Community and Equality Focus Group

Trust Members, and fellow AFC Bournemouth Supporters, are invited to attend a meeting which will be based around Community and Equality.  It will give fans the chance to find out more about its nominated charity, The Cherry Tree Nursery, and how Cherries Trust and the club are supporting the charity, as well as gaining some insight into the work of the Cherries Community Fund and discuss with fans ideas on how this can be further developed.

Steve Cuss, head of AFC Bournemouth Community Trust, will be there to talk about the Community Trusts work across our local community and the positive impact on people’s lives that can be achieved, plus how this links with the club’s equality objectives.  Steve would also showcase the progress made around girls and women’s football at the club.

Should you be interested, please contact Kerry Smith on the following email address

kerry.smith@cherriestrust.co.uk

The meeting is to be held at Vitality Stadium on Monday 20th November. For further information contact Kerry Smith, as above.

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.