Synopsis of Trust quarterly meeting with Ben Kensell January 2020

Present:

Robin Sainty, Kathy Blake, Andy Polley, Glenn Bate (CT) Ben Kensell, Lynette Hannant (NCFC)

  • AGM:

This will have to be rescheduled because of City’s progress in the FA Cup and Lynette will come back with available dates. We discussed possible size of audience and the possible players who might be available for the Q&A and this will be finalised once we have a date. RS suggested that BK might like to also take part in the Q&A so that both the football and the business sides could be covered. Again this will depend on date and availability.

  • New season ticket/membership scheme:

The overwhelming response to this to both the Club and the Trust had been good with over 90% of the feedback being positive. BK explained that the points system could not have been based on this season for renewals now but that in future the intention would be to do so but with a much shorter sign up window. It was mutually agreed that the new system is  major improvement while accepting that some tweaks may be necessary, and that no system would ever totally satisfy everyone. However, the Club deserve credit for engaging in such comprehensive dialogue with fans.

  • Foodbank:

The foodbank collection is all set to go ahead on March 14th before the Southampton game. AP said that the comms team would shortly be publicising it on social media and also the match day programme. BK said that he would ask each member of NCFC staff to bring an item. AP checked that NCFC would be OK with the Trust erecting small gazebos.

  • Safe standing:

A huge amount of work has been going on behind the scenes including visits to see rail seating at various clubs, like Shrewsbury and Wolves. The intention is to be ready as soon as the Government changes the rules. BK also explained that new regulations on spacing might allow an increase in capacity.

  • Yellows:

AP said that the Trust are still working on ideas for using Yellows and BK is keen to get an initial event up and running. AP said the Trust could act as a ‘sitting tenant’ in collaboration with other groups. The Trust has two fundraisers in the pipeline one of them may well be used as a trial event.

  • Pointless Plastic:

This is an area where the Trust has pushed the Club quite strongly and things have moved on considerably since the last meeting. The Club has found a sustainability partner in Finland with Teemu Pukki’s popularity and presence at the Club helping to secure this. Their contract will start in the summer and their main area will be provision of eco-friendly cups and sachets. NCFC are very keen to lead the way and set an example to encourage other clubs to go down this route.

AP asked for a named contact at the football club for this initiative.

  • Health & Safety

We had a long discussion regarding the gentleman who had had a heart attack in the South stand and whose life was saved by stewards and paramedics. Both the gentleman himself and his family have praised the way in which the matter was dealt with and despite the successful operation it was agreed that it was always good practice to review to see if action could be taken even faster in a similar situation.

The Trust is also pushing for refurbishments of the ladies toilets in the Upper Barclay and Lower Regency and hope to see progress on this shortly.

The club are also considering how to solve a pigeon problem.  Netting is expensive and hawks had been tried but the pigeons kept coming back. Shooting and poisoning are out of the question.

  • VAR:

BK was attending a meeting next week about VAR. There is no chance that it will be changed this season though. Two letters had been sent to the Premier League outlining both perceived injustices and the long time that decisions were taking.

The FSA will be sending out a questionnaire about VAR. It was hoped that as many fans as possible would respond. The Trust could help with promoting this.

Time capsule:

KB showed BK a document referring to a time capsule that was buried under the pitch in 2002. She asked if BK was aware and also if it was still there. BK  was unaware as it was before his arrival but said he would look into it.

AOB:

GB asked if the club were intending to upgrade the disabled areas. BK said yes and that there were football league guidelines on this. He also explained that there had problems in the away section with fans surging onto disabled fans in the front row and that it was hoped that a barrier would have been put  in place by the Liverpool game.

Date of next meeting:

KB to agree a suitable date with LH.

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