Supporters forum 30/9/21

Sky Blue Pete

Well-Known Member
Nov 24, 2012
23,441
10,427
313
Coventry City Supporters Forum
Agenda for Meeting on the 30th of September 2021 @ 5.00pm at the Sky Blue Tavern
1 - Apologies

Laura Smith
Kevin Heffernan
Dave Eyles
Neil Beasley
Jim Brown

2 - Attendees

Colin Henderson - Chair (CH)
Pete Griffiths - Vice-Chair (PG)
Dave Boddy (DB)
Tynan Scope (TS)
Mark Hornby (MH)
Dave Buust (DB)
Sean Cockerton - West Midlands Police (SC)
Pat Raybould (PR)
Steve Harding (SH)
Bruce Walker Deputising for Dave Eyles (BW)
Simon Champion (SC)
Ray Stephens (RS)
Mike Garlick (MG)
Kevin Greenfield (KG)

Dhillons brewery Manager - Dal - gave an overview of the vision for the Sky Blue Tavern (SBT), the club and supporters and wants to make this a home from home. He would like all groups to get involved.

The SBT arrange home and away travel that can be booked through their website - skybluetavern.com. In order to be successful, they need our support.

Dave Boddy endorsed this and wants to arrange events for players and managers at the Tavern once issues with Covid are over. The SBT is a partnership with the club, and it financially benefits the club


Questions were then asked:

• SBT run a bus shuttle service on match days from the venue operated by Godiva travel and another company. This can be booked from their website. Skybluetavern.com
• Dal would love to invite all the supporters’ groups to the SBT.
• Food is served from 12.00pm until 9pm.

3 - There was no specific club update as this was covered under the submitted questions part of the agenda

4 - Dave Boddy’s responses to submitted questions (See separate document)

5 - Potential safety issues with the new fence running the length of Car Park B - Parallel to the railway line and underpass steps to the station and Tesco’s

CH added that there is an uneven surface and the sheer number of people walking through a narrow space is a recipe for disaster.

SC - West Midlands Police explained that up until 3 and a half seasons ago there was sporadic disorder between home and away fans after every game. As this was on the Arena footprint it was the joint responsibility of CCFC and Police to come up with a solution. Since a fence has been in place there have been just two games with any disorder on the Arena footprint.

CH explained that he still feels there is a safety issue so Sean agreed to review the situation at the next couple of games and to have a look and a rethink with CCFC if it is required.

DB endorsed what Sean said and added that the new fence installed this season cost was another significant unbudgeted expense.

6 - Family Zone up-date

PR confirmed that the Family Zone is reopening for the Fulham game this Saturday and will be a meet and greet for new families and children. Mc Kit frames have sponsored the day so there will be pens for the adults and scarves for the kids as well as pop and crisps some 60 years since Jimmy Hill first introduced them.

This season members will be able to register their visits and there will be rewards available. The zone will be divided into different zones run by different teams of volunteers. All have DBS checks; risk assessments have been completed and family zone Covid protocols have been discussed and agreed with MH and CCFC.

The whole volunteer team are looking forward to being back.

7 - Update on the new stadium plans at the University of Warwick

DB repeated that the University have announced the plans to build an eco-park and the new stadium is a key part of this initiative. The university are working that plan up.

The next key stages are transportation links, including the relief road on to the A46 and the light railway connection.

He feels that a planning application could be up to 3-4 years away but when we get to that point the University will know they can deliver it.

Joy Seppala is excited and driven by the potential of giving CCFC our own stadium.

After a brief discussion it was agreed to have this item a couple of times each year so updates can be shared.

Although we are nowhere near the point of seeking inputs from members of the supporter’s forum it was acknowledged that previous discussions could be reviewed and updated when we are at that point.

7 - Any other business

TS confirmed that the next stage of phase 1 shirts for juniors have landed and will be sent from next week.

There was a discussion regarding foul language and running up and down the stairs in the Level 1 corporate lounge. TS explained the swearing has been dealt with.

The issue of fans wearing replica shirts in the corporate lounge was also raised. The club explained that if the staff on duty see fans wearing replica shirts in the lounge they would/will deal with them.


TS acknowledged the poor service in the corporate area bar 1 and it is hoped that more staff will be appointed when the University students return.

8 - Proposed date of Next meeting

The next meeting will be in the two weeks running up to Christmas. CH & DB to review diaries and confirm the date.
 

Sky Blue Pete

Well-Known Member
Nov 24, 2012
23,441
10,427
313
Questions for Dave Boddy – 30th September 2021 @ 5.00pm

1 Ticket office issues: - What have been the main challenges so far this season? What has been done to put them right and do you expect any further problems? (Pete Griffiths)

CH explained that a number of supporters had experienced issues with the ticket office since the start of the season and that some still haven’t received their season tickets. DB explained that CCFC have been dealing with 2 third party providers, Ticketmaster and Fortress who manage the turnstile software at the Arena. 15-20 other stadiums share these third-party providers. They couldn’t get the systems to talk to one another and so after 3 weeks they decided to put a new router in. This all meant season ticket printing was delayed but with the new router this issue should not happen again.
He confirmed the issue is now limited to about 70 Phase 2 tickets that have not reached supporters. These are in the process of being sent again. He explained lots of clubs have had issues. He also added that Ticketmaster have issues with the postal system in Manchester and some first-class post can take upto 7 days to be delivered.

All those forum members with supporters who had issues agreed to check and confirm whether this covered the issues they were aware of and come back to TS or MH with any further queries.

2 Have the number of season tickets and increase in revenues from food and beverage within the stadium been reflected in the budget available to Mark Robbins or will be in January or summer 2022? (Pete Griffiths)

DB confirmed that their ambitious forecasts were based on 17,000 average attendance and we are beating that on tickets and season ticket income by about 1,500. However there has been lots of unforeseen costs, associated with moving back to the CBS Arena.

So currently the increased income is filling the increased expenditure from various unforeseen activity. All the money is going to support the clubs long term aims.
For instance, the new club shop cost double the budgeted forecast. Goal line technology costs each Championship club £72k a year (which was budgeted for) but in order to connect the power at the Arena there was an extra 5-figre cost and there have been lots of similar issues so far this season.

TS added that for context 1,500 extra people per home game would equate to about £400k extra income over a season.
The final comment referred to protecting assets in January and how CCFC are looking to copy the Brentford model in terms of transfer dealings and progressing.

3 There are large queues outside before most games. Do we know why? What plans are there to tackle this? (Pete Griffiths)

There was a long discussion about the outside bars and looking at how to use these to reduce the numbers of people queuing in the road. SC - West Midlands Police explained that if it was his decision, he would close the Arena footprint to traffic an hour before kickoff – similarly to most other Midlands venues. He has concerns of a collision or vehicle attack.
Further point was raised about the way cars were being parked in Car Park A leading to tailbacks on the A444 with waiting cars.

Lots of reasonable suggestions were made but how this will work is a very live issue that the club and police will be discussing over the coming weeks.

One issue of closing to cars are the two businesses (Casino/Hotel) and their clientele while games are taking place.
In terms of long queues at turnstiles with 20,000 fans attending it is not possible for supporters to turn up 15 mins to kick off and expect to get in before the game starts.

DB explained that they had a pre-match discussion before Peterborough about circumstances of delaying the kickoff. It was agreed that this couldn’t be done 5 mins before but more 30 mins before in fairness to both teams.

At 7:15 DB went with the Wasps operations manager to the control room. At that point there were 5,000 fans in the Arena and in the 5 mins it took to walk to the control room another 2,000 came in and while they were talking another 1,000 entered.

It was pointed out by a member of the Forum that if it takes 5 mins for 2,000 to be admitted then for 20,000 that is 50 mins. All agreed to make it clear to their supporters’ groups that we need to be arriving in good time. We are a much bigger team with much bigger attendances and our actions need to reflect this on match days.

4 The club have kindly rewarded those who bought a Ricoh Return Membership, with a £25.00 voucher to spend on merchandise via the on-line store. I would like to know why they cannot be exchanged in the club shop. What if some fans who cannot order on-line or get someone to do it for them? Would it not be possible to arrange for exchanges to be covered in a shop purchase for the remainder of this year once the offer date closes? (Ray Stephens)

MH advised that our retail partner advised us that there was a choice of either redeeming the £25 in person or online but not both. The suggested option of online suits most but not all. TS confirmed there was no laptop in the club shop for customers to use.

5 Are the club actively reviewing the potential of safe standing at the CBS Arena? Or is this going to be included in the new stadium design only? (Colin Henderson)

DB advised that the Sports Ground Safety Authority sent a circular last week for any club that want to consider this to reply within a fortnight. CCFC have not done this for next season. They will speak to Wasps about it and ultimately it will be their choice and there will be a significant cost.

6 Are the club considering selling replica shirts without the Boyle Sports on them? I know some people who won’t buy them because they are advertising a betting company. Other clubs are offering this (e.g., Stoke City). (Jim Brown)

TS advised that contractually adult shirts have Boyle Sports on them. Junior shirts do not have the sponsor on, for legal reasons. Since Hummel have taken the contract for shirts the numbers have risen from 8-9,000 to 30,000 each season.

Following a question regarding Stoke it was agreed that this was a different matter as not only do BET365 sponsor Stoke they also own the club.

7 Has the club made any planning for/testing for the use of COVID Passports in case they are required at short notice during the autumn/winter of 2021? (Colin Henderson)

DB advised that EFL had done a seminar today. The CCFC team will be watching a video of the presentation. DB recognized the implementation of Covid passports would add significant time to get supporters into the stadium. TS added that all those companies in the hospitality industry are struggling for staff, CCFC for stewards, Delaware North for their staff too.

8 Is any data being collected on Covid transmission linked with crowds at the CBS arena? (Pete Griffiths)

DB / MH explained that its not possible to keep details of transmission but there have been a couple of positive cases relating to the hotel and the Legends Lounge. All those attending the Legends Lounge on that day were written to by CCFC, and Public Health England praised the Club for their response.

9 JSB Xmas party – what are the current plans? Are there any plans to have an open day at Ryton for JSB members once Covid restrictions have been relaxed? (Pete Griffiths)

DB explained how much pride CCFC have taken in the closeness of players, management and supporters and previous visits and appearances in the community, but until further notice players and management cannot engage as previously due to the COVID risk. As it is, a Christmas party is very unlikely at this stage. PR added that without the players the JSB party is not the same. The Club and Family Zone are looking forward to doing something different when we can get the players there. She explained that plans for the JSB party in December start in October so no plans will start until they are sure the players can be involved.

10 Can CCFC do anything about running buses from town to the ground on match days? (Pete Griffiths)

Some history of the bus service from town to the Arena was discussed and it appears that when the issue was previously discussed National Express required some funding from CCFC to cover their costs. TS / MH will investigate further.

All groups were asked to speak to their members to see if a bus service would be used

11 Can car parking packages be included as part of season tickets or match package purchases? (Pete Griffiths)

TS advised that car parking is part of corporate packages and as the car parking is pretty much sold out for the season there would appear to be no need to try any further packages to increase sales. Following a question about disabled parking from KH, TS will speak with the car parks manager although it was felt the issue on the Friday against Peterborough was due to another event taking place on the same evening.

12 Season ticket costs – are these likely to be reduced game by game to entice people to commit given the excellent start to the season? (Pete Griffiths)

DB confirmed that Season Tickets will be available throughout the season and the next tranche will be marketed before the Derby game on 23rd October.
 

Sky Blue Pete

Well-Known Member
Nov 24, 2012
23,441
10,427
313
Good stuff thanks, sounds the most positive it’s been for a while, long may it continue. Never understood the no football shirt rule in corporate, any rationale behind it?
No that was really funny discussion. Fancy someone saying fuck in a stadium with women and children around lol. I wonder if the players ever utter such crass language lol
 

JAM See

Well-Known Member
Apr 29, 2017
497
552
193
Any mention of moving the smoking area nearer to Block 15? Or having two sections.
 

SBT

Well-Known Member
Sep 14, 2012
1,962
2,039
163
DB repeated that the University have announced the plans to build an eco-park and the new stadium is a key part of this initiative. The university are working that plan up.
That’s not really what Warwick Uni have said about it, but ok.

If it’s four years until they even apply for planning permission, they’re going to have to start dusting off the old Wasps negotiation handbook. Hawthorns groundshare here we come!
 
  • Haha
Reactions: mr_monkey

mds

Well-Known Member
Nov 24, 2008
1,126
253
183
Coventry.
10 Can CCFC do anything about running buses from town to the ground on match days? (Pete Griffiths)

Some history of the bus service from town to the Arena was discussed and it appears that when the issue was previously discussed National Express required some funding from CCFC to cover their costs. TS / MH will investigate further.

All groups were asked to speak to their members to see if a bus service would be used
I guess it would depend on the operator but arrange a bus pass type deal, get an estimate from the bus company and plan around it, obviously you wont know the exact numbers in need but a quick survey might give an idea.
Charge for the season on a pass with potd available.
 

Liquid Gold

Well-Known Member
Sep 16, 2013
21,928
26,179
313
Brizzle
I h ate that stupid fence.

The excuse that it has reduced trouble on the arena footprint is awful, it's just pushing people to the end of the fence which isn't technically the arena so the trouble is happening there. It would be better happening where there are police and stewards to deal with it.

Also people have to walk all the way down then up a muddy hill to the path, it's completely unsafe.

No other football ground I've been to has anything like this and I think it causes more trouble than it defuses.
 

Sky Blue Pete

Well-Known Member
Nov 24, 2012
23,441
10,427
313
I h ate that stupid fence.

The excuse that it has reduced trouble on the arena footprint is awful, it's just pushing people to the end of the fence which isn't technically the arena so the trouble is happening there. It would be better happening where there are police and stewards to deal with it.

Also people have to walk all the way down then up a muddy hill to the path, it's completely unsafe.

No other football ground I've been to has anything like this and I think it causes more trouble than it defuses.
The police professional disagrees with you
 

fatso

Well-Known Member
Jun 19, 2017
4,369
3,970
213
Wasps will hol
That’s not really what Warwick Uni have said about it, but ok.

If it’s four years until they even apply for planning permission, they’re going to have to start dusting off the old Wasps negotiation handbook. Hawthorns groundshare here we come!
Wasps will hopefully be bankrupt by then.
 

hill83

Well-Known Member
Sep 15, 2008
17,688
23,061
363
Coventry
No that was really funny discussion. Fancy someone saying fuck in a stadium with women and children around lol. I wonder if the players ever utter such crass language lol
Some bloke was saying "fuckin" this and that outside the ground before the Fulham game and my lad said.
"Daddy, that man was saying fucking and he wasn't even saying the 'ing' at the end"
 

GaryMabbuttsLeftKnee

Well-Known Member
Mar 16, 2013
2,078
2,783
163
Stratford Upon Avon
It was pointed out by a member of the Forum that if it takes 5 mins for 2,000 to be admitted then for 20,000 that is 50 mins. All agreed to make it clear to their supporters’ groups that we need to be arriving in good time. We are a much bigger team with much bigger attendances and our actions need to reflect this on match days.
Great work as always Pete and thanks for supplying the information. I am being pedantic on this one as there are more pressing issues worth discussing but this one stands out like a sore thumb. Mainly because there are many, many grounds up and down the country that don't require these kind of waits to get into the stadium. In fact, other than once at the Emirates and once at stadium:MK I have never got anywhere near my experience of it at the CBS, so clearly they are doing something very wrong which needs identifying and rectifying.
 

chiefdave

Well-Known Member
Sep 27, 2008
28,660
17,124
413
Coventry
I h ate that stupid fence.

The excuse that it has reduced trouble on the arena footprint is awful, it's just pushing people to the end of the fence which isn't technically the arena so the trouble is happening there. It would be better happening where there are police and stewards to deal with it.

Also people have to walk all the way down then up a muddy hill to the path, it's completely unsafe.

No other football ground I've been to has anything like this and I think it causes more trouble than it defuses.
Completely agree with this. There was a small amount of trouble at a handful of games, which should have been handled far better by the police, and then a massive over-reaction to put the fence up. Since then there's constant trouble but it seems that's no longer an issue as its not on the arena footprint. Week in week out you see the police just ignore the two sets of fans having a go at each other from their side of the fence only for the fence to suddenly end and it all kicks off.

They also, as a matter of routine, refuse to allow those with mobility issues through forcing them to take a long route round to the car park often right through the middle of any trouble.

Why do we need this when its not an issue at any other ground in the country that I can think of? We've got some idiot fans but we're far from the worst in the country, if the police are unable to control things on a match day suggest they'd be better off looking at how they police games than pushing the trouble away from the stadium.
 

hill83

Well-Known Member
Sep 15, 2008
17,688
23,061
363
Coventry
Completely agree with this. There was a small amount of trouble at a handful of games, which should have been handled far better by the police, and then a massive over-reaction to put the fence up. Since then there's constant trouble but it seems that's no longer an issue as its not on the arena footprint. Week in week out you see the police just ignore the two sets of fans having a go at each other from their side of the fence only for the fence to suddenly end and it all kicks off.

They also, as a matter of routine, refuse to allow those with mobility issues through forcing them to take a long route round to the car park often right through the middle of any trouble.

Why do we need this when its not an issue at any other ground in the country that I can think of? We've got some idiot fans but we're far from the worst in the country, if the police are unable to control things on a match day suggest they'd be better off looking at how they police games than pushing the trouble away from the stadium.
 

Nick

Administrator
Feb 25, 2008
118,481
39,989
1,063
Coventry
Completely agree with this. There was a small amount of trouble at a handful of games, which should have been handled far better by the police, and then a massive over-reaction to put the fence up. Since then there's constant trouble but it seems that's no longer an issue as its not on the arena footprint. Week in week out you see the police just ignore the two sets of fans having a go at each other from their side of the fence only for the fence to suddenly end and it all kicks off.

They also, as a matter of routine, refuse to allow those with mobility issues through forcing them to take a long route round to the car park often right through the middle of any trouble.

Why do we need this when its not an issue at any other ground in the country that I can think of? We've got some idiot fans but we're far from the worst in the country, if the police are unable to control things on a match day suggest they'd be better off looking at how they police games than pushing the trouble away from the stadium.
We should just force them into Decathalon to have a game of Swingball to sort the issue.
 

Sky Blue Pete

Well-Known Member
Nov 24, 2012
23,441
10,427
313
Great work as always Pete and thanks for supplying the information. I am being pedantic on this one as there are more pressing issues worth discussing but this one stands out like a sore thumb. Mainly because there are many, many grounds up and down the country that don't require these kind of waits to get into the stadium. In fact, other than once at the Emirates and once at stadium:MK I have never got anywhere near my experience of it at the CBS, so clearly they are doing something very wrong which needs identifying and rectifying.
I’ve been watching recently and it’s been much quicker getting in. I’ve also caught some premier games on sky and people do seem to get into the ground earlier than us lot. I think it’s fair to say you can’t expect to turn up at 2.45 and waltz in for 3
 

Sky Blue Pete

Well-Known Member
Nov 24, 2012
23,441
10,427
313
Completely agree with this. There was a small amount of trouble at a handful of games, which should have been handled far better by the police, and then a massive over-reaction to put the fence up. Since then there's constant trouble but it seems that's no longer an issue as its not on the arena footprint. Week in week out you see the police just ignore the two sets of fans having a go at each other from their side of the fence only for the fence to suddenly end and it all kicks off.

They also, as a matter of routine, refuse to allow those with mobility issues through forcing them to take a long route round to the car park often right through the middle of any trouble.

Why do we need this when its not an issue at any other ground in the country that I can think of? We've got some idiot fans but we're far from the worst in the country, if the police are unable to control things on a match day suggest they'd be better off looking at how they police games than pushing the trouble away from the stadium.
It’s more the responsibility not that the trouble is being moved from one area to another

The issue of letting people with mobility issues through was discussed and they can get through but just have to wait a for 20 mins or so I think.

The police are responsible for the disorder away from the arena footprint and the club on the footprint. The club have asked for a joint solution and this is the proposal. I think there are some safety issues to consider with thousands of people squashed and as the notes say it’s a live issue under constant discussion.

The police are the experts in managing crowds and we can offer suggestion but it is another one of those cases where we are all experts until it’s our head on the block

Fundamentally policing costs money and that’s money we want to pay Hamer with so if the fence cost £25k and the policing is reduced by more then it’s ok by me. The safety issues are another matter
 

Liquid Gold

Well-Known Member
Sep 16, 2013
21,928
26,179
313
Brizzle
I’ve been watching recently and it’s been much quicker getting in. I’ve also caught some premier games on sky and people do seem to get into the ground earlier than us lot. I think it’s fair to say you can’t expect to turn up at 2.45 and waltz in for 3
It would be easier to convince people to turn up an hour before kickoff if the queues for bars weren't so outrageous.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JAM See

Liquid Gold

Well-Known Member
Sep 16, 2013
21,928
26,179
313
Brizzle
It’s more the responsibility not that the trouble is being moved from one area to another

The issue of letting people with mobility issues through was discussed and they can get through but just have to wait a for 20 mins or so I think.

The police are responsible for the disorder away from the arena footprint and the club on the footprint. The club have asked for a joint solution and this is the proposal. I think there are some safety issues to consider with thousands of people squashed and as the notes say it’s a live issue under constant discussion.

The police are the experts in managing crowds and we can offer suggestion but it is another one of those cases where we are all experts until it’s our head on the block

Fundamentally policing costs money and that’s money we want to pay Hamer with so if the fence cost £25k and the policing is reduced by more then it’s ok by me. The safety issues are another matter
All our police have to do is ask what the other 91 clubs in English football and do that. We're the only one that's gone for this stupid fence system that causes more harm than it prevents.

If I fall over on that muddy hill and injure myself in winter then I hope there'll be a nice compo claim in it as they are restricting any other reasonable route back to my car.
 

Sky Blue Pete

Well-Known Member
Nov 24, 2012
23,441
10,427
313
It would be easier to convince people to turn up an hour before kickoff if the queues for bars weren't so outrageous.
Yep that’s why they got the vans outside for Peterboro but that almost closed the road. Keep giving the feedback and we can then ensure the club are aware
 

Sky Blue Pete

Well-Known Member
Nov 24, 2012
23,441
10,427
313
All our police have to do is ask what the other 91 clubs in English football and do that. We're the only one that's gone for this stupid fence system that causes more harm than it prevents.

If I fall over on that muddy hill and injure myself in winter then I hope there'll be a nice compo claim in it as they are restricting any other reasonable route back to my car.
Now I may be playing devils advocate here. I don’t think you’ve been to all 91 have you? Also the chair is the rep on the safety advisory group. The situation is not as simple as you make out and is under review
 

Sky Blue Pete

Well-Known Member
Nov 24, 2012
23,441
10,427
313
All our police have to do is ask what the other 91 clubs in English football and do that. We're the only one that's gone for this stupid fence system that causes more harm than it prevents.

If I fall over on that muddy hill and injure myself in winter then I hope there'll be a nice compo claim in it as they are restricting any other reasonable route back to my car.
Just wait a few minutes or walk round the other way
 

Liquid Gold

Well-Known Member
Sep 16, 2013
21,928
26,179
313
Brizzle
Yep that’s why they got the vans outside for Peterboro but that almost closed the road. Keep giving the feedback and we can then ensure the club are aware
I don't think they necessarily help as you can't take the pints inside can you? People are still going to wait till just before the game but outside the stadium instead of the pub.