Meeting Report - April 2016

 

Meeting:

Everton Fans’ Forum meeting

Date:

Thursday 28 April 2016

Venue:

Brian Labone Lounge, Goodison Park

Present:

Forum members – Nick Mernock (NM), Robert Eagleton (REA), Lisa Vaughan (LV), Peter Dodd (PD), Bill Carr (BC), Jason Howard (JH), Gary Evans (GE), Kevin Smith (KS), Annemharie Harper (AH), Jeanette Salmon (JS), Lewis Owen (LO), Steve Jones (SJ)

Club representatives – Richard Kenyon (RK), Christine Prior (CP), Gill Derbyshire (GD), Michelle Kirk (MK), Rachel Meikle (RM), Mo Maghazachi (MM), Alistair James (AJ)

Chris Bailes (CB)  – Fanatics (Formally known as kitbag)

Julie Tandy (JT) – Sodexo

Elaine James (EJ) – Sodexo

Tom Murphy (TM) – Artist

Apologies:

Actions from Previous meeting  

ACTION: SJ to draft a letter on behalf of the Fans Forum and circulate details to members

RESPONSE: SJ has drafted a letter on behalf of the Forum.

The Forum suggested inviting key Everton Collection contacts to the next Forum meeting to discuss the matter further. RK offered the group his support.

ACTION: MM to ask the Club’s new Head of Hospitality to attend a future meeting to answer any hospitality queries from the Forum and inform the group of the plans for 2016/17.

RESPONSE: Oliver will attend the Fans’ Forum meeting in May.

KS asked for confirmation on why hospitality members were not being allowed to pick their own seats for the Club’s semi-final fixture at Wembley.

MM explained that all hospitality tickets are reserved for the game in a block and to do so the Club reserves a specific number of blocks and areas to ensure members can sit together.

ACTION: MM to raise the issue of subtitles on video clip with the Club’s content team and feedback at the next meeting.

RESPONSE: The content team are currently investigating how other Clubs use subtitles and will update the Forum ahead of next season. MM reminded the Forum that in the meantime subtitles are available through YouTube for Everton content.

ACTION: MM to feedback to the Club on the use of terminology used in the Wembley Ticket information regarding supporters with accessibility issues.

RESPONSE: The Club have investigated this internally and made the necessary amendments.

ACTION: CP to work with the Forum to ensure member bios and terms of reference are online as soon as they are approved.

RESPONSE: This is now complete and online.

ACTION: BC to circulate dates for Fans’ Forum Presents and Fans’ Forum Quiz nights.

RESPONSE: BC has circulated a full events schedule to the group and this will be discussed further at the events project group meeting.

1

SLO & DAO

NM welcomed Rachel Miekle (RM) and Michelle Kirk to the Fans’ Forum. Rachel has recently been appointed as the Club’s Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO) and Michelle Kirk (MK) is the Club’s Disabled Access Officer (DAO). Both Rachel and Michelle will be a part of the Everton Fan Based Services Team.

Gill Derbyshire (Head of Fan Based Services) gave the Forum an overview of roles and responsibilities and what supporters can expect from the department moving forward.

MK will be undertaking a new role to the Club, Disability Access Officer, the role has been devised by UEFA and GD explained Everton are the first club in the Premier League to have an established SLO, DAO and DLO (Disabled Liaison Officer).

GD informed the group that the communication of the new roles will be promoted in the Norwich City matchday programme and the department will also have its own section on evertonfc.com defining roles, responsibilities, key contacts and how to get in touch with the Club.

 

2

Sodexo

Julie Tandy (General Manger of Sodexo) and Elaine James (Ground Catering Manager) were welcomed to the Forum meeting.

JH from the Fans’ Forum accompanied Sodexo on a behind the scenes tour on matchday. The tour helped Forum members understand some of the limitations with regards to space in some stands.

A new signage project has now been completed on the concourses and several new offers have been successfully tested on matchday. Sales and fan feedback has so far been positive. A refreshment delivery service has been introduced for wheelchair users in the Park End who can now order refreshments directly to their seat.  This will be used in other areas of the stadium next season.

JT explained that she has taken to the role in recent months and was eager to work alongside the Fans’ Forum  collaborate and receive feedback about the services and projects Sodexo are working on for next season.

Sodexo will work alongside the Fans’ Forum next season, to provide feedback and participation on all aspects of a matchday including the Fanzone, food offerings, pricing, layout and design of kiosks.    

BC mentioned that the quality of the beer has improved in Upper Bullens. EJ explained that is due to the new high quality pumps and equipment that the Club has invested in for that area. BC also gave positive feedback about the recent offers on Chang and meal deals.

SJ suggested a pre-pouring system to speed up service. EJ stated there should be pre-pouring in this area and will ensure the staff in bar 10 are briefed for the next game.

ACTION: Fans’ Forum members to discuss the Fan Zone at the next matchday experience project group meeting and email feedback to JT.

3

Mass Participation Event 

AJ attended the Forum to update the group on the progress made with the mass participation supporter event the Club is planning to hold in the summer.

The event will take place over two days, a date has been proposed and the location for the event has also been confirmed. The group discussed potential activities for the two-day event and how the Fans’ Forum can help plan and support the delivery of activity.

The group brainstormed branding and entertainment for the event, including opportunities for different internal Club stakeholders to get involved i.e. EitC, Everton Ladies, The Everton Collection and The Everton Heritage Society. 

ACTION:  Fans’ Forum Members to email AJ with additional ideas for the event and discuss in more detail at the events project group meeting.

4

Fanatics

CB from Fanatics attended the meeting to update the Fans’ Forum on organisation’s recent takeover. CB gave an overview of the ethos of Fanatics and the growth opportunities available to the clubs the organisation works alongside. 

Fans’ Forum members discussed the merchandise available ahead of the FA Cup semi-final. CB understood fans’ frustrations and would look at the level of stock produced and delivered. 

CB explained that Fanatics and Umbro have been working alongside the Club to deliver home kit earlier with players wearing the kit for the last game of the season and fans able to pre-order from 15 May.

CB suggested that members of the Fans’ Forum come to Fanatics offices / warehouses for a tour and see first-hand how the kit comes in, how orders are taken and dispatched.

CB offered to work more closely with the Fans’ Forum on a number of projects over the coming season. CB will set up future meeting dates with the Club and NM about moving the first project forward.

ACTION: CP to liaise with CB regarding a date for the Fans’ Forum to visit Fanatics offices.

5

Holy Trinity Statue

NM introduced Sculptor Tom Murphy (TM) to the Forum. Tom informed the group of his credentials.  Some of his past projects that involve statues include John Lennon at Liverpool Airport, Ken Dodd & Bessie Braddock at Lime Street Station, Hillsborough Disaster Memorial and the Dixie Dean statue which he worked alongside the Club to deliver.

TM explained the process of creating a statue and the milestones required to complete such a product. The group discussed the design process with TM providing his thoughts about a practical and fitting tribute.

RK explained that budgets have been put into place for the project and the Stadium Operations team are currently making the necessary investigations for planning permission for the discussed locations.

Members of the Forum reiterated their eagerness to see the project progress and will look at how the wider fanbase can contribute.

ACTION: CP to add the Holy Trinity Statue to the agenda for the May meeting for further discussion.

6

Foodbanks

NM confirmed to the group that the collection point for the Fans Supporting Foodbanks appeal will be located in the Park End car park ahead of the Bournemouth and Norwich fixtures. 

NM thanked the Forum members and the Club for their support.

The Forum stated they will continue to promote the Fans Supporting Foodbanks appeal ahead of each fixture and a suggested list of items for supporters to bring will be publicised on social media.

Forum members will work alongside the Club’s communications team to promote the initiative.

ACTION: NM will liaise with Fans Supporting Foodbanks to confirm logistics and support required for the Bournemouth and Norwich fixtures.

7

Fan of the Year

CP updated the group on the number of entries received for the Fan of the Year Award. The plan is to present the winner with their award during half-time at the Norwich fixture.

CP will send all of the entries to the Forum to review and decide the recipient.