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Cardiff City FAB May 2024 Update

Cardiff City Fan Advisory Board

13 May 2024

May 2024 club meeting minutes

On the 7th May 2024 the Cardiff City Fan Advisory board met with nominated club officials to discuss matters relating to the independent fan led review whitepaper. Below sets out the minutes arising from the meeting and the questions asked in relation to strategic governance.


If you have any questions on the meeting minutes please reach out via the contact us section of the website or alternatively via social media.

 

Minutes of the Fan Advisory Board (FAB) Meeting

18:00hrs, 7 May 2024 – Captains Lounge, Cardiff City Stadium

 

Cardiff City Football Club Limited (the “Club”)

Company Number: 00109065

 

 

 

PRESENT

POSITION

Steve Borley (SB)

Nominated board level Representative (NBLR)

Philip Jenkins (PJ)

Financial Director

Gavin Hawkey (GH)

Community Foundation Director

Wayne Nash (WN)

Head of Operations

Mona Sabbuba (MS)

Head of Ticketing

Amy James (AJ)

Head of Fan Experience

Dawn Williamson (DW)

Head of Human Resources

Huw Warren (HW)

Head of Commercial

 

 

Statutory FAB members

 

Keith Morgan (KM)

Jeremy Williams (JW)

 

 

Supporters Trust Representative

Supporters Trust Representative

Kieran Jones (KJ)

Luke Summerfield (LS)

DSA Representative

Supporters Club Representative

Jane Ford (JF)

Supporters Club Representative

 

Directly Elected FAB members

    

Jamie Anderson (JA)

Directly elected FAB Representative

Allyson Rees (AR)

Directly elected FAB Representative

Fraser Worth (FW)

Michael Weedon (MW)

Directly elected FAB Representative

Directly elected FAB Representative

Vince Alm (VA)

Directly elected FAB Representative

Paul Corkrey (PC)

FAB Secretary & Administrator

 

 

APOLOGIES

 

 

Mark Denham (MD)

                                        

Head of Communications

 

 

 

Questions submitted by e mail.

To enable a timely and constructive meeting some questions were submitted by e mail ahead of meeting , they were answered and returned to the FAB. However, they will now be added to “any other business “and supplementary questions may be asked if time permits.


Football Governance


Football Governance


Would the club pursue the hiring of a director of football? Or a senior executive/consultant who has a track record in a similar role?

Has this ever been raised with our owner? Could the club frame the argument for a DOF through the lens of revenue generation i.e., securing talent which can be then sold on for a higher net fee?

In the absence of a DOF or Sporting Director, what is the makeup of the clubs’ footballing strategy in relation to planning? What processes are in place to improve future player sales in an ever increasingly challenging market?

SB This has been a regular discussion point with the board and owner but the position at the moment is that there will not be a director of football. It’s a financial decision and the costs go against the FPP and would mean finance lost from the playing budget.

The fan representatives were strongly in favour of a director of football, and it was pointed out that a good director of football could create income and be cost-effective, short-term loss but could make the club profits, an investment rather than cost. SB agreed that stability is important and pointed out that many managers had been sacked in the championship already this season SB explained that ownership structure dictates management structure, the question has been asked to the owner but given the cooperate structure we have its not a board decision rather than a decision the owner would make. It is still under review, but the owner has been let down in the past by a director of football and won’t be easily persuaded to change his mind.

The processes are in place to improve future player sales and are done through a head of recruitment, agents, etc. The current manager, club chairman and directors then make recommendations to the owner. SB believes this is an area the club can improve on. The owner will have the ultimate decision, he does get advice from the transfer committee who recommend players to the owner, there are four people on the transfer committee, three directors and the manager. The manager is always heavily involved. Information is communicated to the owner in various ways, there is a process in place. Different clubs have different models.

 

 

How do the club ensure consistency in recruitment and culture when Managers are often given limited time in role?

Why are managers hired on limited term contracts only? Are there criteria the club applies and uses to recruitment when hiring Managers?

 

SB The owner has always paid off managers in the past and is loathed these days to rush into offering long contracts, he is now very cautious, but managers here are always paid well. It’s very difficult to offer contracts that have conditions on them that protect the club, managers are also in a precarious position, so want security .

There are no particular criteria, but they look at many different aspects before deciding, they wanted experience at the start of this season but finally chose Erol Bulut who is new to the championship and SB said that he believed that the manager had done well this season considering the standard of the league, the financial constraints and transfer embargo last summer.



Infrastructure , training ground and Academy

MW referred to the announcement on the 7th of March that the club will press ahead with plans for a new training ground and the agreement of a long-term lease. It was understood that this has been ongoing for several years , he asked if the club could provide an update to progress and how this will be financed given the reported losses in the club accounts?

 

PJ explained that the academy will keep getting investment and it’s a very important asset for the club, it’s there to produce players for the first team squad or to sell them on, at the moment due to the EFL rules we often have to sell players when they are very young and at the wrong stage.

SB explained that the academy was having improvement work done on the pitches , the worse winter in years has caused flooding issues, luckily SB had built a 3 D pitch up there, because 2 of the 5 pitches were unplayable at times.£200,000 is being further invested in drainage and irrigation at the facility. These upgrades are seen as an investment rather than a cost and attract young players to the club. SB answered KJ question regards a new road being built directly from Eastern Avenue to the facility and said a debate is ongoing. MW enquired about some coaches recently leaving the academy SB confirmed they will be replaced.

PJ updated the room about the training ground and confirmed that the 150-year  lease is now 99 % agreed with the Vale of Glamorgan and 95% agreed with Leekes for the land at Hensol. These will be put before the board for signing next week. Once done, work can start, and a spade will need to be put into the ground by the end of this month to meet the planning conditions.

With regards to funding this will be multi-faceted, with the club looking at all opportunities, including ongoing financial support from the owner, sponsorship, naming rights , and the club may even look at retail bonds, which other clubs have successfully used to expand their academies, there are  a whole range of possibilities. The club are currently waiting for an updated costing for the development, VA commentated that since Covid prices have gone up 25% but are now levelling at 10% SB confirmed that the last costings were updated 2023, the immediate concern is building a separate pavilion to the FAW, the grass surfaces can continue to be shared for a longer period because that makes sense for both parties. but the FAW need full use of the pavilion within the next two years. KM enquired about finances regards the cost of building and running the new facility and how it compares to what the running costs are now for renting. PJ explained that this had not been completed yet due to waiting for the new costings before he can finalise a detailed analysis . It won’t be a cost saving , but an improvement to the infrastructure. although depreciating asset on the books WN said its important the club has its own autonomy and control of our own space,

VA asked if this facility could be used out of hours by the community, SB and WN said this was not likely to happen due to location and maintenance costs of such high-quality resources.

MW asked if the quality of the training ground will be high considering the costs, WN explained that the same designer who worked at Spurs is contacted, but of course we don’t have their finances, however it will be a high-quality facility when completed. MW suggested it was a 5-year project, SB said the pavilion need to be built within two years due to the FAW agreement, the second phase will be the new pitches and the third phase pavilion enhancements. If will be an improvement on what we have, we have 40 acres up there and that gives us the opportunity to grow. It will be a first-class facility that compares to what is at Arsenal now , old hat compared to some like Manchester City or Leicester, but a quality first team facility.

 

 Infrastructure and Fan Zone

PJ said that if we were in the Premier league, it would absolutely happen but its currently off the table. SB added that due to the size of the concourses we have we at Cardiff City we don’t have the same issues has other clubs with small concourses. We should invest into improving the concourses and making them into fan zones, especially with the weather in this country.

KJ suggested that fan zones would generate income for the club and fans would arrive early.

WN said there  lots of good examples especially at clubs where there is little capacity within the stadiums, but they are rarely cost effective, it would cost £2,000-£3000 a game to run so unviable in this league ,but if we had full capacity like in the Premier league then that investment would be seen as providing a service and well spent. Investing and sprucing up the concourses make the most sense at the moment.

VA also said outlets around the stadium and close by were a lot cheaper and he didn’t blame fans for arriving late and not using the Food and beverages. SB said that they had no control over the outlets because due to bad decisions in the past we sold off those assets to pay bills at the time, but it is not something the club would do now. It is difficult to compete with the household brands so close to the stadium.

PJ said that the club are continually looking at ways of improving or tweak the matchday fare and costings. Currently there is a new beer deal being discussed we believe this will  improve the flexibility of our matchday offerings and pricing.

The specifics around food and beverages can be discussed in more detail at operational meetings such as the SLO meetings where we could invite a representative from Compass.

WN said the club hoped that any renewed beer deal will result in better deals for the fans and improvements to facilities, it’s a joint venture and there will be flexibility going forward.


 

Peter Whittingham and PW 7


The fan representatives stated that they would like to celebrate Peter’s legacy in a befitting way. What he did for the club was incredible and they felt he deserves something incredible. They agreed as a Fan Advisory board, that a memorial statue would be something which fans for many generations would find suitable. Particularly as we enter 125 years of the club, and we look back at our most cherish players.

Through personal contacts this was mentioned in passing briefly to his friends and family. One FAB member is friends with Peters friends, this was received with overwhelming positivity and support. They had also met with the FSA to look at fundraising models, scoping, structure, and planning. We can outline how other clubs and fan organisation have navigated the journey from conception to construction. We would welcome open dialogue and discussion here. The two questions to the meeting are- Would the club feel comfortable in supporting this initiative in terms of approving and If so, could the club continue to be the primary liaison with Peter’s family and the PW7 foundation? The FAB are mindful of this being a very emotive issue and want to ensure that we all follow the correct steps.

SB explained that he had many dealings with Peter’s family and the creation of PW7 foundation was of the opinion that any monies raised would better be used by going into that foundation. They wanted something tangible, something that could be used and Steve was not sure a statue would be something Peter or his family would have approved of, he was an extremely modest man. Having said that Steve said he would raise the question with the family.

The PW foundation was originally set up to provide money for coaches and providing opportunities for young kids ,also to give something back to his former school in Birmingham, so Steve was not sure a statue would be something they desire.

VA said he understood the family may have other thoughts about how to remember Peter ,but the fans also have been expressing their desire to see a permanent reminder of him at the stadium, he is seen as the best player ever to play for the club by many fans. SB suggested the best way to do that in his opinion would be to create a Peter Whittingham corner in the proposed Cardiff City Museum , SB believes that would be a fitting tribute, including showing his goals , his memorabilia etc. Steve also said that if you go into the academy building you will see a massive PW 7 logo, and other Peter Whittingham memorabilia , it’s there to acknowledge the fact that Peter wanted to do something at the academy in his retirement to support the young players coming through.

AR said she had met his wife Amanda and asked how she would feel about having a statue for Peter at the stadium if it was possible to fund it and she felt it was a fantastic idea. WN said he had contact James when it came to the foundation work, KM confirmed that the original statue at the stadium cost £120,000 and took a great deal of work and fundraising , that cost is probably double now. MW explained that this was feedback from the fans that they are bring to the meeting who are really emotional about Peter Whittingham. The fan reps suggested that it would look to raise funds but would like the support from the club, SB agreed that a fitting tribute is something he and the club would be in favour of. said he would take these views back to the family.


 

The 125th Anniversary

 

The FAB wanted an update on the plans for this season 125 anniversary , they acknowledge the fact that James Askey ,head of club marketing, had spent time with them giving an excellent presentation nine weeks ago but that was before budgets and plans were approved , so where are we today?

First item was  relating to the club crest on the shirt and merchandise, and they asked if the club bring use a badge in keeping with historical crests used previously?


PJ said it would be an historical crest and wanted to hold the image back for now for retail purposes and for fans all to see it at the same time but believed it will be very well received by the fans.

MW asked How were the FAB’s ideas were received by the club? How can they help with some of the initiatives suggested?

HW said that he had been liaising with James and all ideas have been received well and many will be taken onboard. All areas of the club are involved, and more meat still needs to be added to the plan to get it completed.

KM said the main issue was that they had no feedback for the last nine weeks and would appreciate an update, WN said things have been moving and an update will be given soon VA mentioned that finance was an issue nine weeks ago and has that been dealt with WN said that budgets are currently been finalised. He emphasized that there needs to be lots of joined up thinking from all departments , it’s an interoperable piece of work ,but some of the ideas have already gone into the project it’s just finalising how much financing can be used to deliver the project in the best possible way.

VA asked for feedback so the fan groups can fully support the initiatives, The fan groups want to acknowledge the hard work already done on this project.

AJ said she would ask James Askey if he were able to facilitate a possible team meeting to discuss this in the near future.

 

This followed a further discussion that asked if the club are looking at renaming areas of the ground / bars to honour former players? Fan feedback is that many of the concourse areas are tired and lacking identity. Are there plans either through the new commercial agreement with Compass or through the 125 celebrations to improve the visual aesthetic of these areas?

In the concourse areas beneath the Ninian and Canton stands, the player of the year boards have not been updated for many years. As we enter the anniversary can these be updated? Some current players and club legends are not on these boards.


MS said that these sorts of things were in the pipeline and spoken about in budget meetings and she agreed that the concourses are looking tired.

KM suggested we use club historian more and keep the website updated with a diary of events , this could enhance the 125 projects. Some recent anniversaries have been missed.

 

 

 

Cardiff City club Museum

The FAB asked that Ahead of the 125th anniversary season can the club provide an update on the status of the club museum? While we appreciate this is a long-term project, the anniversary year represents the opportunity to engage supporters and potentially accelerate this project.

WN confirmed that the club had put in the building and planning applications which have been approved, we have created a great space for it, along with a classroom. Steve Borley is looking to provide mechanical and electrical solutions and Phil said he would try to find a budget to install that. SB added that he would assist with that, but it really requires something similar to when the club dressing rooms were created when many local companies came together to donate their services to the club. Giving back something to the club collectively.

MW asked if the FAB could assist with that. WN said a partnership needs to come together.

GH said they had visited the site today and walked through it and there is plenty to do, but the space is good and there is lots of potential there around how the space can be used and designed. It can become a multipurpose facility. He believes it could be an incredible legacy project where we could look at national heritage funding. Wolves spent three million pounds on theirs, that will not be possible here, but we want to do it justice. He suggested a couple of the FAB members join him for a walk through in the next few weeks to talk together about how best to use the space and how this could become a reality, share ideas, and get it moving.

MW asked if there was a prescriptive list of what was required, SB suggested a builder would be a priority and VA volunteered to get involved.

HW said that there were lots of opportunities there and a chance for interactive and digital contact and spaces and a balance of heritage items. It can also be a space that could be future proofed and be used as primarily a heritage museum but also a possible hospitality area that creates revenue for the football club. Some clubs have added cafes etc.

HW went on to say that it will need project management, designers, and storage for heritage items due to their fragility in some cases and maybe a conversation with Glamorgan records office about how best to preserve valuable, vulnerable items.

GH stressed that any major fund raising bids over six figures could take 12 months to finalize if successful before any work could start. SB re visited his initial thoughts of getting businesses together to make a start and then go to fund raising options.

KM added it’s a great opportunity for the fans to work with the club to get it to fruition.


 

Food and Beverage strategy, the FAB asked the club to outline their plans for next season and beyond with respect to changes to the food and beverage provision at the Cardiff City stadium? Will that plan include  a roadmap indicating the planned changes and the rationale behind them? Finally do the club believe Compass  have taken best practice from other venues in the Levy UK group on board.

 

PJ confirmed that the plans for next season are currently being discussed with our joint venture partners including changes and the planned investment we are going to make to the lounges, that’s ongoing including the offerings for next season as part of that process.

 Compass does come to the club with ideas and best practice from other events and venues and that has sometimes driven ideas in the past. There are no specific road maps, just regular weekly interacting discussions with each other

HW added that these meetings are culminating in a new deal shortly that the club are about to sign and a lot of things that we have discussed will cascade off the back of that new contract. More details can be shared with FAB members once contracts are signed.

WN added that new initiates are always being explored and we are looking at implementing some of those ideas at this club.

MW suggested that company house records say we are in the bottom ten for match day revenue from food and Beverage, PJ refutes this claim and said financial information is displayed in many different ways and it’s not always a true picture of the actual reality. Also depends on if a club profits from the full turnover from F & B or a percentage of it.

 

 

Communication, Social media platforms.

 

The FAB agreed that the club does so much great work however it’s not always publicised well enough. They asked if the club look for ways to improve these positive news stories and content in a similar manner to the foundation. How can the FAB support in delivering content? Areas such as:

Hospital Visits

School Visits

Disabled Football, including Power Wheelchair, working the Deaf Community etc.

KJ emphasized how much work goes on behind the scenes and how much unseen work the players do behind the scenes. AJ said the players were great at this, club captain Joe Ralls does so much, but fans are often unaware. She also said it can be very sensitive at times especially when it’s a visit to a hospice or a very seriously ill fan. Often, it’s an article on the hospice website or the family members themselves that publicise these player activities.

MW wanted to reiterate that it wasn’t a critique, in fact the opposite, but believes more should be done on the club media platforms to highlight the great work the players and staff do, that we believe many fans are still unaware of.

VA believes it has fallen behind from a few years ago due to various reasons AJ wanted to say loads is still done, probably more than before, but they don’t like to self-promote this work and often they do the work because they care rather than for publicity , again its often very emotive. She did agree though that we could be more vocal. VA agreed that a lot of good stuff is still done and it’s just getting a balance.

MW said there is often a vacuum between stories or matches and this could be filled with so many of the good news stories that go on at and around the football club.

KM finished by saying that the club are doing exceedingly well in this area but often don’t tell anyone.

 

Food and beverage pre answered questions.


These sorts of questions we believe are suited to SLO meetings and in future will be actioned at these meetings, they are operational rather than strategic. However, the club staff have answered the questions below and this meeting did spend some time summarising the answers. Below we see the questions and answers.

 

Level 4 now has had spirits removed from the menu. Is this a permanent decision? No

What was the reasoning behind this? Reducing lines to improve queuing times.

Wine is now being supplied in cans. Bottles of wine are available on Level 3. There now appears to be an inconsistent experience within our corporate matchday experience. Are these related to cost cutting and financial decisions solely? The decision is related to limiting waste. 

Can we expect the customer/fan experience to be factored into this? There is a balance between choice and cost.

On level 4 a betting shop has replaced a food kiosk, this has caused greater queuing for the other outlet. Are there any plans to change this? No. The food unit or the Coffee shop before it was not taking much money – hence the change.

Could this be digitized via an official betting partner? Not planned currently.

Can the club look at bundling or Special Offers, Early Bird, Pie, and Pint / Soft Drink like many other clubs? This will be discussed at the next Joint Venture review meeting.

Is there any technology or processes from other Compass/Levy UK premises which can help queue reduction for beverages at peak times? Such processes are already in the Family stand & L2 South

Digital bar areas on the Grandstand. Are there plans to move this elsewhere in the stadium? Yes, to be discussed at next Joint Venture review.

Are there plans to stress test these prior to rollout? Data is already known.

The principality stadium (A compass arena) serves Glamorgan brewery products as well as the major brewery licensed brands. Not a Compass issue. Sales are related to the Clubs brewery deal.

Is a more local approach/twist feasible next season? Dependent on partnerships with the incumbent brewer.

Cash at all Outlets. Some of the older fans and disabled fans do not carry cards, they only carry cash, what is the provision for these fans at CCS? The

Club will remain a cashless stadium. It should be noted that following covid, which drove digital payments, the amount of people looking to pay with cash is very small Remembering that many cannot walk to different outlets due to their condition.

 

HW added that level 4 is a premium concourse rather than a hospitality area  although tickets are bought for both areas from the commercial department .Level 4 is constantly under review including the betting booths. The betting company is very happy with the performance since they started operating at the club.

MW asked if the club would consider doing a survey to the fans about their experience on the level 4? WN said let the improvements happen and review it then .AJ added that the club do send out an end of season survey out for comments across the board with an opportunity to add any further comments at the end. The club also use social asking to send out smaller concise surveys which could be specific to things like this.

HW confirmed that the club do sell Glamorgan brewery products but bottled only and in General admission areas including level 4. The taps are valuable so it’s a balancing act that the taps are used frequently with more popular products. So, bottles are made available. It’s all constantly reviewed.

 

Any other business

Length and clarity of content of future FAB meetings.

SB believes 2 hours should be the maximum allowed for future meetings. MW agreed and explained that it is a unique position where everyone is finding their feet , so things have taken longer but now the FAB is establish two hours is ample time going forward.

A lot of questions can be answered in other fan meetings such as the SLO meetings and we can concentrate on the core topics as agreed in the MOU.

Pre answered questions sent to FAB ahead of meeting, any supplementary questions? 

Corporate governance

We would like to understand and clarify these to help communicate consistently and accurately to fans:1. Following the publication of the accounts we welcome the reduction in losses; however, the club still is loss making. What is the strategy to further reduce losses in the future?

Impossible not to make a loss without playing sales,

Like all championship clubs, we are engaged in a challenging market and competitive competition. The strategy is to reduce our ongoing loss while at least maintaining our competitive position in the Championship.

Season tickets and commercial income do not cover the clubs’ overheads (average losses for championship clubs is £15-20 Million) and a pragmatic position will be required in relation to player sales.

2. To implement the strategy in relation to loss reduction, what will be the role of the listed company directors in achieving this?

Directors are all engaged and focused in delivering the strategy.

3. Can the club provide a brief snapshot and clarity of the listed club directors and the role they play at the football club? Including those who reside overseas.

The Club directors are known, all Directors are involved in forming the strategy. The Executive Director and club Heads of Department’s deliver the strategy on behalf of the Football Club

4. How often do board members speak with the owner?

The Chairman and CEO speak to the owner daily.

5. Who is the nominated delegate to engage with the owner?

Nobody is nominated however, as stated above the Chairman and CEO engage daily.

6. How do the club speak to the owner is this virtual or in person?

Routinely by Phone and e-mail with in-person meetings held periodically as the situation allows given TSVT’s worldwide business interests.

7. What is the CEO’s responsibility within the football club? As he is now working one day a week, what are his day-to-day responsibilities within the football club? Who takes ownership of these decisions during the rest of the week?

The Club refutes the notion that the CEO works 1 day per week. The CEO ensures his duties are fulfilled with direction given to the Heads of Dept on a daily basis .

8. The CEO and Chairman are taking reduced capacity. Do the club feel the executive board has enough support at this executive level to run and grow the football club? - Noting that Vincent Tan appointed Jalil Rasheed to help ‘direct the Club in all strategic decision making and planning’ on the 15th of July 2023.

The CEO and Chairman have not reduced their involvement in the Club and the Chairman in particular has significantly increased his active involvement as passionately portrayed to the fans who joined an informal chat at the stadium last Saturday.9. Jalil Rasheed has resigned from Cardiff City Football Club and Berjaya group boards Does the owner have plans to replace Mr Rasheed?

No10. If VT felt the need for an additional board member on the ground, when simultaneously staffed at a greater level. What processes are now in place to ensure that these key areas are covered sufficiently?

Mr Rasheed was not appointed to be an addition ‘on the ground’ but he was undertaking a strategic role on behalf of the Owner.  This role is now taken by the Chairman.

11. How do the board provide feedback to the owner? Who takes accountability for his decisions in his absence?

As mentioned above The Chairman and CEO discuss and speak to the owner on a daily basis.

12. Are there any avenues to challenge his decisions?

The Chairman and CEO have regular healthy debates with the owner.

13. Is the owner still actively engaged in the club 13 years on?

Yes, financially, and emotionally.

14. How does he measure success?

Only by a return and establishment in the premier league

 

With time still remaining the following was added to the above answers.

PJ added to question one by saying its great to see the losses coming down and the strategy is to keep bringing loses down on a year to year basis but we have to do it in an environment where we operate in a very competitive league where hardly any Championship clubs make a profit apart from those that get substantial player sales and even those just about keep their heads above water, So it’s a balance between controlling the loss and bringing it down to lessen the burden on the owner and the board , staff and everyone who works at the club, maximising the revenue incomes and minimising the costs, whilst still maintaining a competitive position.

MW made the point that maybe the fans would accept a shift to hiring players almost as assets with the view to selling at a profit in two- or three-years’ time. PJ agreed and said unfortunately you have to be pragmatic and take a view that you have to sell a player. KM said its important to get that message out but with the caveat we are investing more in the academy to produce our own players.


PJ concluded that from a PNL and p and S perspective if we sold a player for £20 million it goes straight to our bottom line, if you then invest that money, even half of it , then you could spread that out over three or four years.

MW asked if there was something in place , like a five-year plan or strategy which would reduce our loss reduction such as a recruitment policy of hiring players who are then regarded as assets in a three four five-year period for example?

PJ answered saying that all the players we bring in we hope will be an asset but in football it doesn’t always work that way, you will never get every decision right. The last transfer window we had to get in loan players and one signing for money to get through CFRU to keep within the regulations. Once the manager situation is sorted and all the loan deals have left and the ones on loan returned, we then will have the detailed strategy for the transfer window.

SB added that at the moment we are trying to pick up 16, 17, 18 and even 19-year-old players to add to the under 21 or youth team system which are possibly better than the players that came through our system, but geography definitely hinders the club.

MW referred to the question about directors and stated that if the football governance bill gets passed then for part of the licence clubs will have to list what the directors do and their roles, what contributions they make to the club, so our question is what do our directors based outside actually do, is it “soft power or an actual role.

SB said that it is well known that he is the only local director and I spend lots of time at this club than I do on my own businesses. The Malaysian based directors do have a role and are there to help the club, the owner has many businesses and can’t do it all himself, so he has trusted directors, and they liaise with Phil Jenkins. They don’t deal with transfers etc, but they advise Vincent Tan and act as conduits between the club finance department and the Berjaya group finance department. They don’t get involved in day-to-day matters, but they have a role to play in helping us to manage the club with the owner. They are legal experts and also get involved in legal matters and advice. They do attend board meetings via “teams”.

 

Regarding questions 7 and 8 the club reiterate that both Ken Choo and Mehmet are very active albeit from a distance VA commentated that its noticeable that the CEO is perceived as never being here and therefore doing less than before and the club doesn’t seem to be his priority  and he can’t understand how that can work effectively. PJ replied that doesn’t mean that he is not involved in the business on a daily basis , he is very heavily involved. SB said he can explain how it works, pointing out that he himself is a director of 24 different companies but he surrounds himself with good people and ken has surrounded himself with good people, many of whom are around this table tonight, a great management team which are more than capable of running the club, knowing that the directors and Ken are always available if needed. MW said he believed the point is that at the moment there is a vacuum with the manger position and rumours flying about, due to lack of communication, whilst at the same time the CEO is in London running another enterprise and the club expecting the fans to blindly buy season tickets wondering what they are paying for in terms of product.


KJ said it would help if Mehmet attended more games and its essential, they try to be present to meet the fans whenever possible but particularly at the planned fans parliament in September SB add that Ken attends the vast majority of games.


MW said communication is key with the bigger picture being many fans are still recovering from the re brand and there is still an element amongst the fan base of distrust and it vital that efforts are made to bring people back together.

KJ concluded that fan engagement with the manager visiting communities meeting the fans was very popular and helpful during the past season. AJ said that was solely down to the character of the current manager and his willingness to participate in things and his enjoyment of speaking with the fans.



 

 

We concluded the meeting by going through some questions about season tickets which were answered prior to the meeting. MS supplied the answers.

1. Why is there such a large cost of £15 for a card? Many of our older fans do not have digital phones etc and will find this increase a bit too much.


Since Covid, the Club has invested heavily, and continues to invest heavily into our digital platforms, there is a need to encourage fans to engage with these platforms and the benefits that come with that, thus gradually moving away from less sustainable and more expensive mediums like the physical access cards.

Unlike many other Clubs we have not made the decision to remove physical cards completely, understanding that there is still a need for them, that said as mentioned above, our investment is in our digital platforms and the benefits that sit alongside this, and so the access card becomes a premium product to issue, and will have its own set of costs attached.

As with previous seasons, in is intended that the season card will be “rolled” to the following season. In this instance the fee to react a card each season will be reduced, unless of course the supporter requests a new card again, in which case the charge will again be £15.


2. How will photo ID be used in season tickets? We understand revenue security however there is concern that this may cause further delays to stadium entrance and hinder the fan experience if additional checks are implemented.


As was the case in previous seasons, the photo will only be used to personalise the season ticket membership. In the same way you would have your personal photo added to a Costco/Gym Membership card etc.

The photo gives the club various tactical options to monitor the use of cards with particular reference to juvenile and concession use via a  traffic light system which is already integrated inside the turnstiles, and this will cause no delay on entry.

3. Are there plans for the club to roll out a resale mechanism allowing popular areas like the Family Stand and Canton to be more accessible to the casual fan? Often areas are ‘sold out’ but seats are not fulfilled.

It is difficult in the Championship for we have plenty of availability, In the Premier League it would be introduced. We are looking at a ticket exchange mechanism that has a digital transfer capability, again one of the benefits of investing in our digital platforms.

Regarding the family stand specifically, there will always be need to ensure we maintain its integrity.


 

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