Board Meeting online using Zoom
Wednesday 16 June 2021, 7.00pm
Board present Stuart Rogers SR (chair), Miles Hendy MH, Mike Adams MA (minutes), Jon Darch JD, Marie Day MD, Terry Hamlin TH, Shahan Miah SM, James Nicholls JN, James Thomas JTm, D-M Withers DW. BCFC Jerry Tocknell SLO JTk. Apologies D-M Withers, Jon Watts, Katrina Watts
1. SLO UPDATE
a) Season tickets - 12,500 sold.
b) Richard Gould is a very different and inclusive CEO. He would like to attend one of our meetings. [Action- Stu to make contact and invite to attend]
c) Annual awards - good day at the High Performance Centre. Permanent trophies back with Jon Watts; Women's shields still to be collected from Shahan.
d) Vanarama final at Ashton Gate proved a lot of work to manage. SLO is fielding a lot of questions from Hartlepool and Torquay supporters; all tickets £41 with no concessions.
e) Pre-season friendly at Ashton Gate is being considered with hopefully fans allowed to attend
f) ST fixture refunds - SLO has fed back to Club officials not to repeat the experience of Bristol Bears whereby ST refunds were given for a cancelled game but resold at a higher price to the same fans for the rearranged fixture.
g) Stock levels in the shop are not good and causing complaints from fans.
h) New membership scheme being developed, but on hold subject to Covid uncertainty.
[Action: Jerry to invite Charlie Lincoln to future meeting to help develop that scheme]
2. SAFE STANDING
a) Miles and Stu accepted an invitation from Dave Storr to visit Ashton Gate and look at the proposed barrier solution; it transpired that orders for installation had already been placed.
b) Miles has written a brief note, acknowledging board members’ comments that this is a very technical conversation.
c) Seeing it in a practical demonstration brought some clarity. Given that Ashton Gate is a multi-use stadium, we have serious concerns about the potential for someone to hit the back of their head when seated.
c) We acknowledge that most of the time the area will be used for standing as Section 82 for football; however, there is still a risk that needs to be managed.
d) The difference between this installation of barriers and Wolves is the smaller amount of space in the lower part of the stand, plus more flexible and deeper seats.
e) We acknowledge that SAG had signed off this installation and orders had been placed. However, we believe the sign-off is based on the Green Guide, which does not cover some of the nuances related to this stand at Ashton Gate.
f) We await a formal response from Mark Kelly before deciding on next steps. Dave Storr did say he would look at other seating options. The feeling is that if this installation progresses, we will need to at least inform fans of our concerns.
g) The board feels that the Football Club needs to know our concerns, not just Ashton Gate Limited, as there is a potential reputational risk for Bristol City, the primary and most longstanding tenants of the stadium.
h) The board is also bemused by the lack of engagement with Jon Darch, the foremost expert on safe standing in the country, who is now viewed by some at Ashton Gate as more of a salesman than a fan or industry expert. This saddens the board and has upset Jon.
3. AGM REVIEW
a) Our first AGM to be held online had a good attendance and lively interaction.
b) Charlie Lincoln’s guest presentation was very interesting and went down well.
c) There were four areas for the Board to follow up (qv minutes):
Fan on BCFC board; Hall of Fame; Q&A sessions; Video around the annual fans survey
Some would progress with the announcement of the fixture list on 24th June.
Fan on BCFC Board
This matter had lapsed for some years but it could be an agenda item for our meeting involving Richard Gould. [Action – SR]
Hall of Fame
We aim to induct another set of players this coming season [Action – MA to make some proposals at next meeting]
The last Q&A was run by the Football Club at Preston. When we see the fixture list we can decide on an appropriate game and venue to collaborate with the Club. [Action – SR]
Annual Fans Survey
[Action: Miles to develop initial questions for annual survey]
4. BRISTOL CITY WOMEN’S FC
Our possible continued sponsorship cannot be decided until we know which players will be available and other matters to be decided following relegation. Lee Billiard stepping down as Head of Football had come as a shock to D-M and Shahan. Richard Gould has been made a member of the BCWFC Board.
It was felt that the most likely move for another watchalong would be during a possible new wave of Covid-19.
6. FINANCE & ACCOUNTS
The 2020 accounts are being finalised and will be available for an AGM in December.
7. NEXT MEETING
Wednesday 7th/14th/21st July 7pm on Zoom.