Updated following Fans Meeting 11/11/23
ICTST confirmed that the club are looking at introducing a new phone system - however, several people felt additional communication aspects should also be addressed & the following examples were provided:
Removal of the 16-25 season ticket category with no communication on the reasoning noting that it appears several fans in this age bracket have not renewed this year due to the increased cost. 11/11 – Scott Young advised that this was done to bring the club in line with other clubs Q – will the club consider re-introducing this as an option for next season 24/25?
Many fans have not renewed their season tickets this year with some not receiving any renewal correspondence from the club at all. Fans felt a phone call from the club to ask why they had not renewed would be worthwhile by way of feedback for future season ticket renewals and make fans feel valued and may reconsider renewing for this season. 11/11- Scott was not able to share what our actual season ticket numbers were but suggested they were in line with previous seasons. Q – this seems to be different to what we are being told by fans. What is the actual number of Season Tickets held by the club and how does that compare with previous seasons numbers? Q2 – will the club be introducing half season tickets this season? Seems to be a demand in the room for this. Q3 – Complaints aired about Season Ticket holders not being able to buy a cup ticket for their season ticket seat! Is this true and if yes, why have the club made this change? If not, then some clarity may be required for season ticket holders re cup game ticket purchasing.
Car Park price increase was done with no prior notice or reason to fans. Highlighted that it is run by the Community Trust but noted that it was only found to be an increase on the day of the match on the instructions of the club. 11/11 – Scott confirmed that the increase was agreed with the Community Trust prior to the game. Appears to be some ongoing disagreement with this as the Chair of the Community Trust was present and he confirmed that he was not advised in advance, only finding out on arrival at the stadium on the day of the game where the uplift 1st started. Q – note this is now in the past and doubtful we will find out the truth on this. However, what is clear is that there was not communication from the club to its fans prior to the match in question to advise of the car park charge uplift and hopefully the club will learn from this for similar future changes of this nature.
Section 94 - Pay at the Gate match v Elgin - how much did this raise towards the project? Where are the funds that were raised currently being held? 11/11 – Scott confirmed that £3.5k was raised on the day with the club ringfencing the funds for the project. Q – how much is currently being held in total by the club for the raise the roof campaign? How far away are we from achieving the required amounts for this project? E.g., £held v £target? Q2 – section 94 were recently moved back to the North Stand for a game. This seemed to generate a better atmosphere in the ground with other North Stand fans joining in on chants and was well received by the majority of the North Stand fans at the meeting. General feeling is should Section 94 now be permanently moved back into the North Stand? This could free up the funds from the raise the rood campaign to use on other projects like improving the disabled fan experience at the club.
Clarity of roles within the Club. Faces known but not clear what specifically their roles are, in particular the role of Sporting Director of Football. It was confirmed that this had been discussed on the Wyness Shuffle previously by the CEO, but feedback was that not everyone listens to podcasts with many fans unsure of what the role entails. 11/11 – Scott confirmed that John Robertson’s Sporting Director Role will not be replaced, and John’s duties will be spread amongst others at the club. The club placed on record their thanks and appreciation for all that John Robertson has done for the Club which was echoed by the Supporters Trust and applauded within the room. Q – it would still be good to see a structure chart of who does what at the club if possible?
The car park is locked down at 3pm, causing issues for late comers and for disabled access. Q – answer awaited – can car park access remain open to 3.15pm on matchdays?
Disabled Parking spaces are an issue in their layout, often used by non-disabled fans. This is something for the Disability sub-group to also consider. Q – answer awaited – can this be included in the disabled experienced discussion group?
Noted that there were stewards at the car park post the match on the day of the meeting, however they allowed vehicles to turn right into the traffic at the front of the stadium which caused log jams and near misses with fans walking to the buses. Q – continues to be an issue, fans ignoring the steward’s instructions when letting cars out doesn’t help. This is an ongoing issue and an accident waiting to happen and requires further review.
Understand that there are plans to improve the car park? Are there further details on timescales or a programme of works that can be shared with fans? Q – update awaited
Volunteers came from the attendees to assist in a working group with the club going forward. Those details will be passed on and meeting dates confirmed separately. Thank you to those that volunteered and if anyone else is interested in assisting then please drop the Supporters Trust a message.
Disability survey for access to be conducted by an attendee at the meeting separately and report will be shared to working group and wider fan base. 11/11 – ICTST have all the individuals required to attend a meeting with the club. A date needs to be agreed with the club so this can progress. Club to confirm when this is possible so we can advise the volunteers involved. This meeting needs to happen sooner rather than later! Sitting with the club to provide a date!
Health & Safety
A few H&S issues were raised which we agreed to pass to the club for investigation and consideration.
Railings on certain staircases are required. We understand they cannot be on all but can this be looked at further with the main areas of concern highlighted.
Corner of the North & West stand area of the stadium can get very wet and slippery. It is a trip hazard area for some time and feels neglected. 11/11 – not discussed at 11/11 meeting and will leave the club to respond in writing when possible and as part of the other outstanding questions raised in this document.
The Supporters Trust have raised that this could be a volunteer and not necessarily an employee from the club. Those who may be interested expressed a request to see a form of job advert/description for this from the Club to be able to consider the role.
11/11 – Scott confirmed that one of his duties as a Director will be to liaise with all fans groups which will hopefully improve cooperation and communication.
Q – per above, can the club provide a job spec/advert for the SLO role so that anyone wishing to volunteer for the role can fully understand the requirements and skills required?
Hospitality - can alternative matchdays be considered for the weeks where the corporate hospitality is not on to raise more funds? 11/11 – George Moodie in discussions with Keith Haggart though recognise that the club are exploring all areas of hospitality with the Directors at present.
Clarity on the Freeport status - what does that actually mean and how could it benefit the club? Equally additional info on the Battery Park would be appreciated, what actually is this, what’s the club’s involvement and how does the club expect to be rewarded for its involvement. 11/11 – Chairman Ross Morrison clarified that it looks unlikely that the club will see any benefits out of the Cromarty Firth Green Freeport status. He did though provide an update on the Battery Park, what it is, where it is and the benefits to the club. All fans were encouraged to support the planning application, either online or through local councillors to ensure this progresses. Q – can the club please keep the ICTST updated on developments, and we can assist the club update fans and encourage any additional calls to action where required.
On the back of the match day team sheets - could the club consider a 1-page programme/newsletter to update fans and to use up the empty space?
Christmas parties - are they back for the children this year? Several people were happy to volunteer to help to get this to happen if not already planned in. 11/11 – these areas were not covered on 11/11 and will await the clubs reply
Consider various levels of Supporters Trust Membership, similar to Morton. This would enable funds to be raised for specific projects.
Several volunteers came forward offering services and assistance. The supporters Trust Board will be in touch shortly (if we have not already). 11/11 – more volunteers came forward which the trust will coordinate into the various initiatives going forward.
Next meeting planned in for November 11th - same venue 11/11 – next meeting is the AGM on 14/12/23, venue TBC and next fans meeting will hopefully take place end of January – same venue 11/11 Additional Questions raised for the club to come back on
Player Sponsorships – this has been well received in the past, but the general feeling is that this has been a bit of an afterthought in recent seasons with little engagement between sponsored players and fans. Is player sponsorship happening this season? Do the club have a list of current players available to sponsor? Can this be circulated to season ticket holders? If the club are struggling to facilitate this at present is this something the Supporters Trust can assist with, even run for this season
Season Tickets for 2024/25 season – would it be possible to include membership of the Supporters Trust to next seasons season ticket communications? Either a tick box to add to the Season Ticket renewal (acknowledge this may be tricky to facilitate) or add the option to join the trust via our link directly on all season ticket info. Raising this now to allow plenty of time to discuss and agree best format.