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Supporters Council Meeting Minutes

A Stoke City Supporters Council meeting in progress

Image by: Phil Greig

PUBLISHED

11:55 1st October 2013

Minutes of the meeting held on Saturday 14th September 2013

Date: 14th September 2013
Venue: Britannia Stadium, Gordon Banks Suite
Attendees:
Supporters Council Representatives:- Angela Smith (Chair) Malcolm Clarke (Vice Chair), Alan Clarke, Bryan Shaw, David Harper, John Slaney, Julia Milton, Julia Zuk, Mark Mills, ,Marie Mansell, 
Richard Bestwick, Richard Lowe, Rob Doe, Tracey Van De Laarschot, Knut Ole Rosted, Wayne Harrison.

Representatives of the Club:- Tony Scholes - Chief Executive, Adrian Hurst - Head of Community, Steve Buxton - PR Consultant, Margaret Stringer - P.A. to Tony Scholes, Ravi Sharma - Safety Officer, Lyndon Edwards - Chief Steward

Apologies: Ed Hyde, Gareth Ekin, Paul Edwards, Regina Colclough, Terry Crowe.



11 - Pyrotechnics:- Ravi Sharma informed the Council that following the events at Liverpool (where a flare was set off), the person responsible had been issued with a four year ban (from all football grounds) by the Police.  Ravi explained the dangers of setting off flares and the consequences that could follow.  Ravi proposed that the Club issued their own ban for anyone caught in possession of such items.  Malcolm asked for a vote of confidence from the Council for the Club to issue a statement to this effect.  This was duly given.

10 - Southampton Away Game:- Malcolm updated the Council on the situation regarding Mabel Smith.  Mabel’s family are questioning the way the game was stewarded by Southampton, to date the Coroner has not decided if there will be an inquest into Mabel’s death.  Malcolm suggested that the Council should meet before the Southampton away game and perhaps speak to Southampton (Club) and the Police.  Tony Scholes agreed there should be some dialogue between the two Clubs and the Police before the game. 

1 - Welcome to the new members:- Malcolm thanked the out-going members for their contribution to the Council during last season.

2 - Election of Chair & Vice Chair:- Following an e-mail from a member of the Council that was unable to attend and wished to nominate someone as Chair, the Council were asked to vote by show of hands regarding allowing absent members to vote by proxy.  The vote was carried in favor of this;- 

Following voting Angela Smith was elected as Chair and Malcolm Clarke as Vice-Chair.

3 & 4 - Approval of minutes from previous meeting and matters arising:- Minutes were approved:-

Change of dates and times of matches; Julia Zuk is meeting with Tony on Monday and will report back to the council.
F.A. Cup times; the K- O time of the F.A. Cup final set at 5.30 may be repeated again this year due to international TV coverage the competition now attracts.

5 - Role & Responsibilities of the Council:- Angela reiterated the role and responsibilities of the Council, it is not just to grumble, it should be a means of communicating good and bad news.  It was agreed that the working groups should meet more often and be more active; this may cut down on the number of items on the agenda for the Council meetings.  Tony Scholes reiterated why the Council was set-up and the role of the working groups.  Adrian Hurst is happy to liaise with relevant people at the Club if any of the groups require them to attend meetings.  Steve Buxton acknowledged and thanked all members of the Council that had helped with various activities during the 150th Anniversary game.

6 - Ways of Working - Working Groups:- Five working groups were set-up as follows:-

Ticketing/Memberships:- Malcolm Clarke, Bryan Shaw, Richard Lowe, Rob Doe, Mark Mills

150th Anniversary & Community:- David Harper, Regina Colclough, Julia Zuk

Communications:- Alan Clarke, Angela Smith, David Harper, Wayne Harrison

Customer Experience:- Julia Milton, Richard Bestwick, Alan Clarke, Regina Colclough, Tracey Van De Laarschot,

Disabled Supporters:- Marie Mansell

Contacting Council members - Stoke City FC Web-site will have an e-mail address set up where supporters can leave a comment for the Council, each member will be able to access this and reply.  (AH to ensure e-mail address is working).

7 - Report on meeting with the Club:- Malcolm circulated a document outlining the discussions he had with the Club regarding a number of points:-

Free away travel: - Feed-back had been good and the initiative has been well received by supporters.  It was asked if supporters could get on a bus at other locations other than the Britannia Stadium?  Jon Slaney asked if this was something the Biddulph branch could help with.  Tony said we would have to look at the logistics of this and report back. 

New Access Control: - Richard Lowe reported that there was a problem purchasing tickets for people with no purchasing history.  This was discussed and members agreed the most issues had been addressed now. 

Loyalty Scheme: - Tony invited the Council to report back to the Club with their thoughts on how the scheme should be set-up.  The Council will meet and report back before Christmas.
Report from meeting in Cardiff: - Malcolm gave update from meeting re price of games.

8 - Traffic Management System & Coaches:- The recent changes to the parking arrangements for Coaches has been the subject of much discussion, however it was noted that new charges introduced have been made by the City Council not the Club, permits are issued by the City Council not the Club.  The question was asked why the coaches are not allowed to park by Greens on a match-day as this would increase capacity and it was noted that Coaches can park on the South car park for the same price as a car.  Parking for coaches on a Match-day is now controlled by the City Council.

9 - Club Flag:- Steve Buxton informed the Council that the Co-op were prepared to pay half toward a new Flag and asked if the Stoke branch (or any other branch) were prepared to contribute.  A supplier has been found and is ready to progress once the order is placed.

12 - Ladies Team:- Knut informed the Council that the Norwegian supporters branch have sponsored a member of the Stoke City’s Ladies team and urged other branches to think about doing the same.  It was suggested that the Ladies team web-site should be linked to the Club’s web-site.

13 - Norwegian Party 2nd November:- The Norwegian supporter’s branch is hosting a party in Delilah’s Bar on 2nd November (after Southampton game).  The cost is £20 and arrangements to make payment will be circulated shortly.  Knut hoped that all Council members would attend and asked Tony is any members of the Football staff would be able to meet the Norwegian Supporters.

14 - Mobile Phone Signal:- This was addressed and concluded that it is a matter of Network availability.

15 - Training - Academy & Local U10s:- Julia had been contacted by a local group that asked if the Club could work more closely with them.  Adrian said that the Community does work with local groups, Julia is meeting with Adrian to discuss options.

16 - Britannia Stadium – Asset of Community Value:- Malcolm circulated a paper giving details of this item, a full discussion took place.  Taking into account the restraints this may place on the owners who have backed the Club considerably and without any other outside assistance for 7 years.    Tony Scholes advised against proceeding with this initiative, as it would at the very least send the wrong message to the owners.  Malcolm thought it would show how much the supporters valued the Club.  Different members of the Council expressed the view that this would effectively be an insult to the owners.  Tony urged the Council not to proceed with this.  No further action was proposed.

17 - AOB:-

P.A. system, there have been technical issues with the P.A. system, Steve Buxton will investigate.

Meet the Football Club event to be held in the Waddington Suite 1st Oct. Opportunity to meet players and staff from the Club.

Tony outlined his current thoughts on attendances, focusing on 1) the decline in Season Tickets sales during the team’s poor run of form in March; 2) the cost of attending different PL games at the Britannia and 3) the number of pubs within the City illegally broadcasting the Club’s matches.  He explained that the wanted to correct the decline in attendances immediately and that the Club were currently considering options.

18 - Date of Next Meeting:- 23rd November (Sunderland).

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