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Latest OSP Minutes are up

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Interesting! 

The piece about the OSP enfranchising supporters otherwise not enfranchised. OK up to a point but the minutes of other fan groups are not issued by the Club so how does that deliver equal or commensurate treatment? Indeed the Club has at one point claimed that the Minutes of another affiliated Group represent an ,'informal arrangement.'

The discussion re away membership understandable up to a point but it doesn't go far enough and still makes life difficult for people in particular situations which the Cub doesn't appear to have clearly understood.

Too much fragmentation for a 'we are all.in this together' approach to fan engagement.

Edited by essex canary

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Chair

Elliot King (Head of Supporter Engagement)

Attendees

Norwich attendees:

Elliot King

Ryan Howlett (Governcance Administrator, Minutes)

Danny Casey (Head of Ticketing)

Nathan Stevens (Junior Development and Memberships Manager)

Sam Hall (Legal and Governance Director)

OSP attendees:

Gordon Anderson (Chair), Beverley Burkill, Brian Folkard, Cillian O’Grady, Emily Wilford (remote), James Brighton, Jon Myhill, Jonathan Byrne, Marie Fuller, Matt Colley, Ryan Blumenthal (remote)

1. Welcome

EK introduced the group. The group agreed a new group photo was required and photographer present would take pictures throughout the discussions.

2. Minutes of last meeting - EK

Nothing to raise concerning last meeting minutes

3. Away Memberships – NS

The OSP raised concerns around the reasoning for the change in categories of away memberships.

NS explained the club’s reasoning for the change in sales groups. The first was from listening to feedback received it became clear that supporters had voiced difficulties with purchasing tickets together with friends and families due to the high number of sales groups. The second reason was that the club found there were too many days to buy the tickets, last year specifically there were 8 days to buy tickets for away members with this year it reducing to 5 and match pick guarantee is still included.

NS advised the club were driven in their decision to change the structure of memberships by consultation, data and fan feedback.

NS explained that this will continue to be monitored and isn’t set in stone, there is opportunity to change again next season should the feedback suggest it’s required.

BF requested that if the club begin a further consultation and feedback analysis piece this season on memberships, could the club look to include the OSP and other supporter groups as early as possible. NS agreed.

BF raised concerns that there was little notification time of the change in membership groups, so those who had aimed to go to 7 games to ensure they would be group 2 were let down. Also, to go from 10,7,4 straight to 10 and 5 seems to BF to be too big of a jump.

JB requested the number of games which were sell out and general sale which was provided by DC.

NS advised the club made the changes they felt were best based on the feedback they had at the time but agreed that if the OSP feel earlier consultation is needed in preparation for any changes next season the club will certainly consider that.

RB queried the process for international supporters. There have been some who have been confused as to what memberships they require to attend an away game as an international member and whether they require both international and away memberships and whether they can use these to purchase tickets for children who are coming with them.

NS explained he feels this is going to require the club running some education for international supporters in this position and clarified that an international membership is a home membership for overseas supporters as most international supporters will want to plan a visit to see a game at Carrow Rd. If you are an international supporter who wishes to attend away games only, then you don’t need to purchase an international membership at all, you just need the away membership. If there is a child or young adult who is also coming, then they would purchase a junior membership anywhere that they are in the world. NS agreed clarification on this in the FAQs of the website would help.

RB asked whether an international supporter would be able to show interest in a particular game or set of games further in advance than when tickets go on sale to be able to affordably and effectively plan travel. NS advised they can do this for a single match with the membership match pick the same as everyone else. NS agreed to send guidance in writing to the OSP for distribution to the international supporters who have raised queries.

NS expressed a desire for ongoing and regular feedback from the OSP regarding any membership issues.

4. Away ticket pricing (Reading FC) - DC

GA asked whether the club are joining Reading FC’s request for £20 away tickets.

DC advised we have gone back to Reading to advise we won’t be participating. DC explained the reason for this is that we plan and set our ticket prices for season tickets in the January prior to the season and for casual tickets towards the start of the season. The reason for this is that an adult season ticket holder on average pays more than Reading FC’s proposed £20 so to set away prices at £20 would be unfair to all others in the ground.

DC advised so far only 3 other clubs are following Reading.

BB also raised that coach travel seems to be selling out very quickly. She asked with rail strikes due on Cardiff game. will the club put more coaches on and how do we monitor how many coaches we have?

DC advised he puts the games on general sale and if they continue to sell, he continues to put on coaches, however if the ticket sales begin to slow after a day or so then he does not put any more on. DC will consider looking at coaches again for Cardiff due to the rail strikes and for other matches if the strikes continue during the year.

BB asked if tickets are already purchased, and strikes are announced can people get refunds as some supporters don’t seem to be aware. DC explained that in the Championship supporters can get a refund on their tickets up until the day of the game.

RB followed up regarding difficulties sending tickets back and queried whether there are any plans for an app in future where you could store digital tickets and return electronically. SH advised there is an app launching imminently which will over time have the capacity to store tickets. DC did advise that a home ticket doesn’t need to be returned it is only away tickets that need to be returned because the club need to send them back to the other club.

RB asked if there is a way overseas fan groups would be able to do a large matchday visit. NS advised that himself and EK have began early discussions on how this may work but feels if it is planned far enough in advance the club should be able to arrange something.

GA had a follow up question regarding the recent Q&A event in Scotland and whether there are plans to hold a similar event overseas for an international fan group. EK advised this is being considered by the club currently.

GA raised the passing of a long time Norwich city fan and the possibility of doing something in his memory and if there will be club rep at the funeral. It was agreed by all that the club will consider how best to do this.

No further membership or ticketing queries and therefore NS and DC left the meeting.

5. Terms of Reference/rotation of Board and terms – EK/ALL

GA recapped that in previous meetings it was discussed with SH that the terms of reference would be amended and published on the club’s website, and would be called the OSP constitution. The constitution is designed to define the purpose and principles of the OSP. It was discussed that the purpose of the panel is to develop the relationship between the club and the fans with the OSP being their representatives. It was agreed that the constitution is a baseline of how the OSP should operate and defines the rules of the panel including the length of service. The OSP and the club spoke through the details of the constitution.

It was agreed that all OSP members are proud to be on the panel and members made it clear that they do not want supporters to think that the OSP is privy to information that the wider fanbase is not as that is not the case.

GA suggested that perhaps at future OSP meetings, invitations could be extended to some members of other supporter groups so they can understand the level of discussion and ensure matters remain transparent regarding the role of the OSP. SH said that the club’s position is that the OSP is for those not in supporter groups that already have allotted time with senior club staff.

The constitution will be sent out with the minutes to ensure all can carefully review it and understand the rules of the panel as well as the length of service. OSP will begin considering how best to hold votes on Chair and Vice-Chair elections.

EK advised the OSP that if the OSP wish to meet more regularly as an individual group they can do or they can invite EK to their internal meetings also should they wish to hold further meetings. These would not be attended by any other member of the club.

OSP agreed that the appointment of a dedicated supporter engagement role will be beneficial going forward.

GA raised the point around rotation of membership. It was agreed that the May meeting will be the final meeting of this current group before new members need to be elected to the panel.

6. Centralised OSP mailbox? - EK

EK advised that solutions for having a centralised email inbox are being considered as due to the nature of the club’s internal emails it wouldn’t be possible to have a canaries domain email for an external group. There is scope to potentially make one that is read only but this needs to be explored further to decide on the best course of action.

OSP agreed that there is scope for smaller working groups to branch off of the main OSP to address specific themes if there are enough reports to suggest a particular issue is not an individual grievance or complaint. It was discussed that if working groups coincide with new elections perhaps a provision could be made for previous OSP members to continue to serve on working groups until the groups work has been concluded.

SH raised the suggestion of doing a profile-raising event on a matchday for the OSP such as a stand outside Carrow Rd. to drive engagement with the OSP and educate the wider supporter base on the purpose of the OSP.  This was noted by the OSP.

7. Matchday experience survey results - EK

EK shared the results of the recent supporter survey with the OSP. EK advised that safe standing had a positive result from the initial response so the club are in the early stages of beginning further and wider consultation with fans to gauge further opinion.

EK provided the data returned for the musical instrument inclusion in the stadium. SH advised if the club move to bring a drum or instrument into the stadium then it will be a club appointed musician for health and safety reasons. It was also discussed that it is unlikely the musician would be in the stand for the same reasons. SH said that there is no targeted game for a musician to attend.

The OSP provided a mix of feedback of the use of instruments to generate atmosphere. While most agreed the atmosphere is improved with musical instruments there were concerns raised around safety, control and responsibility of the musician chosen.

EW suggested that the club could speak to England and the FA about how they safely use the instruments at national games.

OSP and the club discussed other matchday atmosphere activations being explored by the club currently, including the singing section for the Birmingham game. The location was chosen to try and encourage the singing to ‘wrap around’ from the Thorpe corner and Barclay into south stand.

EK advised that ‘along come Norwich’ are producing some crowd surfers for build-up atmosphere and there are new lights capable of light shows.

EK shared the matchday incident reporting data with the OSP, all agreed the results are good and show fans feel the club take positive action to keep supporters safe and welcome.

BB raised the recent social club event with Dean Smith and Craig Shakespeare. All agreed it was a success and it was discussed that in future some of those events will also be filmed or streamed to widen the audience.

8. Fan behaviour communications - EK

EK updated the group on the club’s plans for a campaign over the next few weeks to encourage positive and responsible fan behaviour after negative incidents across the football industry last season.

The delivery of this campaign is still in discussion however it is a priority for the club to combat dangerous or criminal activity in and around the stadium. This campaign will begin with the release of the club’s new sanction tariff.

The EFL, PL, and FA have all also just recently released their own campaign in this area which the club are supporting.

SH explained that the purpose of this is not to try and discourage support or noise in the stadium. The club want fans to be noisy and for Carrow Road to be difficult for opposition, however it needs to be done in a non-discriminatory way. OSP were in favour of this campaign.

9. Scotland Q&A feedback - EK

EK asked for some feedback from the OSP on the fan event in Scotland. He advised there were around 100 supporters present.

The OSP feel the event was well received. CO said he was there and felt that the answers were open and honest even when some tough questions were asked.

BB also highlighted commercial director Sam Jeffrey’s recent video interview. The feedback the OSP saw was very positive, with a good choice of questions and he came across as very honest.

10. AOB - ALL

BB raised that it has been good to see Todd Cantwell get a positive reception from the supporters upon his return from loan. There was praise provided by the OSP for players signing shirts and taking photos with children following the local preseason friendlies.

GA asked about upcoming dates and SH advised that the next meeting will be towards the end of October.

BF advised there has been some issues raised regarding the lack of speed in serving alcohol at half time and wondered if the servers could pre-pour some to increase serving speed.

MF raised that there is still an ongoing issue with toilets especially ladies’ toilets in the Regency Security Stand leading to long queues.

BF advised some supporters had raised that they are uncomfortable with male stewards searching their bags and asked how pyrotechnics are got into the ground when searches occur. SH advised the club are looking at increasing the diversity of its stewards however it while it may not be ideal, it is for the safety of all inside the ground. SH also advised the OSP that pyrotechnics are very small and easily concealed.

BB advised that some members attended the deaf awareness event at the forum in Norwich and they were demonstrated to by a local company who provide digital avatars for sign language interpretation at sporting events. BB felt this would be a good thing to explore for inclusivity.

EK advised he is currently doing a disability offering review so will consider this and see what is possible.

MC suggested more marketing of the CSF and what they do as it is impressive and could help a lot with the young mental health crisis in the county currently.

 

END

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1 minute ago, Greavsy said:

NS advised the club were driven in their decision to change the structure of memberships by consultation, data and fan feedback.

NS explained that this will continue to be monitored and isn’t set in stone, there is opportunity to change again next season should the feedback suggest it’s required.

BF requested that if the club begin a further consultation and feedback analysis piece this season on memberships, could the club look to include the OSP and other supporter groups as early as possible. NS agreed.

Comments like this concern me somewhat - as whilst I agree with the involvement of other fan groups to get a broader picture, Arent the OSP there to represent the fans, and I would have thought following their setting up they would have been included in the preliminary discussions at least for their initial comments / feedback.  

As indeed the minutes go on to say 

The constitution is designed to define the purpose and principles of the OSP. It was discussed that the purpose of the panel is to develop the relationship between the club and the fans with the OSP being their representatives.

Not sure how they OSP can represent the fans when they havent been consulted on this issue. 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Greavsy said:

Comments like this concern me somewhat - as whilst I agree with the involvement of other fan groups to get a broader picture, Arent the OSP there to represent the fans, and I would have thought following their setting up they would have been included in the preliminary discussions at least for their initial comments / feedback.  

As indeed the minutes go on to say 

The constitution is designed to define the purpose and principles of the OSP. It was discussed that the purpose of the panel is to develop the relationship between the club and the fans with the OSP being their representatives.

Not sure how they OSP can represent the fans when they havent been consulted on this issue. 

 

 

Delighted to see that you are as confused as I am. 

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1 hour ago, essex canary said:

The piece about the OSP enfranchising supporters otherwise not enfranchised. OK up to a point but the minutes of other fan groups are not issued by the Club so how does that deliver equal or commensurate treatment? 

 

Probably cause other that the Osp and the Trust no other fans groups  have quarterly meetings with club officials

The osp minutes are on the ncfc website but doubt many fans know they are there, think the Trust put their minutes on their own website

 

Edited by Diane
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These are my initial thoughts having read the minutes that OSP members may want to pick up for next meeting.

Glad to see the issue of bar service was raised, but alas no view on this from the club. Perhaps underline the commercial imperative?  So much revenue lost because people canot be bothered to queue at half time knowing the time taken to serve.

Also, although praise given to the marketing videos et al, why no link to fact "bread and butter" service to fans has been relatively poor recently - website crashing on day of match ticket launch etc.? For fan engagement to work, such "bread and butter" services need to work first time nearly 100% of the time, currently a long way off that which i would argue is hampering supporter relations. 

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2 hours ago, Diane said:

Probably cause other that the Osp and the Trust no other fans groups  have quarterly meetings with club officials

The osp minutes are on the ncfc website but doubt many fans know they are there, think the Trust put their minutes on their own website

 

Please could you post a link to minutes Canaries Trust website? The last time I looked they were only available to members.

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7 hours ago, Diane said:

Probably cause other that the Osp and the Trust no other fans groups  have quarterly meetings with club officials

The osp minutes are on the ncfc website but doubt many fans know they are there, think the Trust put their minutes on their own website

 

Traditionally supporters have had to pay a fee for fan representation but not for the right to attend away matches.

Oh to go back there. Bring it on! Indeed the OSP minutes are hard to find and has anyone ever seen an Agenda?

The Trust minutes have been available on it's website in the past but they have now taken the decision that they are for members only. Understandable in principle though not with only 1% or so of the supporter base as members.

How can Club officials have time to service such fractured fan representation? Why not agree all charging decisions for a season en masse rather than piece by piece? The wheel was already invented in the distant past.

An expanded version of the Trust with an enhanced shareholding in its name and the Club working with it on its Constitution would be an excellent platform for Fan Engagement.

 

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1 hour ago, essex canary said:

 

An expanded version of the Trust with an enhanced shareholding in its name and the Club working with it on its Constitution would be an excellent platform for Fan Engagement.

 

An advanced shareholding which i understand is imminent anayway will be of little use once the Americans get a foothold with the shares of Michael foulger as i understand they are also in the process of purchasing around a total of 28,000 shares from two shareholders sitting in the top ten of the shareholding list.

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8 minutes ago, TIL 1010 said:

An advanced shareholding which i understand is imminent anayway will be of little use once the Americans get a foothold with the shares of Michael foulger as i understand they are also in the process of purchasing around a total of 28,000 shares from two shareholders sitting in the top ten of the shareholding list.

So if that happens - would you know what overall % that would give them including Foulger's please?

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1 minute ago, BurwellCanary said:

So if that happens - would you know what overall % that would give them including Foulger's please?

Around 20% and i understand they have their sights set on a third shareholder also..

 

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11 minutes ago, TIL 1010 said:

they have their sights set on a third shareholder also..

Essex? We can but hope! 😊 😊 

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2 minutes ago, Greavsy said:

Essex? We can but hope! 😊😊 

No,no,no Greavsy it is someone far higher up the pecking order of shareholders.

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Good to hear the ladies toilets issue at the river end is getting sorted been keeping me awake for months 

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3 minutes ago, TIL 1010 said:

No,no,no Greavsy it is someone far higher up the pecking order of shareholders.

Well that narrows it down significantly. ☺ 

 

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52 minutes ago, TIL 1010 said:

An advanced shareholding which i understand is imminent anayway will be of little use once the Americans get a foothold with the shares of Michael foulger as i understand they are also in the process of purchasing around a total of 28,000 shares from two shareholders sitting in the top ten of the shareholding list.

A correction to my figure of 28,000 as it is around 34,000 so those who study the shareholders register should be able to put 2+2 together.

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6 hours ago, TIL 1010 said:

No,no,no Greavsy it is someone far higher up the pecking order of shareholders.

Should I go for a higher price as they get closer to the 30 per cent?

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