Present at the meeting
Chris Turner, Nick Johnson, Angela Bray, Karen Wood, Graeme Huston Editor of the Derbyshire Times, Nigel Goodlad, Marcia Bigg, Jon Morris, Gary Bown, Maurice Whyman, Roy Frisby, Andy Boden, Daryl Carpenter.
We welcomed two new members to the meeting Lesley Brentnall and Sarah Frisby.
The meeting opened by discussing the sale of tickets for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final at Wembley. The general feeling from supporters was everything went well with queues forming from early morning. The ticket office opened at 9am and did not close until 7pm with the ticket office staff working hard all day to ensure supporters were served as quickly and efficiently as possible. The only negative comment was the signs telling people where to queue were not big enough and the stewards were not proactive enough telling people where to queue.
The tickets will go off sale at lunchtime on the 26th March in order to be reconciled and sent back to Wembley. They will be on sale from the ticket office at Wembley on the day.
It was thought the cost of the coach travel was a bit expensive at £30 for adults and £25 for juniors. The Bridge Inn are charging £25 and are taking 14 coaches up today. We use Slacks coaches which were not thought to be competitive could we try Johnsons. Angela will speak to Maureen.
Fan of the year
This was discussed at the last meeting. We have now had confirmation that the award will be presented at the second Player of the year awards night. Nominations will be invited to be sent to the club and the winner will be chosen by a panel. Zoe Edge and Lesley Brentnall were two names mentioned by members of the forum.
Music at Wembley
Fans were being asked to nominate music to be played in the build up at Wembley and also hopefully celebration music. It will be put on Facebook and Twitter to gain some ideas. Avici-levels was a popular choice within the group as this was played in the build-up on our last visit. Happy, simply the best and Go West were suggested as celebration music. Sailing and We can build our dreams from the 1997 F.A Cup run were songs associated the club but were thought to be a bit slow.
At this point we were joined by Graeme Huston the current editor of the Derbyshire Times.
The questions started with the coverage of the Mansfield game. Graeme said he had only been in the job 5 months and this edition was his first in charge. The headline on the front page was the main objection. The word Riot was mentioned as being a bit strong and the club was being portrayed in a very bad light. He said they only reported facts given to them mainly by the police. It seems a lot of the arrests and subsequent banning orders and fines were for incidents that happened later in the town centre. There was a reporter covering the game and another reporter witnessed the incident on Sheffield Road where a car with a woman and child inside was being rocked.
The editor said they did print follow up stories including letters from fans but these were lost in the middle of the paper and not on the front page. Chris said no one from the paper had asked him for a quote on the story.
The reason this was headline news was that we do not usually see trouble at the Proact so when it does happen it is a big story.
It was suggested that the D.T was very negative about the club with not much information in match reports regarding player stats etc. The sports reporter does attend all pre and post match press conferences so should get all the facts.
The editor said he was responsible for different papers besides the Derbyshire Times so will be looking closely at the way games are reported in these papers.
There will be an 8 page pre Wembley pull out to celebrate the clubs achievement of getting to the JPT final.
Out of all the clubs covered by the papers in the group including the South Yorkshire clubs Chesterfield F.C is the only club with commercial links to a paper. The Derbyshire Times has an advertising board at the ground and has also sponsored matches.
The editor said they were looking at different ways to improve coverage of games including fans writing for the paper. He said he had some ideas which he would like to see implemented, this would not happen immediately but given time he hopes things will improve.
To end with despite being given a rough ride in places the editor asked if he could come back at a later date to see if there had been an improvement in relationships with the club and newspaper. We will invite him back to the next meeting on the last match of the season.
At this time Graeme was thanked for his attendance and left the meeting.
There will be a small increase in season ticket prices next season. News of prices and when they will be available will be released as soon as possible. This is later than usual due to the Wembley tickets being on sale.
A scheme will be in place to pay for season tickets by monthly instalments.
Ticket sales for the two concerts are going well. We are up to 47% of capacity. The promoters will be doing another sales push on April 1st and are confident of achieving a sell-out.
There will be more acts announced shortly for the Party at The Proact and also support acts for Tom Jones. These cannot be announced until the management company allows us to do.
We are still waiting for the Wi-Fi company to set up in the west stand.
Programmes often sell out round the East Stand. An announcement was made at the match on Saturday to remind supporters who were unable to buy a programme before the match that they are available to buy from the club superstore after the match.
A request was made to put away ticket prices in the programme as some people do not read the website. This will be done as soon as possible.
Would it be possible to add a player profile to the poster in the programme? Nick will look at this.
Scoreboard- We are waiting for the technical people to make sure it will fit where we want it to be put. Hopefully it will be up and running for the start of next season.
Kit for next season. The home shirt has already been chosen. The away shirt will be put to the public vote again.
PLEASE NOTE since Saturday there has been a development on this. Due to the time constraints of choosing the away shirt it will not be feasible to set up the public vote.
It was noted that parts of the exterior of the building are starting to look a bit shabby. Parts of the cladding and some of the Bricks in the wall are looking white with the salt coming through. A programme of maintenance will be done at the end of the season.
The possibility of painting the concourses a brighter colour will be looked into. The cost is the main barrier so maybe volunteers could be asked for and get Johnstone’s to donate some paint.
There were no more questions so the meeting closed at 12.30.
Date of the next meeting Saturday May 3rd at 10am. Note the earlier start due to this being the last game of the season.