Meeting Report - October 2013

by Matthew Gamble


Fans' Forum



Thursday 31 October 2013




Tony Bott, Dorothy Carlin, Andrew Collier, Ruth Eardley (REa), Paul Garbutt, James Lyon, Martin Malone, Brian Scorgie, Amy Wilson, Robert Elstone (RE), Jim Fantozzi, Christine Prior, Mark Rowan.


Kathy Keig, Dave Biggar



Review of Action Points from September

ACTION: Forum to send feedback on memberships to CP to collate

RESPONSE: Feedback was collated and sent to Stephen Nelson who thanks the Forum for their suggestions.


ACTION: Jim Fantozzi to take Dixie Dean plans back to the Marketing team for development

RESPONSE: Item on the agenda to discuss further


ACTION: MR to supply TB with details of previous recruitment process

RESPONSE: Details were supplied by CP. Item on agenda to discuss further.



Fans Forum Recruitment

The group discussed the current Fans' Forum recruitment process and agreed on the following PR to run alongside the recruitment drive


Ø  TB agreed to be interviewed by Mike Hughes on Radio Merseyside about the work of the Fan's Forum and the deadline for applications.


Ø  Mike Hughes is also going to give the recruitment drive a mention on the Radio Merseyside phone-in.


Ø  Updates release submitted for North Liverpool Star (which is in every copy of the Echo and distributed around North Liverpool)


Ø  Updated story sent to all unofficial supporter sites. Including Blue Kipper, Grand Old Team, Toffeeweb, NSNO and Followtonians.


Ø  Echo to include details in the ‘Royal Blue' colum


Ø  Story in the matchday programme for Everton V Tottenham on Sunday 3 November


Ø  Story to appear on on Sunday 3 November


Ø  Push for applications included in Rossies matchday script and the Fan Zone script.


Ø  Recruitment to be mentioned on jumbotron on Sunday 3 November


Ø  Tony Bott agreed to meet with evertontv for interview about the recruitment process on Sunday 3 November


TB advised the Club representatives of the next steps in the recruitment process.


All agreed to the following


Ø  Closing date for applications will be Wednesday 6 November, 8pm.


Ø  Fans' Forum members will then meet to review all applications on Thursday 7 November


Ø  The Fans' Forum members will shortlist ten applications


Ø  The shortlist will be invited to meet with the Forum members on Thursday 21 November.


Ø  Forum members will then select the final four candidates.


Ø  The four new members will then be invited to the next official Fans' Forum meeting on Thursday 28 November. 



Dixie Dean Project

JF complimented BS and AC on their presentation to the group at September's meeting. He stated the presentation gave him all the necessary information from the Forum members to be able to go back to his team and make further progress on the project.


Since the September Fans' Forum JF has held numerous meetings with Stadium Manager, Alan Bowen and architects. 


JF presented two architectural designs to the forum members, The designs are based on ideas the Fans' Forum members had presented to the Club at previous meetings.


All members agreed that they preferred design option two.


JF confirmed that the next steps are to meet again with Liverpool City Council for further discussions regarding the moving of the traffic signal boxes.


JF also presented to the group a timeline of the project. JF will now approach the structural engineer and work out further budgets for the project.


The group agreed to discuss the ‘Buy a brick' scheme at a future meeting once JF is at a stage where he can clarify all information the Forum members need.



Lighting the Tower

MR confirmed that the Club has now signed the contract with Liverpool City Council and the Friends of Everton Park regarding the funds the Club has donated to Light the Tower for the next five years.


MR informed the Forum that the Liverpool City Council need six weeks lead time to put the entire infrastructure in place.


ACTION: MR to provide update on launch of the lighting of the Tower at the next meeting.



Away Fan Initiative Feedback


The group spoke about the aims of the Away Fan Initiative as set out be the Premier League, The initiative is to increase the number of away fans travelling to Goodison Park.


RE explained that the delay in the Club announcing their plans where due to the announcements of some other Premier League Clubs who are only offering discounts to their own away supporters. 


JL gave positive feedback to the Clubs announcement from members of the Rice Lane Supporters Club. Around 450 members gave feedback to JL with 80% of feedback being positive. It was commented that the Club has a good balance of benefiting Evertonians on the road and supporters travelling to Goodison Park.


Positive feedback was offered by forum members on the £1 junior tickets that will be available for the Stoke City away fixture on New Year's day.


RE confirmed that the AFI budget has now been allocated for the 2013/14 season.


The Forum members also discussed the role of the Away Fan Ambassador.  RE confirmed that this will be an internal appointment. The Away Fan Ambassador will be expected to source deals and offers for Evertonians on the road as well as being a main contact for travelling supporters to help with any matchday queries. Plans are being made to announce the Away Fan Ambassador in November.




Flare at Everton Fixtures


Head of Security and Stadium Safety Officer, Dave Lewis provided an email update of the use of flares at Everton fixtures after a request from JL.


Dave's email informed the group of the use of flares both at Goodison Park and by Everton supporters travelling to away fixtures.


The following update was given to the Forum members


Ø  Stevenage Home Fixture - One smoke bomb set off by Stevenage supporters with no offender traced


Ø  Hull City Home Fixture - One set off by Hull City supporters, One person arrested and charged after detection by Clubs improved CCTV system.


Ø  Norwich Away Fixture - One flare thrown from crowd, No one detected. Two supporters on the pitch have been given a three year football ban.


Ø  Cardiff Away Fixture - None.


Ø  Fulham Away Cup Fixture - None.


Ø  Manchester City Away - Three flares set off, no one detected.


Dave also confirmed on his email that as the Liverpool fixture is a high risk game the Club will be working on further communication to supporters regarding the risks and repercussions of using flares. The Club will also be looking into using police dogs on the day of the game.


PG suggested that  CCTV cameras should be visible on away turnstiles at Goodison Park, this would show away supporters that their behaviour is being monitored and could result in a decrease in the number of flares being used.


ACTION: CP to give feedback to Dave Lewis



Twitter Update

REa informed the group that the Fans' Forum twitter account now has 800 followers and asked the group to think of how they can use the twitter account to publicise the work of the Forum.


MR suggested that the Clubs Media and Communications department can help the Forum with this.



Fans Forum review


MR announced to the group that the Club will be undertaking a Fans' Forum review over the next few months. This will ensure that the Fans' Forum runs effectively for both the Club, and the fanbase.


Research will be carried out to benchmark the running of the Forum against other Fans' Forums across the Premier League.


The review will be focusing on key areas of best practice, membership and structure.


This will ensure that the Forum grows and evolves over future seasons to benefit all parties concerned.


MR suggested that the recruitment process stays in places for 2014, this was agreed by all members.


Tribute for Dave Hickson


AC asked for the item to be put on the agenda after being contacted by a member of the ESCLA Supporters' Club.


JF informed the Forum members that there are existing plans for work to be carried out on walls of the tunnel. The plans include displaying moments of the Clubs history on the walls and JF confirmed the team will consider these suggestions.


Response to U21 Fixture


MR informed the group that as a result of extra fan engagement activity the attendance for the U21 fixture against Manchester United was 6004.


The Forum members offered positive feedback on the extra activity provided by the Club for Junior fans and Families who attended the fixture.


Retro Day' Feedback


MR informed the Forum of the positive feedback that the Club has had from the ‘Retro Themed' Hull City fixture.


The Fan Zone was very busy pre and post-match for Ian Snodin's post match analysis with the fans.


The Forum discussed the Club adopting a ‘singing section' of the stadium. MR confirmed he will discuss this further with the memorable matchday team.


Half Season Ticket Benefits


JL asked for clarification on the benefits of half season tickets.


RE confirmed all benefits are the same as in previous years. All half season ticket holders will be entitled to the same benefits as full season ticket holders. Members of the Forum agreed this is reasonable and has worked well in previous seasons.



12.1   Hillsborough Tribute

CP informed the group that Steve Kelly is currently gathering costs for the tribute and will inform the Forum when the Club has further details.


12.2     Membership Scheme Update

CP and MR explained that the Club are still in on-going talks with Stephen Nelson regarding membership schemes. Feedback will be given to the Forum when possible


12.3   Kitbag update

CP confirmed that Kitbag will be attending the November Fans' Forum.


12.4   Mystery Shop

The Club are currently making plans for Mystery Shop surveys for the remainder of the season. CP asked if the members of the Forum would be willing to be involved in the process. All agreed and an update will be given via email.


12.5     Bollards

BS stated there were difficulties for pedestrians when leaving the Gwladys Street Stand at the end of the match.  Especially for those supporters exiting towards St Lukes Church as bollards were in place post match.

12.6     Differential Pricing

RE asked the Forum members for their opinion on different priced tickets in the same stand of Goodison Park. This would ensure as the view became worse for the supporter a discount would be given. This would result in the more central seating having a higher price. All members offered negative feedback.