Meeting Report - April 2017

Meeting:

Everton Fans’ Forum meeting

Date:

Wednesday 12 April, 2017

Venue:

The Brian Labone Lounge

Present:

Forum members – Nick Mernock (NM), Robert Eagleton (REa), Ruth Eardley (RE), Lisa Vaughan (LV), Annemharie Harper (AH), Steve Jones (SJ), Peter Dodd (PD), Jeanette Salmon (JS), Mark Cartman (MC), Ian Ball (IB), Bill Carr (BC) Lewis Owen (LO)

Club representatives – Richard Kenyon (RK), Scott Mcleod (SMc), Christine Prior (CP), Gill Derbyshire (GD)

Apologies:

Kevin Smith (KS), Louis Reed Foster (LRF), Gary Evans (GE). Tom Moore (TM), Rachel Meikle (RM), Mo Magahazachi (MM)

Actions from Previous meeting  

ACTION: CP to invite representatives from UMBRO to the next Fans’ Forum meeting.

RESPONSE: CP is in conversations with the Partnerships team to arrange for representatives to attend a future meeting to take the Forum through the Kit Consultation Survey and how this will influence future kit design.

ACTION: NOD to add ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’ fundraising to the agenda for the Fans’ Forum meeting in March.

RESPONSE: The group discussed arranging another ‘Do you Know Your History’ quiz night with all funds going towards the campaign.

ACTION: CP to send list of prizes to use for quiz night that are available so Forum can decide whether to use at the event or auction via another mechanic.

                                                                                                            

RESPONSE: The quiz night successfully raised £1300 for the Bradley Lowery Foundation. Retail partner Fanatics also donated matchday hospitality for the Burnley fixture to be auctioned for the fund. RE confirmed the tickets are still to be auctioned and the highest bid so far is £700.

ACTION: Working group to be setup to discuss the concept for a ‘My First Everton Book’ ahead of next meeting.

RESPONSE: Due to the date change of the meeting the project group meeting was also postponed. CP confirmed she will rearrange this and circulate a new date ahead of the next meeting.

ACTION: CP to speak to SMc about getting the U23s and Everton Ladies fixtures on the app.

RESPONSE: SMc confirmed this will not be in place before the end of the season but has been noted for the next round of updates for the app.

ACTION: CP to check about availability of children’s socks in the Everton stores.

RESPONSE: CP confirmed socks of various sizes are now back available in both Everton stores.

ACTION: CP to speak to the Stadium Operations team regarding areas of the stadium for supporter flags to be displayed.

RESPONSE: CP confirmed that the decision was made to remove the flags from the Gwladys Street to display the Archibald Leitch design. Supporter flags can be displayed in the Park End stand and the Club will investigate additional areas of the stadium for supporters to display flags in time for the 2017/18 season.

1

Safety Advisory Group update

NM introduced Kathy Keig (Former Forum member) to the meeting. KK attended the meeting to give the forum members an update on the recent Safety Advisory group meeting that she attended.

KK asked the Forum to support with messaging over pyrotechnics and throwing missiles at both home and away fixtures. KK asked the group to continue to help with communicating safety access rules and regulations. The Forum felt that further informing supporters of penalties that can be given to the supporters and the Club may reduce the issue, reminding fans about stadium bans and the potential reduced ticket allocations.  

KK informed the group that accessibility was raised and although that wasn’t the meeting to discuss the issue further, KK felt it was important to feed the information back to the Fans’ Forum. GD informed the group that the Club will consult with EDSA (Everton Disabled Supporters’ Association) soon regarding how new wheelchair spaces will be distributed to fans.

KK stated that Safe Standing was another topic that continues to be raised at the meeting. NM informed KK that this topic has been recently discussed at the Fans’ Forum meeting and is something they will continue to raise when appropriate. RK informed the group that the Club has responded to any enquires regarding Safe Standing.

NM thanked KK for attending the meeting and updating the Forum on the outcome of the Safety Advisory Group meeting.

2

Stadium Consultation

During the meeting the Club and the Forum discussed the upcoming Fan Engagement activities that are being planned. The Forum provided a list of areas they feel that the fans would like an update on and would like to be consulted over, of primary importance was a schedule of engagement plans and the group discussed how and when fans will be able to get involved. RK said this would be before the end of the season and that the Fans’ Forum would be a part of the planning process and the activity.

3

Season Ticket Sales

RK informed the Forum that the Club has had the highest renewal rate to date. The 12 and 11-month Direct Debit schemes have proved a popular introduction with supporters and the introduction of the Young Adult category has been successful in reducing churn for that age group. RK thanked the Forum for their contribution to the planning of the campaign.

The group discussed next steps in liaising with those supporters who have been displaced due to the accessibility changes to the stadium. GD confirmed that the process was going well and the Fan Centre are working hard to ensure those supporters are being offered the best alternative to their original seat.

4

Number 23

GD updated the group that the Fan Based Services team are in the process of relocating to their new office based at number 23 Goodison Road. The office is a new concept for the Club and will allow supporters to drop in to give feedback and resolve supporter issues on a matchday. GD informed the group that the team are currently working through security issues and will inform supporters when the new service is open.

GD invited any Forum members who wish to have a first look at the new office space to contact her directly to arrange.

5

Fan Survey

SMc informed the group the Club are working with a third-party company to carry out a Social Capital Survey. The survey will give the Club a better understanding of how Evertonians engage with the Club and each other on social media and beyond. It will support various departments, map the mood of the fanbase, highlight any issues and suggestions and aid the Club in how they communicate various forms content across social media platforms and via other platforms. SMc stated the survey will be a first for Everton and an extensive survey of its kind has not currently been done by any other Premier League club.

6

Catering

RE informed GD that there had been a few complaints via social media on the lack of condiments around the stadium particularly the Upper Gwladys Street concourse.  RE also reported from personal experience that the quality of the food on offer in the FanZone needs to be reviewed. RE informed the group that there have been several comments regarding the price of the products and after purchasing herself, she felt the quality of food wasn’t great. GD informed the group this is something the matchday team are reviewing and improvements to the FanZone is on the agenda ahead of the 2017/18 season. REA shared positive feedback from the Matchday Hub with regards to entertainment and the affordability of catering on offer.

AOB

Family Enclosure

AH reported that she has witnessed supporters smoking in the Family Enclosure toilets at recent fixtures and asked for the Club to investigate this further. GD confirmed she will pick this up with the Stadium Operations team.

ACTION: GD to inform the Stadium Operations team that there have been reports of supporters smoking in the Family Enclosure toilets.

Watford Home Fixture

Members of the Forum queried why the Watford home fixture has now been moved to Friday 12 May. Forum members felt that the Club should have reconsidered putting the tickets on sale the day before the announcement as this had caused upset for supporters, especially younger supporters who can no longer attend the last fixture due to the late kick-off. RK stated that changes of this nature can happen with limited notice. The Club has strict on-sale dates for home fixtures and these had already been communicated to the fanbase. All fixtures, even when on sale, are subject to change and this is noted within the ticketing information that is announced prior to tickets going on sale.

West Ham Away

As discussed in a previous Fans’ Forum meeting SJ asked for an update on what the Club is doing to communicate with Evertonians travelling to West Ham. Forum members raised concerns of increased reports of violence at the London Stadium. GD confirmed the Fan Based Services team are working on a detailed away supporter travelling guide, the Club’s SLO and Head of Stadium Security are in touch with their counterparts at West Ham to ensure all safety measures are in place for supporters travelling to the fixture and there will also be an increased number of Everton stewards travelling to the game.

Home Kit

LO queried if the players will be wearing the new kit for the last game of the season. RK confirmed that the team will not be wearing the kit for either the Watford or Arsenal fixtures.

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