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Feedthewolf

NCFC Official Supporters Panel: fan issues to discuss

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Posted (edited)

Hi folks,

As you probably know, three of us sit on the club's Official Supporters Panel (OSP): @Lessingham Canary (chairman), @ncfcstar, and me (vice chairman).

We will have quarterly meetings over the next two years, the next of which is in September. I will update this OP as items to be put forward for the agenda are agreed.

Anyone is welcome to suggest any issues to be considered for the agenda on this thread, and if they are agreed then I will add them to this post. Remember that we are all fans ourselves, and we will always do our best to improve things where we can, but please try to keep the discussion respectful and solution-focused even where we're not in agreement.

@Pete Raven, if you'd be able to pin this post that'd be hugely appreciated.

1) Club communications. As things stand, this will be the primary subject that we will put forward for the agenda, as there have been various examples of poor/untimely communication from the club on a range of issues. I have collated them here as far as I can remember, but if anyone wants to mention any other examples that'd be a real help. From memory:

* uncertainty around priority of away tickets (Group 1/match picks);
* inability to contact ticket office and/or poor customer service (closure of ticket office seen as problematic);
* lateness of provision of membership packs, and communication around the same;
* lateness of sending out new season tickets to those that need them;
* lack of consultation on casual ticket prices and away ticketing system.

2) Will the club be sharing details of takeup of tickets for both home and away matches? It would certainly enable fans to make more informed choices around ticket purchase if they knew what level of takeup there had been.

OTBC!

 

Edited by Feedthewolf
Updated 13/8/21
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Posted (edited)

A subject I have raised for many years is the bleakness of the South Stand. It resembles the ground floor of an N.C.P. car park in that it is a vast expanse of grey concrete.
I realise it cannot be converted into a lounge area but surely there could be some seating areas where people could sit and eat,drink and chat. A solution would be to have continuous seating round the walls even if this is “concrete”

I realise that fans are not there very long but as we are being urged to come early and we may not want to go straight to our seat and commune with people from other areas. 
I raised this several years ago with David McNally and he promised to look into it but nothing happened. It would not be the greatest expense to improve the ambiance and match day experience. (Maybe Banksy could pay a visit)

 

Edited by Felixfan

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Posted (edited)

Will the pedestrianisation of Carrow road happen if the main stand is replaced? 

Edited by Midlands Yellow

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9 hours ago, Felixfan said:

A subject I have raised for many years is the bleakness of the South Stand. It resembles the ground floor of an N.C.P. car park in that it is a vast expanse of grey concrete.
I realise it cannot be converted into a lounge area but surely there could be some seating areas where people could sit and eat,drink and chat. A solution would be to have continuous seating round the walls even if this is “concrete”

I realise that fans are not there very long but as we are being urged to come early and we may not want to go straight to our seat and commune with people from other areas. 
I raised this several years ago with David McNally and he promised to look into it but nothing happened. It would not be the greatest expense to improve the ambiance and match day experience. (Maybe Banksy could pay a visit)

 

As a River Ender, I sat in the South Stand for the Gillingham game and thought the concourse was positively luxurious!

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Hopefully the daft idea to close the ticket office will be revisited. All I seem to have heard, both on line & in person is the inability to get to speak to someone, despite multiple attempts

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wonder why we can't move season ticket positions this season, my son wants to move his from South Stand, told "we are not doing this the season" ask why and was told that's what they were told to say. 

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1 hour ago, canarydan23 said:

As a River Ender, I sat in the South Stand for the Gillingham game and thought the concourse was positively luxurious!

Why sink to the lowest common denominator. Perhaps all concourses need upgrading.

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1. Communication. Including with the Panel itself in anticipating issues to arise in the next 3 months. Last time ought to have included pricing strategies and away match allocation system. Next meeting should include AGM.

2. Pricing strategies. A firm relationship between season ticket and casual ticket pricing should be established such that any price changes up or down move in tandem from season to season. A similar proportionate logic should apply to buy back price arguably with more than one price point related to advance notice of return. More favourable young adult pricing should possibly be considered. Pay wall for away allocation system should be deleted- an unfair tax on loyal fans. International membership could be extended to accommodate all non-season ticket and non home member with a new title.

3. Away allocation system base of 1 season is insufficient and potentially unfair to people with different work placements, university etc. Spurs use 5 years (and only charge 200 people). System doesn't serve families where individual families or friends want to meet up at games for instance where a family member is at University or works in another part of the country. Basically there is a need for applications to be grouped and for priority to be given according to the average loyalty score. Question how match picks and VIP coach trips distort the loyalty and inclusiveness equation.

4. AGM - online or in person? How does the question selection process work? Supporter Panel inclusiveness? The grey dominance factor.

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2 hours ago, canarydan23 said:

As a River Ender, I sat in the South Stand for the Gillingham game and thought the concourse was positively luxurious!

I'm a River Ender too, and I'm with you! We did discuss this previously, and the trouble with the River End (especially the upper tier where I sit) is that the way it's been designed leaves practically no additional space to play with. 

1 hour ago, Felixfan said:

Why sink to the lowest common denominator. Perhaps all concourses need upgrading.

Various upgrades have been carried out while the stadium has been closed, so feel free to post on here with any changes you notice since you were last at the stadium.

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1 hour ago, Year of the tiger said:

Hopefully the daft idea to close the ticket office will be revisited. All I seem to have heard, both on line & in person is the inability to get to speak to someone, despite multiple attempts

Yep, this will definitely be mentioned specifically within the communication issues. I'm aware that there has been a lot of displeasure with the service offered by the ticket office.

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1 hour ago, RunnerCanary said:

wonder why we can't move season ticket positions this season, my son wants to move his from South Stand, told "we are not doing this the season" ask why and was told that's what they were told to say. 

Thanks for posting, welcome to the forum. Not sure if anyone else can shed any light on this? I'm not aware of any official communication regarding this, but if anyone is aware of anything then feel free to enlighten us.

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10 hours ago, Midlands Yellow said:

Will the pedestrianisation of Carrow road happen if the main stand is replaced? 

We'll cross that bridge if and when we come to it 😉

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1 hour ago, essex canary said:

1. Communication. Including with the Panel itself in anticipating issues to arise in the next 3 months. Last time ought to have included pricing strategies and away match allocation system. Next meeting should include AGM. See point 4.

2. Pricing strategies. A firm relationship between season ticket and casual ticket pricing should be established such that any price changes up or down move in tandem from season to season. A similar proportionate logic should apply to buy back price arguably with more than one price point related to advance notice of return. More favourable young adult pricing should possibly be considered. Pay wall for away allocation system should be deleted- an unfair tax on loyal fans. International membership could be extended to accommodate all non-season ticket and non home member with a new title. Yep, remember some people saying at the time that there should have been more consultation on ticket pricing. Will add to the list.

3. Away allocation system base of 1 season is insufficient and potentially unfair to people with different work placements, university etc. Spurs use 5 years (and only charge 200 people). System doesn't serve families where individual families or friends want to meet up at games for instance where a family member is at University or works in another part of the country. Basically there is a need for applications to be grouped and for priority to be given according to the average loyalty score. Question how match picks and VIP coach trips distort the loyalty and inclusiveness equation. Again, there were other comments regarding the away allocations; however, as the system has been decided upon for this season, it probably makes sense to revisit this in the new year once we've seen it in action. They can't change the system now; if it really doesn't work and proves very unpopular with the fans, I'm sure the club would initiate some consultation as they did in 2019-20.

4. AGM - online or in person? How does the question selection process work? Supporter Panel inclusiveness? The grey dominance factor. Can you expand upon this, and the AGM reference in point 1? What input do you feel the OSP should have into the AGM?

Replies in bold above.

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1 hour ago, Uncle Fred said:

The breaded crustacean issue is still outstanding 

I think the issue is less to do with the breaded crustaceans, and more to do with your insatiable appetite.

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10 hours ago, Feedthewolf said:

Replies in bold above.

A couple of observations in relation to away allocation system.

First, if the suggestion is to extend it over more than one season (and, personally, I’m not sure if it’s actually necessary) it would surely be logical for it to be based upon just the current system, rather than including previous seasons based upon what’s now an absolute system?

Second, (an observation based purely on the feedback from fans other clubs, via the FSA network groups) the reality of extending the assessment period to more than one season, is that it tends to concentrate the purchasing priority towards far fewer fans than a single season allocation based system. While that may suit those who’re in the group, isn’t the Club’s objective to extend the away following as much as possible, so newer / younger fans aren’t excluded?

On another matter, now the match pick windows are closed, it would be interesting to get some feedback / transparency from the Club, on how the actual take up for future fixtures actually worked out in reality. This should apply to both home and away games for this season.

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11 hours ago, GMF said:

A couple of observations in relation to away allocation system.

First, if the suggestion is to extend it over more than one season (and, personally, I’m not sure if it’s actually necessary) it would surely be logical for it to be based upon just the current system, rather than including previous seasons based upon what’s now an absolute system?

Second, (an observation based purely on the feedback from fans other clubs, via the FSA network groups) the reality of extending the assessment period to more than one season, is that it tends to concentrate the purchasing priority towards far fewer fans than a single season allocation based system. While that may suit those who’re in the group, isn’t the Club’s objective to extend the away following as much as possible, so newer / younger fans aren’t excluded?

On another matter, now the match pick windows are closed, it would be interesting to get some feedback / transparency from the Club, on how the actual take up for future fixtures actually worked out in reality. This should apply to both home and away games for this season.

Gary as it is me asking the question you are possibly going to take this the wrong way but wouldn't the Trust memorandum of understanding with the club cover your observations and question although i appreciate previous experience has shown that they have been somewhat dismissive towards your concerns over membership etc ?

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4 hours ago, dylanisabaddog said:

I'm baffled that old people get a discount on their tickets. Why? 

Is that a serious question?  There are many pensioners whose only income is enough to just about keep their heads above water. Offering them a little bit off the price is a small way of helping them.

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6 minutes ago, lake district canary said:

Is that a serious question?  There are many pensioners whose only income is enough to just about keep their heads above water. Offering them a little bit off the price is a small way of helping them.

I seem to recall a conversation about this a while back... one group was saying 'why should the baby boom generation get discounted tickets when they lived through some of the best financial growth and many of them are loaded?', while another group was making the point you were making. Personally I think it's a slippery slope if we start considering socio-economic background; what next, means-tested ticket prices based on income? I just prefer to look at it as a nice bit of loyalty from the club (and, indeed, every club), paying back their long-standing fans for many years of service. I know you still get 'new' fans in the 65+ bracket, but I don't really want to grasp the political hot potato of socioeconomics... especially on a Saturday morning 😉

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I am surprised by the OP's list of complaints. Having experienced several other clubs at close quarters, City's customer services and comms are right up there with the best.

I feel the one area where the OSP needs to show leadership and moral rectitude, and that is on the question of the booing of players who take the knee and participate in other symbolic shows of unity against division. 

It is currently the big issue, and we need representative bodies such as OSP to not only condemn the booing, but to propose measures by which the offenders can be singled out and ousted from the club. They do not deserve to be allowed to attend a family club.

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1 minute ago, Pugin said:

I am surprised by the OP's list of complaints. Having experienced several other clubs at close quarters, City's customer services and comms are right up there with the best.

I feel the one area where the OSP needs to show leadership and moral rectitude, and that is on the question of the booing of players who take the knee and participate in other symbolic shows of unity against division. 

It is currently the big issue, and we need representative bodies such as OSP to not only condemn the booing, but to propose measures by which the offenders can be singled out and ousted from the club. They do not deserve to be allowed to attend a family club.

Regarding your first point, I think a combination of restructuring due to senior executives departing (Kensell/Tunnell), the uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 and the increased workload associated with being an EPL club has meant that the customer services/comms haven't been as good as usual recently. Obviously people with negative feedback are much more likely to make their voices heard than people who have experienced good customer service, but it has been a consistent theme among fans I've spoken to since I joined the OSP back in May.

I believe I am right in saying that someone was ejected from one of the 'pilot' events last season for booing the taking of the knee? This shows the club has a strong moral standpoint on the issue, and I know that on the OSP we stand unanimously against anyone booing the taking of the knee.

Speaking as a fan rather than a representative of the OSP, I personally would call out any supporter near me who was booing; it only takes one or two of the hundreds of people within earshot of a booing person to take a stand against it. I do not know if stewards have been instructed to eject people who boo taking the knee, but it's certainly a situation we should monitor and feed back to the club on accordingly.

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17 minutes ago, lake district canary said:

Is that a serious question?  There are many pensioners whose only income is enough to just about keep their heads above water. Offering them a little bit off the price is a small way of helping them.

 

18 minutes ago, lake district canary said:

Is that a serious question?  There are many pensioners whose only income is enough to just about keep their heads above water. Offering them a little bit off the price is a small way of helping them.

There are lots of people of all ages who can't afford to go to football. 

Personally I'm 62 and I'm now better off financially than at any time in my life. I don't expect to get a discount and nor should I. I can't think of any other business that gives discounts to older people. I'd rather pay full price and reduce the cost of children's tickets a bit more. 

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4 hours ago, dylanisabaddog said:

I'm baffled that old people get a discount on their tickets. Why? 

' old people ' who sit in the centre blocks of The City Stand and The South Stand do not get concessions on their tickets.

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25 minutes ago, TIL 1010 said:

Gary as it is me asking the question you are possibly going to take this the wrong way but wouldn't the Trust memorandum of understanding with the club cover your observations and question although i appreciate previous experience has shown that they have been somewhat dismissive towards your concerns over membership etc ?

Never presume anything, John.

The MOU was signed up to during Steve Stone’s time and, for it to work well, it’s reliant upon both parties to remember its existence. Generally, in my opinion, it’s worked effectively, but there have been occasions, when it’s not. The first revision of the membership scheme being the prime example. Not only was the Club ‘dismissive’ (to use your word) of the MOU, but fan consultation completely.

Our last quarterly meeting with the Club was right in the middle of the match pick window, so, understandably, they weren’t able to answer the above questions specifically, only give us an indication of how they thought it was going at the time.

The OSP meeting is before our next meeting, so, personally, I think that’s a perfect opportunity for an update.

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9 minutes ago, dylanisabaddog said:

 

I can't think of any other business that gives discounts to older people.

Really ?

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12 hours ago, GMF said:

A couple of observations in relation to away allocation system.

First, if the suggestion is to extend it over more than one season (and, personally, I’m not sure if it’s actually necessary) it would surely be logical for it to be based upon just the current system, rather than including previous seasons based upon what’s now an absolute system?

Second, (an observation based purely on the feedback from fans other clubs, via the FSA network groups) the reality of extending the assessment period to more than one season, is that it tends to concentrate the purchasing priority towards far fewer fans than a single season allocation based system. While that may suit those who’re in the group, isn’t the Club’s objective to extend the away following as much as possible, so newer / younger fans aren’t excluded?

On another matter, now the match pick windows are closed, it would be interesting to get some feedback / transparency from the Club, on how the actual take up for future fixtures actually worked out in reality. This should apply to both home and away games for this season.

Regarding the first two paragraphs, I think we should wait and see how this system pans out and then revisit it in the New Year once we have some data/feedback to work with. For better or worse, the club have made their decision on this season, albeit without fan consultation.

However, in order for that to be viable, what you state in your final paragraph has to happen. I will add it to the list for the next OSP meeting; it would definitely be useful to know what takeup has been like for both home and away games.

 

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5 minutes ago, GMF said:

Never presume anything, John.

The MOU was signed up to during Steve Stone’s time and, for it to work well, it’s reliant upon both parties to remember its existence. Generally, in my opinion, it’s worked effectively, but there have been occasions, when it’s not. The first revision of the membership scheme being the prime example. Not only was the Club ‘dismissive’ (to use your word) of the MOU, but fan consultation completely.

Our last quarterly meeting with the Club was right in the middle of the match pick window, so, understandably, they weren’t able to answer the above questions specifically, only give us an indication of how they thought it was going at the time.

The OSP meeting is before our next meeting, so, personally, I think that’s a perfect opportunity for an update.

Not quite right Gary that the club were dismissive completely of fan consultation over the first revision of the membership scheme as a number of fans sat around the table with the club and i remember well a certain young lady setting herself up for a big dollop of criticism when she took to social media stating her involvement in the process.

The match pick now looks to be a reactive rather than proactive scenario as it now looks like your next meeting could well now take place after the most contentious match of the season i.e. Brentford.

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30 minutes ago, Feedthewolf said:

Regarding your first point, I think a combination of restructuring due to senior executives departing (Kensell/Tunnell), the uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 and the increased workload associated with being an EPL club has meant that the customer services/comms haven't been as good as usual recently. Obviously people with negative feedback are much more likely to make their voices heard than people who have experienced good customer service, but it has been a consistent theme among fans I've spoken to since I joined the OSP back in May.

I believe I am right in saying that someone was ejected from one of the 'pilot' events last season for booing the taking of the knee? This shows the club has a strong moral standpoint on the issue, and I know that on the OSP we stand unanimously against anyone booing the taking of the knee.

Speaking as a fan rather than a representative of the OSP, I personally would call out any supporter near me who was booing; it only takes one or two of the hundreds of people within earshot of a booing person to take a stand against it. I do not know if stewards have been instructed to eject people who boo taking the knee, but it's certainly a situation we should monitor and feed back to the club on accordingly.

Great reply, thank you.

But what do you mean by ''call out''? How does it work? I have experienced the type of situation when Wilf Zaha was running across to the South Stand before a game two seasons ago. Some fool screamed abuse at him, but it took a very imposing rugby-shirt-wearing guy to take issue with him,. I think the language he used was 'No, no, that really is too much'. The point is, silent condemnation is no solution, if fact quite the opposite.

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