1. Recruitment and Membership to the Fans' Forum
Guidelines to membership confirmed. Recruitment of new members will progress over the next month, in order that the new supporters are in place for October's meeting. Existing members to choose new members at the September meeting. Original members to depart in September and other existing members to leave following December's meeting.
Applications for membership will be requested over the next week via evertonfc.com.
Forum was asked to discuss what it felt the mission of the Forum was and how the agenda should be structured moving forward. Forum agreed to aim for a 50/50 split between Club-led and Supporter-led matters.
Forum stated that one of the perceived issues is the lack of information in the public domain about the Club but understands that certain information must remain confidential.
3. Away Travel Support:
Forum was asked for feedback on how best to avoid certain negative and disruptive behaviour at away matches.
Advice to be sought from Stadium Safety Officer on whether text reporting can be used at away matches to report incidents and also if Everton stewards can be utilised more at other grounds.
A small group of 3-4 regular away match travellers to meet with Stadium Safety Officer to discuss issues arising at away games and potential solutions.
This topic will be a September agenda item, Stadium Safety Officer will attend meeting.
- Subsidised Transport and Loyalty Scheme
Forum was asked its thoughts on whether the Club should reward regular away fans and subsidised away transport costs on official travel. It was confirmed that allocation for away fixtures is sufficient for demand.
Forum discussed paying a premium for guaranteed tickets to certain away matches. Forum thought the idea was unfair to regular away travellers, particularly due to the fact that most away matches go on general sale. Forum was less disgruntled with a season ticket that incorporated certain away matches, but overall did not support the idea.
Commercial team will investigate rewards for frequent away travellers including discounted coach travel. Report back in September.
- Update on Season Tickets sales
Forum was advised that Season Ticket sales stand at 90% of last year's sales figure at the same date. Lounge memberships stand at 101% also on the same date.
- Update on Group Ticket Sales
Interest has been positive and it is operating in the same way as last year. Games have also been chosen and will be communicated in due course.
- Goodison Park Enhancements
Audio Visual equipment will be up and running by the first match of the season. The enhancements will be communicated by the Media and Communications team at an appropriate point when feedback has been sought and digested.
Banners for outside the stadium are now in production and will be ready for the first home match.
Forum was asked for their opinions on the type of visual messages that could be shown inside the ground. Forum felt very strongly that the colour scheme should be consistently Blue and White. Forum liked - ‘evertonfc.com', ‘Everton in the Community'. Forum felt very strongly about using the term ‘The People's Club' and ‘Nil Satis Nisi Optimum' and using the phrase ‘We are....' before each term.
Messages on the banners could be replicated inside the stadium. It was agreed ‘The People's Club' and ‘Nil Satis Nisi Optimum' could operate side by side.
- Park End Development
Club remain hopeful the new development will clear final hurdles. The Club remains committed to better retail and office space.
6. Blue Union
Forum asked to consider whether the Club should engage with Blue Union and provide answers to the questions that the group are asking in the public domain. It was advised that the Club have already engaged with the group. Sharpy's Surgery has also addressed questions from the group.
7. Outsourcing of internal departments
PO'R asked if there was a plan to outsource some internal departments. It was confirmed that catering, retail and website development have been outsourced for a period of time and this has proved to be successful.
Security around the stadium will be outsourced in the future to improve the matchday experience and security. Whilst this will mean that costs will increase slightly it was felt that this was a good investment to improve both security and the service to supporters. The Club is already enjoying a positive working relationship with the outsourced partner at Finch Farm.
8. Share Issue
The Board and the Executive Management team continue to believe that there is very little appetite for a new share scheme or rights issue. No further work has been undertaken on either initiative. The Club has not had any further correspondence from the fan-led share scheme idea, tabled earlier this year.
9. Feedback from the pre-season tour
Feedback was positive and special mention was given to the Media and Communications team for the events organised during the tour. This also included the service from Thomas Cook and the fact that Gary Wilton was appointed as a liaison officer. However, communication to certain fans whilst in the States was not as robust as it could have been
Thomas Cook to be approached in relation to away coach travel and subsidies/promotions.
Questions were raised about the possibility of an open training session due to the postponement of the Tottenham fixture. It was confirmed that after seeking Police advice, the session was not feasible as a home match was scheduled at Anfield.
Forum asked if Kitbag had had a lot of shirts returned due to poor material quality.
It was confirmed that at present there has not been a significant number of shirts returned due to the quality of the material. The Club will continue to liaise with Kitbag to ensure high standards are maintained.
Forum was asked if they had any feedback from the wider fanbase regarding issues purchasing the pre season games on evertontv It was confirmed that significant feedback had not been received by the Club.
Next meeting - 15 September 2011