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View from the Opposition – Sunderland

Sunderland Fanzine ‘A Love Supreme’ contributor Sam Lightle answers questions on Saturday’s game …..

A bit about you:

Despite my southern roots, my family originally comes from Ryhope, which is a small town in Sunderland. When I was a small 'bairn', I used to travel to Sunderland regularly to support the team before I got the opportunity to move to Wearside three years ago. 

Name: Sam Lightle.

Current home town:  Sunderland.

Birthplace: London.

How long have you supported your team? 

All my 20 years on this planet.

 Overview of your club:

The fans are the club. We travel in huge numbers and we carry the reputation of the club and the city. We are a passionate Premier League club.

Favourite thing about your home ground: 

The stewards... 

Favourite match played by your team & why: 

That's tricky. I've seen us beat Newcastle twice at their place and that was special. But just for the sheer occasion it has to be the semi-final v Man United last season. Phil Bardsley's strike in the last second almost put us to Wembley, before Javier Hernandez scored and then we finally won on penalties.

Favourite player of all time who played for your club: 

Kevin Phillips. Simple - clinical in front of goal. The greatest player never to have an England career.

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Next Up – Sunderland

Next Up – Sunderland 22 November 2014

Manager        Gus Poyet

Founded       1879             Ground        Stadium of Light

Address       Sunderland SR5 1SU

Capacity         48,707    

Squad:

1          GK      Costel Pantilimon

2          DF       Billy Jones

3          DF       Patrick van Aanholt

4          MF      Liam… Continue reading

Calling Sunderland Fans

Calling Sunderland Fans

If you want to take part in our regular 'view from the opposition' feature for your forthcoming game against Leicester City then please email matt.davis@foxestrust.com with answers to the following questions

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Foxes Foundation Event – Thursday 27th November

The Foxes Trust backs events in aid of the Foxes Foundation and the next event takes place in the Walkers Hall at the King Power Stadium on Thursday 27th November, when Birch  returns to the stage to lead the second annual fun Bingo night.

The entrance fee is £6 which covers 6 games with additional books will be available to purchase on the evening at £5 with prizes for lines and full houses.

Doors open at 7pm

Bingo flyer (458x640)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fans Consultative Committee Meeting Minutes – Thursday 3 July 2014

INTRODUCTION:

JT opened the meeting and advised of apologies.

SC thanked everyone for their contribution and effort to the committee for last season.

Feedback from the minutes of 26 February meeting:

It was stated that the season ticket pricing model would be the same regarding of league status.  IF responded; on the whole there was a 3% price increase with the exception of the 84 premium seating area in front of the Directors Box and in the Fosse Club.  The 3% increase would also have applied if the Club had still been in the Championship. It was noted that there will be 19 home fixtures in the Premier League whereas there were 23 home games in the Championship last season.  IF advised that the Fosse Club will be upgraded during next season.

 

ACTION POINTS FROM THE LAST MEETING:

Park & Ride; the Club is in conversation with various people but we cannot find an option that works currently.

Position of bins in the Family Stand; the bins have been replaced.

Birthday promotion messages; communication has been changed to reflect whether the birthday has happened or is in the future.

Concourse kiosks; it was confirmed they are open during the first half and 20 minutes into the second half.

Sports Bar; it was confirmed pies are available to purchase in the Sports Bar.

Questions on the food offering; were included in the annual Club survey which is sent out to supporters in June.

Matchday Magazine Sellers; the seller positions have been changed as requested and stock levels were reallocated.

FCC e-mail accounts; the accounts de-activated because they were not being used we will therefore review what method of communication we use next season.

Groundsmen may take part in stadium tours; if they are around whilst the tour is ongoing they will speak to the supporters however they have provided a fact sheet for the tour guide, to use in their absence.

AGENDA ITEM - TICKETING:

Premier League ticketing survey - SP advised that Everton use a different ticketing system to the Club's however we are benchmarking other Club's ticketing systems.  We have improved the sale of on-line match tickets since March and 40% of new season tickets were sold on-line.  The problems encountered lasted for the first 30 hours of season ticket sale due to the high volume of users and a specific technical problem which was then rectified. We are looking at new ticketing systems with a view to potentially moving the ticket system for season 2015/16.

Match tickets – it was difficult to get through on the phone for the Doncaster game.  SP explained that the phone queue is set fairly so that people do not have to wait too long.  There are a few peaks throughout the season where we could use call centres but the Club prefers to speak to our supporters in-house.    SP confirmed that our staff in the Sales Centre varies between 2 and 6 based on how busy we are.

Everyone was pleased with the Club changing to a 03 number to reduce the cost of a phone call to the Club.  AW explained that we had considered a free phone number but after looking at our data, a large majority of supporters phone the Club on their mobile therefore this would not have been advantageous.

Re-location communication; IF apologised for not sending the letter out before season tickets went on sale. Approximately 400 people were asked to move as they didn't fulfil the criteria of the Family Stand. The Club therefore asked supporters who did not have children to move seats. 

Membership plans are well on the way and it will be the only way to obtain a match ticket for the coming season, subject to availability, as there will be far less tickets available to purchase on a match by match basis, than in previous seasons.  There will be c2000 tickets available for each game. It was confirmed that last season’s members will receive priority to purchase the new memberships. Membership communication will stipulate that it does not necessarily guarantee you a ticket. KF felt it would be a good idea to use a small number of supporters as sounding boards for member benefits.

AGENDA ITEM – FOSSE CLUB/FOSSE CLUB PREMIUM:

EB stated that 25 people out of the 84 seats are concessions.  IF advised that he has met with a number of these supporters to explain the rationale behind the pricing structure. The decision was made that there should be no concessions in the premium seats however we have retained reduced concessions in the Fosse Club.  There are a number of promoted clubs that removed all concessions from the main stand.  The Club consciously didn't do that and have achieved a 98% renewal rate.  There is an expectation that the Fosse Club should improve.  EB stated that Compass (the Club’s catering provider) increased their prices at the last game of last season.  The Club was unaware of this and IF will check with Compass. The Compass General Manager has confirmed that there were no increases in price last season. BW felt the Club should be more caring to supporters and invite them to come and discuss a potential change of seats before the new season ticket holders purchase their seats.  SC advised that lessons have been learnt and expressed disappointment on behalf of the Club in respect of the quality of communication. 

SP to address issues regarding terms and conditions at point of sale.  This has now been addressed and will be activated going forward.

AGENDA ITEM – AWAY TICKETING:

Away travel arrangements for next season; SC clarified that the Premier League do not give the Club additional money for visiting supporters however a minimum of £200k has to be allocated on initiatives for our supporters travelling to away games and away fans attending games at King Power Stadium, from the central Premier League money received by the Club.  We have already offered free food and a free scarf for our supporters travelling to away games when we were in the Championship.  There are a number of ways the Premier Clubs use this money ranging from subsidised coach travel to reciprocal ticket pricing arrangements.

Ticketing priority system; we will be continuing with the current system.  SP confirmed that if you have been a season ticket holder for 2 years or more, you will receive a higher priority than a new season ticket holder.  This information will be released next week.

AGENDA ITEM – RETAIL:

Ladies merchandise sizing issues; IF confirmed the LCFC merchandise is the industry standard sizing.  BW felt that the sizing was incorrect and there is poor variety for women.

2014/15 replica kit launch; the new kit is en-route to the Club. IF confirmed we are in the final year of the PUMA contract.  We will launch the home kit on 19 July.  The 2 Away kits are due to be launched just before the start of the season.

AGENDA ITEM – CATERING:

Halal/non-Halal; we don't unfortunately offer any Halal food.

GF would like more vegetarian options.  Staff training should be given when staff have served meat before a vegetarian option. IF to speak to the Compass General Manager. Our Catering Provider has adopted a new strategy for employing their staff for season 2014/15, including a new training process.

The bars will be upgraded in the Fosse Club during next season.  It was felt that general bar staff should be better trained.  IF to speak to the Compass General Manager. As per the above comment.   GF felt it takes too long to be served.  The Club will re-visit food options with our catering provider before the start of the season and it was noted that vegetarian options need to be on the menu and advertised.

Stadium; a number of alterations are taking place, some of which are to satisfy Premier League requirements including 3D HD quality floodlights.   £1.4m is being spent specifically on Premier League requirements including an additional TV studio. 

There will be a new LED system and the executive boxes, hospitality suites and reception are being upgraded. Not all of the work will be completed by the start of the season.  We have laid a new Desso pitch at the TG.  SC pointed out that there is nothing wrong with the sound system itself in the stadium, however we have upgraded the computer system to manipulate the sound around the stadium stand by stand.

AGENDA ITEM – MATCHDAY:

Goal Music; there are no plans to change what we currently play although we will be playing the Premier League anthem.

Scoreflash during the game; we are just checking with the Premier League to make sure we are allowed to show them both legally and technically.

SUPPORTER SURVEY FEEDBACK:

Marek presented findings of the supporter survey.  This can also be found on-line. JT thanked everyone for their participation.  A separate media questionnaire will follow within the next 2/3 weeks relating to lcfc.com and there is also a Hospitality survey planned. The hospitality survey has been submitted and is currently being evaluated.  Our media team will be sending out a survey regarding lcfc.com towards the end of November.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS:

EB brought up the issue of parking for the last game of the season against Doncaster.  The marquee on the stadium car park for the end of season celebrations created an impact on parking.  IF apologised for the lack of communication to supporters advising them in advance of the alternative arrangements.

GF would like the Club to conduct a review of the FCC process and its effectiveness.  JT confirmed that the process for selecting new members will commence shortly.  JT thanked those members who had put forward their names for consideration for next season.

Supporters End of Season Awards; JD advised that it was held in the Sports bar this year as it was the only room available in the stadium on the evening the event had been arranged.  SC advised that it is very difficult to get players towards the end of the season particularly when their primary objective is to win the last game of the season.  The Supporters Awards has raised a bigger question generally, which is; “who represents the fans”, we have a number of supporter groups and we need to find a way of them working alongside each other. JT advised that we broadcast this season’s Player of the Year Awards live via youtube.

SP confirmed that the new season cards will be available at the end of July/beginning of August.

BW thanked the Club for the pin badges and free beer at the end of last season.

IF confirmed the mascot packages will be available in the next 7-10 days.

JT thanked everyone for their contribution to the FCC and closed the meeting.

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