with those seeking tickets for away games. This is as a direct result of the intransigence brought about by the clubs current arrangements and how it does not meet with the needs and desires of so many supporters.
a. Does the club have any control over its own membership, ticketing and points scheme?
b. Is it aware of the problems fans are encountering at the box office when trying to seek assistance to put right the simplest of issues that fans are bringing to our attention?
c. Can something be done to review the whole membership policy and try and make the system not so arbitrary and be more flexible in its approach to ticketing in general?
d. Was the club aware that a number of Spurs fans were present in the Gallowgate end; how did this happen?
e. Will the “embargo” on away ticket allocation brought in after the Darlington fiasco continue?
f. What is the policy regarding tickets for European games?
g. The friends and family scheme does not seem to be working as it was designed to do.
Will the club listen to the issues and work with supporters to put it right?
4 Membership Loyalties: It is recognised and welcomed that 10% discount is available for holders of a club membership on purchase at Shearers Bar. However, an NHS staff discount is available of 15% is available to those who hold such an NHS Discount card but may not be a club member. How has this come about?
5 Betting on Match days: the introduction of Bet Butler as the Clubs main gambling partner has brought about a number of issues including the strange situation whereby winning bets are not paid out in certain parts of the ground at the end of the game. Supporters are being informed that all winning claims have to be presented at the next available home game attendance or on line. For many, this may not be possible. Would the club please comment on how this has come about?
6 Obstructed View: At the first game of the season it was noticed that the new sound system in the Gallowgate end is creating an obstruction of view for some seated in the upper tier. Can we ask that the club look into this matter and see what can be done to raise the offending speakers above the sight line of the pitch for those supporters affected. We can provide photographic evidence if it would help the club to pinpoint some of the areas affected
7 AOB: None
Time and date of next meeting 24th September at 7pm in No 9 Bar