Meeting Report - January 2012

by Matthew Judge


Meeting Title:

Fans' Forum

Meeting Venue:

Finch Farm

Meeting Date:

26th January 2012


6pm - 7.30pm




Fans' Forum members were given a behind the scenes tour of operations at the Finch Farm training headquarters. During the tour, Forum members were shown the dressing room areas, medical facilities and the state of the art fitness centre used to prepare the first team as well as rehabilitate the players following injury. The artificial pitches, swimming pools, media facilities and the world-renowned Everton Academy were also paid a visit before the formal commencement of this month's meeting.


1.         Review of action points


ACTION - Junior supporters attending Goodison for the first time to have their names read out, to be implemented at the Bolton fixture on 4 January 2012.

RESPONSE - Unfortunately due to data protection and child protection issues it's has been deemed inappropriate to read out children's names without first obtaining parent's consent which would be unfeasible to do for each home match.

ACTION - Club to look at whether it is feasible to show just first names pre match on the Jumbotron - MR


ACTION - Forum members will be contacted to ascertain whether they would be comfortable for their identities to be published.

RESPONSE - Document distributed detailing a mock up of the page for the website. Forum felt very strongly about moving forward with this piece of work. To go live WC 6/2/12


ACTION - The Club to look at creating an independent domain for email for the Fans' Forum, to be managed by the current members.

RESPONSE - A new domain name has been acquired "".  Work will now progress on this and will be operational W/C 06/02/12


ACTION - Feedback to be given to Sodexo relating to the perceived delay in decanting drinks when entering the stadium and the effect this may have on sales. Sodexo to suggest alternatives to avoid queues.

RESPONSE -Clarification has been sought from Sodexo and Stadium Safety Officer. Sodexo staff offer plastic cups to supporters when purchasing from a catering point.  Stewards offer plastic cups to supporters when entering the stadium with a PET bottle, which has not been purchased at a catering point. All Stewards have been briefed and all parties will monitor the situation.


Forum felt that whilst the issue is an operational issue between Sodexo staff and ground stewards and noted that the situation will be monitored internally, communication should be more robust about the agreed procedure.

Action - Club to ensure that this procedure is enforced throughout the ground and for it to be communicated to the fanbase - MR/RF/IS


ACTION - Everton Collection to be contacted for feedback on how it acquires new pieces for the collection.

RESPONSE - Club has contacted Everton Collection, awaiting response, will update at future meeting.

ACTION - MR to pick this up and report at a future meeting








2.         CEO Update


CEO gave an open, honest and frank update to the Forum. Reasons for a recent blog on Everton's official website were explained to the Forum in which the CEO outlined the Club's expenditure. It was confirmed that the intention was to be wholly transparent with regards to finance and answer questions that had been raised publicly about spending.

CEO hoped that supporters would find the information useful and see it as a further demonstration of an on-going commitment to communicate openly and honestly on all matters.

The Forum was shown a professionally produced information memorandum the Club is using in its efforts to find new financiers and CEO also confirmed the Club were engaged in on-going talks over possible transfers before the window closes on Tuesday night.

CEO outlined a number of additional priorities. These included the development of a recently implemented internal business strategy, his daily work on the Club's financial forecasts and a desire to strengthen the Club's relationship with its bank.






3.         Fans' Forum - KK / MR


          Publishing of details


ACTION -  Forum members to advise information to be disclosed for webpage by COP 10/02/12 - FF members


          Chairperson


It was felt that in the spirit of moving the Forum forward, the Forum should take complete control of the meetings. It was agreed that whilst Graeme Sharp is an impartial representative, the Forum should be chaired by a non Club Chairperson, It was agreed that the Chairperson would be a previous member of the Forum due to their in depth knowledge about previous Forum discussions and understanding of the history of the Forum. Forum voted and agreed on preferred Chairperson.

It was agreed that the agenda would be led by the Forum and that the new Chairperson would manage this. Minutes would be taken on a rotational basis by Forum members. It was agreed that the Forum would work on a four week rotational basis and the Club would report action points taken from the meeting on the website.

Forum felt as they were each already receiving a lot of correspondence from the fanbase it would be helpful to have a central point for this to be managed and therefore felt it was important to have both a general email address and individual ‘Fans' Forum' email.


ACTION - Meeting to take place with new Chairperson and MR WC 13/02/12

ACTION - Chairperson to manage the rotation of the minute taking.

ACTION - Discussion to take place at future meeting about the communication of the re launch of the Forum - MR


          Representation


Forum agreed that membership should be extended to include a further two or three members. A recruitment drive will take place in August, to cover the whole fanbase.

ACTION - Previous Forum members to be contacted to ascertain feedback about their experience on the Forum by WC 13/02/12 - PT

ACTION - Attendance rules to be implemented from February meeting, three non-attendances will result in membership being withdrawn - SF

ACTION - Recommendation to be made on potential new members - PT/MR









4.         Communication Survey - MR   


The Club would like to conduct a Communication Survey to gain feedback from the fanbase about how it should engage with the fanbase and via which platforms.

Forum felt that this was a very positive idea and if different methods and platforms were implemented then information from the fanbase would be forthcoming. Forum felt very strongly that the survey should be quick and easy to use, with simple multiple choice options over two pages.

Forum confirmed that platforms such as local press and radio alongside Facebook and Twitter and text messages were very popular platforms but felt that the Club should look at the fanbase profile and age range to understand what direction to take.


CEO stated that he would like face to face communication and engagement to be considered as part of this process.

ACTION - Proposed survey structure to be distributed at next meeting - MR




5.         O Publishing - DB

It was confirmed that the situation with programme subscriptions has now been resolved, all backdated  programmes have been sent out and a new company has taken over the contract.

Forum raised issue about the design of the Blues Board section of the last programme. Club confirmed it had not received any complaints but comments will be taken on board for future publications.

Forum discussed how programme sales could be increased. Suggestions included every programme being numbered and incentives to purchase to be placed inside i.e. - a player signed page in selected programmes. Forum felt that the programme needs to stand out and be available at as many points around the ground as possible. Forum asked if programmes could be sold around the region and it was confirmed that the new supplier will implement this. It was also confirmed that discussions are taking place to produce a digital version of the programme next season.

ACTION - Club to look at options for supporters to buy programmes online on a match by match basis and report back at a future meeting - MR

ACTION - Club to look at sales of programme to away team fans - MR/DB

ACTION -  Club to launch a PR campaign re programme - MR


CEO confirmed that he requested the Management Team to investigate the possibility of seat vending and options available to sell more consumables around the perimeter of the ground. Health and Safety turned this option down.

ACTION - Club to look again at the options to have programme venders inside the Stadium and around the perimeter of the pitch  - DB



6.         Ticketing & Hospitality Packages - KK


          Mixed Season Ticket - IM


Forum asked about the feasibility of a mixed hospitality season ticket where Supporters could attend different lounges at different points of the season. Forum suggested that Club could offer corporate members the option to try another lounge for next season perhaps during a cup fixture.- ‘try before you buy'

ACTION - Survey to be conducted asking corporate members if they would be interested in an upgrade option on a match by match basis. Club to look at feasibility of different packages and report back at a future meeting - GW




7.         Supporters' Clubs - KK


Visits have been well received, Forum asked for feedback on growing the fanbase through Supporters' Clubs. It was confirmed that around 20 Clubs have not re-affiliated but work is being undertaken all the time on this. The Club confirmed that there is a huge amount of work undertaken on a day to day basis to grow the fanbase via many platforms including the Supporters' Club initiative and subsequently there has been substantial growth through mobile applications and social media sites. The Club confirmed that some Supporters' Clubs bought no tickets for QPR game but did purchase tickets to the Liverpool game. Forum communicated its concern that Supporter Club members were receiving benefits that other parts of the loyal fanbase did not receive.

ACTION - Club to meet with Supporters' Club representatives to discuss loyalty and benefits (see loyalty section) - MR



 8.        Robert's Blog - KK


Please see agenda point 2 - CEO update.


9.         Rewarding the loyal Fan base - KK


Forum felt that alongside recruiting new members to the fanbase, the Club should also focus on the retention of loyal fanbase.

Club confirmed that this is a main priority and that options are being considered to reward and recognise loyal Season Ticket Holders. Forum suggested a tour of Finch Farm, an event where Season Ticket Holders could meet a player or coloured coded Season Tickets. Questions on preference could be included on the communication survey. Forum felt that only continuous service should be rewarded.

ACTION - Forum to ask their contacts what rewards for loyalty they would like to see and report back at next meeting.


Forum felt that the half season ticket scheme didn't work as well as it could have at Everton Two as supporters could only reserve a seat and then had to go to Goodison to complete the purchase. Club are already looking at improving the service for next season.

ACTION - Club to review loyalty and rewards across the fanbase and to report back in February - DB




10.        AOB


          Pre-Paid Cards


Forum discussed the option to have pre paid cards to use within the Stadium and within the shop.

ACTION - Club to approach Coventry who use a similar pre paid system to ascertain whether it is a successful scheme and to report at future meeting - MR


Forum asked whether Club has looked at moving away fans section.

ACTION - Club to re investigate options and report back at later meeting - MR


Agenda request - Season Tickets -  Marketing and Sales to be placed on every agenda for the rest of the season.


Next Meeting - 23/02/12






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