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Fans' Council meeting

Some belated notes on the meeting on Thursday. About 15 present, including Michael Davies and two from ABM Catering. The first item on the agenda was a Trust update. Unfortunately no Trust Director was present, to the evident disappointment of the committee. Trevor Stroud was going to attend but pulled out after Andy Harman’s statement that afternoon. That, and the Trust’s following statement, were read out. I then said that I had been told (from a reliable source) that Harman was unhappy with the way that his bid had been inaccurately reported by the Trust director presenting the two bids to the other directors on Monday evening, that it had been seriously undervalued. That meant that the Board were voting on inaccurate information. With no director present that could not be verified, I may follow this up this at the next meeting. The general feeling was that the AH statement was unclear and there was relief that the process was now moving to the next stage.

MD gave a report on the Sunderland match and said it was the largest day’s takings the club have ever had. He said that not everything went as planned, lessons were learnt (more on food and drink from further down). There were two arrests, for abusive language and for pitch incursion, both Sunderland. Police dealt with a fight in The Hour Glass after the game. 40 seats were broken by the away fans, 29 in away end, 10 in Beechdean and one somewhere else I didn’t catch. The board will consider reclaiming the costs from Sunderland, although MD accepted that broken seats are normal in football. He said there were footprints on the broken ones. MD said that the stadium’s official capacity is 9448, but that can go down for some matches when seats are taken out of use, such as when Bucks Uni are filming. For Sunderland it was below 9000.

Paul, the ABM Catering manager was present, with his assistant Will. They attend every other Council meeting. He reported on food and drink at the Sunderland game. Twelve extra staff were employed, they were needed because the Sunderland fans did not come into the stadium in numbers until 2:10pm, and put great pressure on the servers. Out of 800 burgers in stock, 150 were left over, although some kiosks did run out temporarily as they waited for runners to re-supply them during the match. Some pies were left over and, out of 24 cheese and onion pasties, 12 were left over. He said that burgers and pies were getting cold after being cooked. The pie warmer doors were being kept open because of the fast throughput, they need 20 (I think he said 20) extra pie warmers but they cost £500 each. They originally changed to Pukka pies to get new pie warmers but they won’t supply any more, and anyway are pulling out at the end of the season, from all football clubs. They are looking to use Wrights Pies instead, and hopefully get some warmers from them. They had 240 portions of paella to sell but the pan kept blowing out. They will get a shield for the next game. The small kiosk in Frank Adams was open, selling drinks. They normally allow for 800 in FA but Sunderland was 2700. Someone said that, in FA, the kiosks don’t seem to be organised very well, you get groups of staff crowded around a till. It would be better if only one took the money, and that they all have a briefing before the shift, so they understand exactly what they are doing. Paul said they do have a pre-match briefing, and he pointed out that they sometimes get abuse from customers. At the Portsmouth game they will be selling a children’s food and drink box for £3.50 as a trial, the contents of which would normally sell for £6. Someone asked if leftover food could be discounted, rather than throwing it away. Paul will consider that, he said it is highly unusual for the club to still be selling 10 minutes before the end of the game. It is normal at clubs to close up after half-time.

MD said the Pod on the terrace has now passed the H & S check and will be open for the Portsmouth game, with the crowdfunded drinks fridge finally in use. News of the Pod being available came as a surprise to the Council chairman, given the heated debate about its prolonged non-availability at the last meeting, and that the job for completing the electrical work needed had been handed over to the Council.

A new two year shirt sponsor deal will be announced soon, it will be by far the largest shirt deal the club have signed, nearly double the previous highest. MD couldn’t give the name just yet but said you know will who it is by a news item on the official site last week (Bloomers will get a good night’s sleep…). The white strip will be retired at the end of this season. In spite of it being very popular with the players, it doesn’t sell well in the club shop. It is also more costly for the club to maintain three kits for the players. He was confident that having just two strips would not cause any kit clashes.

364 season tickets have been sold so far. The request by the Council at the last meeting, to extend the discount deadline beyond 31 March, has not been addressed yet.

A long term deal has been signed for a new Big Screen, at no cost to the club. It will be installed over the summer in the same place, and will be slightly larger. It will show a live feed of the game, with supporter messages returning, and rolling adverts below. It will not act as a scoreboard or clock apparently, MD is going to try and replace the current failing scoreboards.

There is a water leak in the Honours Lounge, I took that to be rain rather than a pipe. MD said the buildings are in a very tired state after many years of neglect.

Minutes from the previous meeting at available here: https://www.facebook.com/wwfcfans/. Next meeting Thursday 11 April, when we should be in the midst of a the vote.

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Comments

  • 'Normal' it may be, but I don't think we should think twice about claiming back for broken seats - especially when that's pocket change to a club like Sunderland

  • Much appreciated.

  • Very comprehensive report thanks Steve. It does make me wonder when just 15 attend.

    One thing springs to mind from your report regarding the catering. You stated that most clubs’ catering outlets close after half-time. Given the delays in leaving Adams Park post-match wouldn’t it be a good idea to keep them open at Adams Park after the game so people could have a pie or hot drink in their cars while waiting for the traffic to clear? More revenue for the club too!

  • @A_Worboys said:
    Very comprehensive report thanks Steve. It does make me wonder when just 15 attend.

    One thing springs to mind from your report regarding the catering. You stated that most clubs’ catering outlets close after half-time. Given the delays in leaving Adams Park post-match wouldn’t it be a good idea to keep them open at Adams Park after the game so people could have a pie or hot drink in their cars while waiting for the traffic to clear? More revenue for the club too!

    Or perhaps collate it all around 60 mins, bring it into the Vere Suite and serve it from the counter there.

    If moving of cooked food like that is allowed under food health and safety?

    👍 👎 ( 1 )
  • @th100 said:
    'Normal' it may be, but I don't think we should think twice about claiming back for broken seats - especially when that's pocket change to a club like Sunderland

    Exactly. Watch that Netflix doc and just see how many staff they’ve got hanging around the self-entitled place. I think they can afford it.

  • A very useful report and I extend my thanks to you as well. It does highlight that we need a lot of investment into the stadium maintenance though. Added to the problems that have already been mentioned, the mens loo in the Beechdean towards the away end hasn't had a cistern in it all season, from memory it is at least since August. I wouldn't be surprised if H&S condemn it before long before it produces some form of "outbreak"!

  • @th100 said:
    'Normal' it may be, but I don't think we should think twice about claiming back for broken seats - especially when that's pocket change to a club like Sunderland

    @arnos_grove said:

    @th100 said:
    'Normal' it may be, but I don't think we should think twice about claiming back for broken seats - especially when that's pocket change to a club like Sunderland

    Exactly. Watch that Netflix doc and just see how many staff they’ve got hanging around the self-entitled place. I think they can afford it.

    What if Sunderland say no?

  • @Chris said:
    What if Sunderland say no?

    Get Bayo to pay them a visit!

  • We should definitely send them the bill, and if any of our lot were to cause similar damage away I'd expect the club to ban them until they pay for it.

  • Thanks Steve.

    I do wonder if the FA should introduce some kind of law that holds away clubs responsible for the costs of repairing vandalism caused by their supporters. Essentially it would be a fine for failing to control their supporters.

    Obviously the odd seat will get broken by accident (or by a particularly weighty arse) but a 'reasonable percentage' could be worked out where it becomes clear that seats were being wilfully damaged.

    I hope we do try billing Sunderland and go public with it too, highlighting the financial disparity between the two clubs.

    If it were the other way round (heaven forbid) I would expect Wycombe to be billed.

  • Tony Sutton has reminded me that, as things stand, season ticket holders not renewing in the early bird window, which ends 31 March, may unfairly lose their seats. MD said this was a good point, thanked Tony for raising it and would confirm within 24 hours that seats would be held over. Not confirmed yet.

  • Thanks for the update @Steve_Peart . The season ticket launch was poor with not enough time given to people budgeting the high one off cost. To lose the seat you might have sat in for years because of it is not a good enough service from the club.
    This is exactly what a Fans Council should be able to stop happening but if the club don't include them early enough in the process I am not sure what be done.

    If the need for cash was that desperate I wonder why the two year season ticket was not put forward again.

  • Thanks for the update Steve, good to hear progress.
    Re the seat saga, my suggestion would be that the thirty odd seats be taken from little used areas of the ground like top corners of Frank Adams and put into damaged ‘heavy traffic ‘ areas, we charge Sunderland for labour only.
    Like the idea of all perishable food going to Vere post match and sold off discount.

  • Many thanks for all the above, gentlemen.
    Interesting, if a trifle dispiriting.

    Just waiting for @Wendoverman to enquire if any of his seat remains in place.

  • There’s very little chance Sunderland will agree to pay for the seat repair, and there are no rules forcing them to. It’s a waste of time, unless the goal is to get the FA or EFL to change the rules, and even then it seems unlikely to happen.

  • Just waiting for @Wendoverman to enquire if any of his seat remains in place.
    Well one thing is for certain. @Wendoverman won't be getting any discounted crisps near the end of the game as we always appear to sell out before his arrival! 😁

  • According to this article there is a rule in Scotland that the offending club pays for damage to an opponents ground, so there damn well should be in England too.
    If not then surely Sunderland should be shamed into it by going public. You’d like to think there would be CCTV footage of the damage being done.

    https://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/17441930.furious-kilmarnock-want-celtic-to-pay-for-the-damage-at-rugby-park/

  • There were a couple of their lot climbing up the supports of the stand after the goal as well - might wanna check the structural integrity of that as well...

  • Wonder if Sunderland should send Wycombe the medical bill for Duncan Watmore? Shame them into paying it

  • Here we go...

  • Have you been here all this time waiting for Sunderland to get a shoutout?

  • I don’t like the sound of pussfella. Is that what they call a ladyboy?

  • Watching trust members misled with those statements about the new shirt sponsor is really our club doing it’s best Theresa May impression.

    An away shirt deal next season which is nowhere close to double what the current away shirt sponsor pays let alone a club record price. It’s about £7-£10k more than the current away shirt pays . To talk that up as it’s some kind of huge achievement at a club losing £500k per year ,in context , it really shows why we are in the hole we are in .

    To put some context around it, our current shirts attract approx £50k for front position. ( one company pays just under £30k and one just over 20k

    The new mattress guys Upgrading to home and away plus other positions that currently generate revenue in year 20/21 for £70k is hardly backslapping time and certainly not double “ the nearest highest in all of our history “

    I understand there is much insecurity, defensiveness and worry among those who have presided over our decline in recent years but spare us the blatantly false claims and propaganda.

  • Spare us the blatantly false claims and propaganda...coming from you that’s quite a statement!

  • Thanks, having you vehemently oppose points I make is the best verification on the gasroom one could wish for

    👍 👎 ( 1 )
  • The brothers-in-arms show their solidarity once again.

  • You can categorically confirm that Marlow's claims regarding the shirt sponsorship are false then Mr Parry? As the self-professed expert on all WWFC matters, your response would be helpful to us poor mortals to get the true picture of the situation.

  • @marlowchair, just to clarify as I didn't make it clear. MD said that the combined value of home and away shirt sponsorship would be nearly double the previous highest combined value. Presumably you still disagree with that claim.

  • @marlowchair Why would you praise the club for bringing in more revenue from change shirt sponsorship through smart off the field activity (which has been one of the key themes you post about) when instead you could turn it into a criticism about communication? Sure makes me think you are a neutral observer just interested in the facts.

  • @mooneyman said:
    You can categorically confirm that Marlow's claims regarding the shirt sponsorship are false then Mr Parry? As the self-professed expert on all WWFC matters, your response would be helpful to us poor mortals to get the true picture of the situation.

    You really should read posts more carefully before commenting. I can’t categorically confirm or deny his/her claims nor did I try to. I pointed out the irony of someone who has made so many unproven accusations himself then accusing club officials of blatantly false claims and propaganda.
    I have never professed to be an expert on all WWFC matters, unlike some posters who claim to have insider knowledge.

    👍 👎 ( -1 )
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