September 2021 Minutes

Board Meeting online using Zoom

Wednesday 8th September 2021, 7.00pm


Board present  Stuart Rogers SR (chair), Miles Hendy MH, Mike Adams MA (minutes), Jon Darch JD, Marie Day MD, Shahan Miah SM, James Nicholls JN, D-M Withers DW.  Members  Diane Rowland DR, Wendy Rowland WR
Police  Dave Walker DW (Footbal Support Officer).  #HerGameToo Leah Case LC.
Football Club  Richard Gould RD (CEO), Jerry Tocknell JT (SLO)
Apologies  Terry Hamlin, James Thomas, Jon Watts, Katrina Watts
1. Matters arising
AG8 40th anniversary – little progress [Action MA to pursue with players and Football Club]
Taking The Knee statement – had been published following the opening game v Blackpool.
Reporting incidents on match days – It was agreed the practical steps need to be publicised.
[Action RG – Notices with NUMBER TO CALL prominent to be placed at multi-points around stadium]
2. Leah Case (#HerGameToo campaign)
We welcomed Leah, who gave an account of her campaign against sexism in football, which had begun as an online video that had attracted 1.7 million views and had led to the involvement of fans from other clubs.  We discussed ways to support her campaign.
[Action LC – to arrange flags - LC/RG - possible inclusion of logo on shirts]
3. SLO update
Jerry and other staff are increasingly busy and he was now mostly at the stadium.
Away travel had been improved, the Club now using Turners Coaches, who are proving more flexible by putting on more or bigger coaches.  The Club had also reduced ticket prices eg £10 for Reading.  The meeting expressed satisfaction that the Club had taken action in this area, which we had sought for some time.  There were currently five coaches booked to go to QPR, more than ever before.  The hoped-for increased numbers using coaches would help the Club’s carbon footprint.
Women’s clubs – an increasing number have visited for stadium tours and 90 match tickets had been sold to one local club.  Twenty-five children had brought their parents.
4. Welcome to Richard Gould
We welcomed Richard, who outlined his approach to his work at the Club.  He enjoys working with supporters and would seek their opinions on all matters.  The ownership of the Club reflects the City of Bristol as a whole.  The Club would be innovative with perhaps £1 voluntary levies on certain activities to support schemes to reduce its carbon footprint.  The Club would be reviving its Former Players Association.
5. Q&A sessions
These had been successful in previous years and they should continue.  RG [action] said that he expected a date to be confirmed for a session in BS3 in the next few days.  SR and JT [action] to consider suitable away venues. D-M and SH to arrange for a Q&A potentially in the Supporters Bar for the Women’s game at Ashton Gate on 14th November.
Shahan and D-M are due to meet Grace Williams (Operations Manager) and Gavin Marshall (Chairman) for the second time in their scheduled series.  The MOU is close to signing.
[Action Richard – complete MOU for BCWFC in two weeks and take up MOU for BCFC]
7. Hall of Fame
Mike gave a brief story from its beginning in 2011.  Three groups of players and personalities had been inducted – 31 in all – and this season a fourth group is planned.  Preliminary discussions have taken place with City ‘historians as to the best way forward.  A list of players could be drawn up to initiate discussion.  The outcome will be decided by a vote of fans.  A regular article is appearing in the online matchday programme.  Discussions would be initiated on OTIB fans forum and on the BCSCT website.  Bristol City Women will be included. [Action MA/D-M to progress for men and women]
8. Annual fans survey
Other clubs have found such a survey, usually jointly organised by club and fans, to be very useful.
[Action SR to assist MH in drawing up draft questions for forwarding to the Club]
9. Safe-Standing
Jon presented the latest position nationally.  The government has announced there will be pilot installations this season.  With regards to the barriers installed at Ashton Gate, Miles reiterated our 
previous concern that on the front few rows spectators at non-football events could bang their head against the barrier if suddenly rocking backwards.  Jon flagged up that clubs offering safe standing to home fans will be required to do so for away fans too, so BCFC would want to consider how to accommodate this in the Atyeo.
[Action RG – Club to please take into account BCSCT’s concerns particularly for non-football events]
10. Supporters Bar
The Bar was up and running.  [Action Shahan/D-M - flags to be delivered to Bar for next match day]
11. Police matters
Ashton Gate had been a flash-point at the opening game of the season v Blackpool.  One flare was let off and there two arrests.  At the Swansea game, bottles were thrown.  It is hoped this is exuberance in the first weeks of crowds returning to matches and that the situation will settle down.  Diane and Wendy commended the stewarding at Cardiff.  Dave pointed out that the away fans were controlled by their own club stewards and the same will appiy when Cardiff visit Ashton Gate.
12. Colour Blindness in Football
There was time only to note this item, which had been raised by an exiled fan after watching Robins TV.  [Action RG – Club to consider, if not already, FA guidance for future kit]
Next meeting Wednesday 6th October 7pm via Zoom

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