Cherries Trust auctions Fans’ Champion Package

On behalf of AFC Bournemouth, the Fans’ Champion package for the home fixture v Chelsea on Saturday 28th October is being auctioned.

The Fans Champion is normally nominated by fellow fans for the Champions life around being an AFC Bournemouth supporter, e.g. previous Champions have had long struggles against cancer whilst supporting AFC Bournemouth. The auction winner could still nominate someone to fulfill this package.

All funds raised will be donated to the supporters charity, Cherry Tree Nursery (http://www.cherrytreenursery.org.uk/). This game is also the nominated game for Cherry Tree Nursery.
The auction will close at midnight BST on Saturday 21st October. Any bids made after that time will be null and void, and deleted if appropriate. Email updates will be posted on a daily basis to those who wish to receive them, inclusive of those who have already bid. If you would like to follow the auction, but are not on social media, please register your interest at the email address listed below.

We are running the auction concurrently on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/cherriestrust/) and via email (enquiries@cherriestrust.co.uk) to give people who are non-Facebook users the opportunity to be involved also. Email bidders will have their bids confirmed by email before their bid is made public. Please direct any enquiries to the email address, and any comments that are not bids, other than those of page admin, will be removed to keep the bidding process clear to follow.

The winner, or nominated person, will need to already hold a ticket for the game. They will enter the ground and make their way to the technical area for 2.40pm and make themselves known to Michael Botto – the winner / nominated person would need to provide their name and some background beforehand for the club to help promote and for Michael Botto’s script. They then get to come out of the tunnel and place the matchball on the plinth. They will have their photo in the programme of the following game and the club will send a copy to the supporter too.

As this is the game closest to Remembrance Sunday the winner will be escorted out of the tunnel by two military personnel.

If you would like to verify that this auction is genuine, please contact Liz.Finney@afcb.co.uk

IMPORTANT RULES FOR THE AUCTION

1. Only serious bidders, please. Don’t bid and then back out. It’s very unfair to the other bidders, and we won’t be able to honour your bids on any other auctions.

2. Please pay your WINNING BID within 48 hours of the end of the auction. Details will be supplied to the winning bidder on completion of the auction.

3. Please bid in whole pounds only, e.g. £5/£10 etc.

4. If you don’t have a Facebook account but want to bid, please mail enquiries@cherriestrust.co.uk with the subject ‘Fans Champion Auction’. In the email, please include your name and contact details, plus the highest amount you are willing to bid. We will then bid for you in £1 increments up to your maximum bid. If you win, you will be contacted via email and given information on how to pay. Be sure to include full contact details where you can be contacted shortly after the auction ends, or we will not be able to place your bid.

5. If the winning bidder cannot be contacted within 48 hours of completion of the auction we will have no option, due to the time to organise that will remain, but to nullify your bid and move to the next highest bidder.

Meeting with AFC Bournemouth 26/9/2017

MEETING BETWEEN AFC BOURNEMOUTH AND CHERRIES TRUST BOARD 

Held: 26th September 2017 at 6pm – Board Room, Vitality Stadium

Cherries Trust: Tony Maycock, Stu Bramley, Robin Latchem, Kerry Smith, Gary Hickson, Steve Large, James Swyer, Stuart Orchard, Peter Ive.

AFC Bournemouth: Neill Blake (Chief Executive), Jeff Mostyn (Chairman), Liz Finney (General Manager).

AGENDA

New Stadium and Training Facilities

  • Progress
  • Stadimax consultation
  • Feedback from local residents
  • Safe Standing

Club Ownership

  • Should we be concerned following recent directorial departures?
  • What succession planning is in place at the club?

Cherries Trust

  • How does the club view the Trust and how can it grow?

Ticketing

  • What caused the issues around entry to the ground for the Carabao Cup tie versus Brighton and what can be done to ensure they don’t happen again?
  • Ticket exchange
  • Disabled away travel
  • Choosing away seating

Minutes from the meeting

Meeting format
It was agreed by all present that brief notes would be made and circulated to all attendees for approval before release and until that final approval is received all discussion remains confidential. Any items discussed and not noted were, by agreement by all attendees, to remain confidential.

New Stadium
NB is happy with the progress being made with planning and is holding regular meetings with Bournemouth Borough Council to ensure everything runs smoothly.

The club will be undertaking a series of consultations to inform decisions they make. The first round of these is being undertaken by Stadimax, with a focus on corporate sales, hospitality and non-matchday income. NB highlighted the importance of growing these areas to ensure that the project is sustainable in the long-term.. NB also asserted that there would be no loss of facilities in Kings Park as part of the build and that the athletics stadium will be relocated within Kings Park, at AFC Bournemouth’s expense. Discussions with the Council regarding the training complex are advanced, with a planning decision due before the end of 2017.

NB stated that there has been little real discontent from local residents about the proposed stadium and that the club is keen to work with those nearby to ensure they were consulted. NB and LF referenced the success of a previous meeting in which residents and councillors were invited to discuss any issues with AFCB staff.

JM highlighted the benefit to the town as a whole from having a Premier League football club, particularly in a desirable tourist area. NB also reiterated their statement in the last board-to-board meeting that a move was not dependent on League status.

Regarding safe standing, the club has committed to support the Premier League in undertaking an investigation into the feasibility of the introduction of safe standing. JS has been in talks with the Football Supporters Federation to devise a survey on fans’ attitudes to safe standing which is due to be promoted in October. This is part of a nationwide survey on the subject. JS will share the survey with the club before it is publicly available.

Club Ownership
NB confirmed that Mikhail Ponomarev, Oleg Tikhturov and Igor Tikhturov left the board because of an increase in their own personal business commitments away from the club and will continue to attend matches where possible. NB said he is comfortable with the structure and stability of the board and club ownership going forward.

Cherries Trust
NB said that it was encouraging to see the Cherries Trust growing and getting stronger. He appreciates the work done by the organisation and how they have provided important feedback on many issues. NB also stated that the club will continue to be open with the Trust and highlighted the importance of mutual respect. LF reiterated that the Trust can always ask difficult questions, which JM seconded, highlighting the importance of independence. All club representatives said they were keen to support the Trust and enjoyed the link it provides with the fanbase.

RL asked if the club could offer fans the option to join the Trust as part of their season ticket renewal. NB said this might have accounting implications, but would look into the feasibility of this and other methods of supporting membership recruitment. LF was keen to praise the work of KS and GH in arranging focus groups and suggested that the Trust take more ownership of them to help to raise its profile. TM asked whether club staff could attend each focus group, which led to the suggestion of themed focus group with the relevant member of AFCB staff at each one (e.g. ticketing, media, retail). This would add a clearer focus and avoid repetition of topics.

Ticketing
LF outlined the circumstances for the issues encountered during the Brighton match on 19th September, including the high volume of sales after the posting date, which resulted in c.3000 tickets requiring collection on the night, twinned with the requirement for 100% searching. LF confirmed that while tickets were not double-sold, there were instances of Season Ticket holders who had bought a seat after they’d gone to general sale, sitting in their ST seat and ignoring the information on their new ticket.

LF also outlined the plans put in place to make entry to the stadium less problematic including:

  • A newly-devised lane system to help direct people to the correct turnstile and avoid merging of queues. The club has ordered 65 additional barriers to fulfil this.
  • A greater number of stewards manning the lanes.
  • The recruitment of a supporter services team to deal with ticketing issues on a matchday, leaving stewards free to concentrate on security inside and outside the ground
  • Increased signage outlining where to go to enter each turnstile
  • The inclusion of the flyer in ticket despatch, outlining how to use the ticket scanners
  • The club is also looking into lighting solutions on the outside of the ground, whilst being mindful of not causing light pollution for neighbouring residents. This is being tested shortly.

LF is also working on a number of incentives to encourage fans to get to the ground earlier, including earlybird food and drink offers, e.g. Pie and a Pint for £5, or Pie and a soft drink for £4 both available up to 30 minutes before kick off. There is also a new incentive for fans that have entered the ground more than 45 minutes before kick off to go into a draw to win a signed Man of the Match shirt from the previous home game, i.e. Jordon Ibe shirt at the Leicester game. The club have started marketing tickets for the Carabao Cup tie against Middlesbrough earlier than usual in order to try to eliminate an influx of last minute sales which require collection. Only 2400 Season Ticket holders bought their seats for the cup game versus Brighton.

SB raised the issue of ‘print at home tickets’. LF said that the club don’t currently have the facility to do this and that it may cause more issues at present and that it would be good for the current 2 types of entry, i.e. Season Ticket and paper tickets, to settle before introducing new options. However, the ticketing manager has already looked at how the process could work with our system.

TM discussed the scope for official resale of tickets, now that we have barcode scanners. LF said that the club has been in contact with a company who facilitates this and with other clubs. JS has been speaking with Twickets, who have facilitated this for Crystal Palace. LF asked if he could put them in touch with Dan Clarke.

TM and GH mentioned the positive feedback from those using the disabled mini-bus to attend away matches. TM asked if the club would be able to run this for all away matches, which NB is looking into.

GH raised the issue of disabled supporters at away matches being inconvenienced by those standing up around them, despite buying tickets in the front five rows. LF  asked GH to report any issues to Dan Clarke and copy in herself and Alice Jeans.

RL asked if the club can provide a clearer indication as to the number of blocks available for away games and how many fans fall into each point drop. This would help when a group of fans wishing to order tickets together have a different number of away points and are not eligible to order tickets at the same time. LF is going to look into this

AOB
TM raised the issue of shirt sizing and the lack of larger sized shirts in the club shop and the importance of making all fans feel included. NB confirmed that 60 4XL shirts have been ordered and will be stocked as a matter of course again next season. TM asked him to check if this reflects last season’s sales of 3XL shirts, given that the sizing has changed.

RL raised his dislike of the club promoting gambling through its shirt sponsors and asked if the club would consider selling sponsorless shirts in adult sizes. NB said that it is a contractual obligation that all adult shirts carry the club’s official sponsor.

The meeting ended.

Have your say
Join the Cherries Trust today to add your name to a growing group of AFC Bournemouth fans. Every member we have gives greater legitimacy to the Trust and gives us all a stronger voice. We hold regular focus groups, use our position to represent the wishes of fans in the media and meet with decision makers at the club to ensure your voice is heard.

Join as a voting member today for just £10. Click here to find out more.

 

 

Fans against Xmas Eve football

Football supporters know all too well the impact that changes to the fixture schedule can have. Plans are rearranged and often expense incurred when a match is moved to accommodate cup football or TV scheduling. We have very little, if any, say, despite being the most put on stakeholders in the game.
Representatives from the Premier League Fans Group have recently started to meet with Sky Sports and BT Sport to put forward supporter views on such changes, and to look at ways we can mitigate this impact.
However the news that has broken this week that Sky plan to fill their ‘Super Sunday’ TV slots as usual, despite it falling on Christmas Eve, is hugely disappointing and frustrating for supporters. The discussion has been dominated by the likelihood of an Arsenal v Liverpool fixture on 24 December, but choices have not yet been finalised and any club is still available to be chosen for a televised game.
This is wrong and no fixtures should be scheduled for this day. Supporters will be faced with the unenviable task of deciding between family, friends and loved ones and any pre-existing plans for this time of year and continuing their loyalty and support for their club.
Club staff would also face similar difficulties. Public transport shuts down early on Christmas Eve and travel may be at a greater expense. Made to work, their plans and priorities will be challenged in pursuit of a TV programme. These staff aren’t the well paid millionaires, but the catering, hospitality, stewarding and security personnel required to fulfil a fixture. This extends further to police, local authorities and others who will have to work to facilitate such a change.
None of these people, like supporters, shares in the Premier League riches or has Premier League lifestyles and wages. If this happens, it would be more take, with little given back.
This must not be allowed to happen, not this season and not in future seasons. We are more than willing to work with the broadcasters and the Premier League to avoid such pitfalls for the benefit of all. We don’t want this to be the ghost of Christmas future.
Now though, the decision makers must show this is indeed the season of goodwill. Sky, the Premier League and clubs have to recognise that yes, there is a TV slot available, but football on Christmas Eve is unacceptable and a step too far.
Supporters should be included in any decision-making process when such drastic changes are to be made. This is not something we are taking lightly. We have already successfully campaigned for cheaper away tickets and will continue our work to ensure match-going fans are treated as fairly as possible.

Supported by:
Cherries Trust
Spirit Of Shankly, Liverpool Supporters’ Trust
Spion Kop 1906
Arsenal Supporters Trust
Chelsea Supporters Trust
Manchester United Supporters Trust
Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust
Black Scarf Movement
Watford Supporters Trust
Burnley FC Supporters Groups
Swans Trust
Newcastle United Supporters Trust
Huddersfield Town Supporters Association
Stand Up For Town
Stoke City Supporters Council
West Ham United Independent Supporters’ Association
Foxes Trust

 

2017 AGM minutes

On Wednesday 6th September Cherries Trust held its second AGM and board elections. Gary Chapman, Peter Ive, Steve Large and Stuart Orchard were voted on to the board by voting members present.

The Cherries Trust Board is as follows:

Chair – Tony Maycock
Vice Chair – Stuart Bramley
Treasurer – Robin Latchem
Secretary – James Swyer

Kerry Smith
Gary Hickson
Steve Large
Gary Champman
Peter Ive
Stuart Orchard

Following a brief eulogy in memory of former board member Lance Phayer from chairman Tony Maycock, Robin Latchem reported the year’s accounts, which can be found on the Cherries Trust website. These accounts were approved by those present.

The board then gave a progress report, as follows:

The club has be very approachable listened to our comments (and those from our members) on many issues, such as inviting our supporters charities at events, a reduction in the price of away travel and much more. Kerry Smith has a close working relationship with Liz and they provide each other with regular feedback on issues raised by members and other fans. Kerry and Gary reported that the attendance at the three different focus groups (a main fans group, one for younger fans and a specific disabled supporters group) has been high, with a great level of feedback and interaction at all events. Having Simon Francis at the latest focus group was a real positive and we will look to see what else we can do with the club staff in future. Gary was asked whether the club now fulfill all Premier League criteria for disabled supporters, which he will confirm in due course. Another member asked about coach travel for disabled fans and Gary confirmed that the club were offering a wider range of journeys this season and he would ensure it stayed on the agenda.

The Trust continue to look into opportunities for safe standing, which has risen in profile of late. The prospect of a new stadium makes this increasingly timely and we are working with the Football Supporters Federation to roll out a survey to fans to gauge their perception of safe standing. This is part of a national information gathering exercise which will provide a broader understanding of how fans feel about the concept.

Tony then detailed the current situation regarding the Trust’s work regarding the abandoned fixture at Old Trafford in May 2016. The Independent Football Ombudsman have stated that the situation was outside of Manchester United’s control, which is a verdict the Trust refuses to accept. We are continuing to seek advice. As the process has continued and more information has been received through freedom of information requests, it has become apparent that there is no clear accountability for the safety of those who attended the game. Whilst the appetite for compensation has waned (certainly from those at the AGM), there is a larger principle at stake regarding the safety of match-going fans. It was suggested by one member that the club ask Tobias Elwood MP to raise the matter in Parliament.

Following the election of four new candidates to the board, questions were taken from the floor.

One member asked a number of questions about the provision for succession planning and whether the recent departures of directors would have a direct impact on day-to-day running of the club. The Trust are not party to this information, but will endeavour to ask.

Questions were raised about the number of season tickets currently allocated and whether the club had an interest in increasing the numbers available next season. Again, we will ask the club for clarification, but the discussion within the room did highlight that by allowing a number of non-season tickets available for sale would increase the total number of fans able to attend matches and ensure a healthier fanbase in future. It was also asked whether, given the extended capacity of the proposed new stadium, the club will sell season tickets early to ensure early revenue. Discussion followed about the new barcoded tickets and whether the club would adopt some kind of resale policy, much like that at Chelsea and Crystal Palace. We will raise both of these questions with the club. The idea of giving fans more away points for longer journeys was suggested, but some felt this would cause more problems than it would solve.

Another members also asked if the club has any news on larger shirt sizes, as these were unavailable at the start of the season. Gary Hickson reported that many people had approached him about this and the club had ordered a stock of shirts up to 4XL.

Election 2017 – Update

We have been experiencing some problems with our Elections email address, and as such are requesting that if you have put your name forward already, could please resend your email to elections@cherriestrust.co.uk , and CC enquiries@cherriestrust.co.uk

As a reminder, we need your applications by midnight on 15th August to make your application eligible.
To make your application eligible, you must be a full member, and your subscription be paid up to date. You must also be nominated and seconded by full members to qualify. If you are struggling to find 2 full members, please make this clear in your application, with some details about yourself and what you would like to bring to the board. This will help us to help you.

We are your Trust, so get involved and help us represent what you want to see us doing

AGM and Election Update

With the AGM only 3 weeks away, are there any agenda items that you feel should be discussed? If you think there are, then please submit them to

enquiries@cherriestrust.co.uk

If you are considering standing for election, please submit your details to

elections@cherriestrust.co.uk

You will need to be a full member (paid subscription), and you will need to be nominated and seconded by full members also. If you need some advice or help with seeking nominators and seconders, please contact us at the elections email address.

22nd August – put it in your diary, we’re your supporters trust so please get involved.

New Stadium Site Announcement : Cherries Trust Response

The Cherries Trust is delighted with the club’s announcement that Kings Park is the preferred location to build a new stadium to befit our Premier League status. Our future must remain linked with our past – and in that context there is no better site for this development to take place.

The Trust is hopeful that the club will continue to show a progressive approach in the design of the stadium and that our new home will be one with a unique character and an identity that is instantly recognisable as AFC Bournemouth, inside and out.

With safe-standing now in operation at Celtic and trials mooted in the Premier League, it would seem only to be a matter of time before this technology is finally adopted in the top divisions of English football. The club now has a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate its innovative character to the world by incorporating safe-standing areas in the design of the stadium to provide choice to all fans. This is an opportunity that we implore the club to take up.

The Trust looks forward to the club involving fans and the community in all stages of the planning process. There will be negative impacts as a result of this and we must make sure that these are acknowledged, discussed and mitigated where possible. Alternative provisions must be made available for the community for any facilities lost as a result of this project. Together, anything is possible.

Trust Board Announcement – Lance Phayer

It is with much sadness we learn of the passing of Lance Phayer, after a short illness.
He joined the board of Cherries Trust at its inaugural elections and was a proactive member, never slow to share his opinions, and always ready to try and help out his fellow Cherries fans. As part of his election speech, he demonstrated his passion for the club by showing a small display of the large collection of match worn shirts he acquired over the years.
During this year he was involved in much fundraising, and even took to the skies for a tandem skydive to help raise funds to help Ethan Burney fulfil many of his wishes. Lance had been due to attempt a wing-walk to raise funds for Jacob Buckett, but sadly his illness prevented him from completing this.
Lance’s passion will be missed, and our thoughts at this time go out to his family and friends.

Cherries Trust AGM 2017

The Cherries Trust would like to announce our AGM to be held, subject to confirmation and notification, in the 1910 Bar at Dean Court on Tuesday 22nd August commencing at 7.30pm. This event is open to all Members. There will also be a question and answer session after the AGM which is open to all Member questions on the Cherries Trust.

On this night, as part of the AGM, we will be holding our elections to elect new Board members to the Cherries Trust. The board positions, as per the terms of membership, are open to Full Members only. Existing Board members do not require re-election as their initial term is 2 years.

With the existing board remaining, there are 6 spaces available for election. In the event that 6 or less candidates offer themselves for election the candidates will, by default, not have to be put to ballot and so would be ratified by approval of the members at the AGM. Currently, as there are already the minimum number of Board members, the Trust Board will remain quorate.

If you would like to stand for election to the board you must apply, via email to elections@cherriestrust.co.uk or in writing to Cherries Trust, Stephen House, 23A Bargates, Christchurch BH23 1QD before Tuesday 15th August 2017.

The election will be overseen by the Electoral Management Group which consists of non-Board member volunteers and an impartial chairman who is not a member of the Cherries Trust.

After the AGM, the Board will elect a new chairman, vice-chairman, and treasurer at a subsequent Board Meeting. A secretary will also be appointed at that meeting but the secretary is not required to be a board member.

The Trust encourages anyone with an interest in helping to evolve a supporters group to join the Trust and stand for election. We would like as diverse a representation as possible representing the full cross section of fans that support AFC Bournemouth.

If you would like further information about the Trust before committing please email us enquiries@cherriestrust.co.uk

This is your supporters group, please get involved.

NOTES OF GENERAL FOCUS GROUP – MEETING 2

Held Vitality Stadium Thursday 30th March 2017

Present:
Gary Chapman
Peter Ive
Carol Toller
Ron Westcott
Paul Frank
Gary Hickson
Ray Ford
Ray Khan

Liz Finney – General Manager
Dan Clarke – Ticketing Manager

AGENDA

Apologies
Clive Sheen / Tim Sharp / Trish Drodge

Introduction
It was proposed and agreed by all present that the notes of the meeting would be circulated for approval by the group before details of the meeting were made public by group members.
Update from last meeting
• LF went through the notes of the last meeting to review actions:
• She confirmed that she had spoken with the MD of the security company to request that security staff remain polite and considerate to supporters when dealing with access or any other issues.
• Supporters waiting for taxis after returning from away games were advised to wait by the reception rather than outside the Club store due to extra lighting
• Where the SMS update system had not worked for Clive, the particular problem was identified, rectified and relayed to Clive. He subsequently reported all was working fine.
• Regarding the hand driers in the North Stand not working, LF explained that they worked during pre-matchday testing but evidently failed once the volume of use increased beyond a certain point. They were replaced at the earliest opportunity and there have been no reports of failure since.
• Hot water signs were in place for the game after the last meeting.
• RW is happy with his programme purchase routine.
• Lack of lighting was mentioned at the last meeting as an issue on the NW corner near Thistlebarrow Road. A lighting rig has been placed there for a good number of games now and seems to have alleviated that problem.
• LF had spoken with the safety officer to explain concerns about stewards being placed inside the north stand vomitaries and the issues caused. And the SO had briefed supervisors accordingly. They had also discussed the floating cordon behind the east stand and it was suggested that, except in higher risk instances, the cordon not be used but rather stewards stand to the side and only deploy should it be required.
• LF had discussed concerns regarding the congestion in the 1910 Bar pre-match with Black Label Events management, although all present at the meeting agreed that the outside bar facility had much helped in this respect. Regarding the size of the tables, these are required for non-matchday use as well and the club does not have the facility to store two different types.

Ticketing
Away allocations
GC explained that he had raised this agenda item but that since doing so away allocation of tickets had improved with the way sales had been structured by the ticket office for the Saints and Spurs games. DC explained the details to those in the group who were not aware and further advised that he had received the Sunderland seat map and that tickets for that game would be available via a pick your seat option.

General ticketing update:
• pick a seat: DC explained some of the restrictions in being able to offer this for every away game but would report to the next meeting on how the Sunderland option worked
• posting tickets: the ticket office now has a target of posting tickets out 1-2 days within booking and to date this has been achieved in almost all cases.
• enquiries line: a new call management system has been installed and the club ticket office is able to track the number of calls, duration, call answer and talk time and if any are abandoned. Where the latter TO staff with call back. Call answer times now average under 40 seconds and more than 95% of calls are answered within two minutes
• how to guides: guides to easy use of the online ticketing booking function have been produced and voiced over by Steve Fletcher. These cover: how to book tickets and coach travel and the process of setting up and checking account details; there are available currently on the club website and shortly on the ticket website. There was some discussion around the online ticket booking facility and the question of a transaction charge that was applied to online but not in person sales was raised. DC has undertaken to look into the booking process across the board over the course of the summer.
• accessible tickets online: DC advised that accessible tickets were available to purchase online and had been trialled by some members of our disability focus group. There will be a registration process over the course of the next few months so that all disabled supporters can have the relevant changes made to their account which enable online sales
• accessible training all ticketing staff: all ticket office staff had completed training in dealing with supporters with disabilities
• away coach online tickets & pick a seat: DC confirmed that the facility to pick your coach seat and book online had been in place for some time. A couple of the group raised specific issues they had encountered in booking and DC spent some time going through the process. He further explained that a guide to booking coach tickets would be produced to assist fans going forward with particular focus on booking match tickets and coach tickets in the same order
• email responses – DC explained that duties within the ticket office had recently been specifically allocated with one member of staff dedicated to email responses. Incoming messages are colour coded in respect of urgency and the responses recorded and tracked. LF advised that email sign-offs were now the name of the person who responded and not a generic ticket office sign-off.
• season ticket key dates: LF advised that, as mentioned in the notes of the meeting between the club and the Cherries Trust board members, season tickets would go on sale on 22nd May until 19th June. There would be a period for seat moves from 20th June to 23rd June and that it was planned to post ST cards out to arrive by the middle of July.

Touting
LF raised the issue of tickets being sold on, outside the points scheme, and cited an example received that day. She explained how the ticket office planned to deal with these instances when they became aware and received the group’s full support for a firm approach. RK suggested a dedicated touting e-mail so that supporters could report anybody selling tickets above face value. LF and DC confirmed that they will investigate

Upcoming features:
• Updated ticket policy: this would be previewed at the next meeting
• Website upgrade: LF advised that she had that afternoon had sight of a selection of new website pages and that they were a huge improvement on our current website. The development team are now progressing with the set-up and another meeting of the website development focus group would be arranged towards the end of April to review and have the opportunity to play with the new version.
• Access control: it was confirmed that automated turnstiles would be introduced at Vitality Stadium for the start of the new season and there was some discussion around the features and benefits of the system such as easier upgrade of tickets, better queue management, fraudulent use detection and improved reporting,

At this point a question was asked as to why in certain areas of the north stand tickets were checked twice. LF explained that some supporters there do not sit in their seats but transfer to areas where supporters tend to stand. There were also a small group of fans who repeatedly report their tickets missing or lost and request duplicates. The checking of tickets by stewards inside the ground helps to deal with these issues.

RW asked why not revert to one point drop at a time and DC explained that to group the points gave a longer general sale period which led to improved service by the ticket office. LF advised that there had been no negative feedback on the points grouping since its implementation and that supporters seemed to recognise the benefits of the system.

Policy on bottle tops
RW asked that a consistent approach to tops being removed from plastic bottles at point of sale be adopted and LF undertook to ask that concourse catering staff were briefed accordingly.

Away coach timings
RW has raised this as an agenda item and LF confirmed that, having spoken to the Rob Nicol our away travel co-ordinator, the times were initially put forward by the coach supplier and tweaked if they didn’t seem reasonable. LF asked if there had been a particular issue with timings for a game and Ron explained that sometimes coaches arrived quite early. It was agreed that, taking into account weather, traffic, accidents, driver regulated stops and other unforeseen factors it would never be an exact science.

Any other business
GC asked if there would be the possibility of making available executive coaches for some away games for next season and LF said she would investigate and report back.

RW asked that the voice message on BH Live line be changed as was irritating. DC explained that new messages had been recorded and were soon to be in place.

The group asked what AFCB do for visiting away fans; LF explained that the club run a number of initiatives to ensure that away fans are welcome at the Vitality Stadium

Thistlebarrow Road traffic management was raised by GC and RW raised the issue of police vehicle movement around the NW corner once fans had arrived. LF explained that the process is for all vehicles to be in place however police vehicles may arrive once there are crowds or if they are called away for other business.

RK was upset that our staff behind the dugouts wore Man City colours for that game. LF explained that this was not something that could be changed for that game but likely to be a different colour next season.

RW asked for the Gates/Bricks to be cleaned in the north east corner-LF explained that there is a balance to be struck between cleaning and the damage that regular cleaning can cause but agreed to look at this

MOTM vote – RW asked why do young supporters have to go to the Mansion website to see the winner.

LF and DC gave the group the ticket allocations offered by Leicester for our last game of the season and asked them to each choose the option they would take. The group discussed the various factors that could affect attendances and the result was between two options with no clear preference.

PF asked about the involvement of the club’s American investors and LF advised that they have a love of sport and were impressed by the AFC Bournemouth story. They have full confidence in Neill Blake to manage the club and their focus is rather on its long-term future growth and the new stadium project.

The question was raised as to whether there would be any development of the current ground and LF confirmed that there would not be.

RW mentioned that the away attendance column in the programme is not completed and LF advised that she would check with the media department on this.
RW also mentioned that the newsletter was greatly improved.

CT enquired about charted trains and LF explained that the club had had some discussions with SW Trains regarding this and other matters but that it had been difficult to get matters moving forward with the franchise looming. Now that this has been awarded and SWT staff are settled in their roles again, the club will re-engage with the company.

The meeting ended.