2.3 Foxes Rewards
Foxes Rewards replaced the old 10% retail discount scheme at the start of the 2017/18 season. Season Ticket Holders receive 10% rewards on all retail purchases, while Fox Members receive 5% in Foxes Rewards. Supporters can view their Foxes Rewards balance at shop.lcfc.com.
JT said he had seen comments asking why the points’ statements were issued on 31st May and the Fanstore was closing on 1st June. JT stressed that the timing was purely coincidental and was the result of the Club’s Year End being 31st May.
Comments/Questions from FCC Members:
Q. Can Rewards be waived in favour of Foxes Foundation or can unused Rewards be donated to Foxes Foundation?
A. This is a very good idea and will be investigated.
Q. Can long-term supporters be offered recognition? It would be nice to acknowledge long-term support or perhaps give long-term supporters a discount in recognition of a certain milestone.
A. Under GDPR regulations, the Club must have a definite business case for keeping data long-term.
Q. Could people opt in/out?
A. It’s difficult to ascertain how long people have been Season Ticket Holders. As part of the website development, the Club retained data for 4 years to keep records of loyalty points; older data was destroyed.
SW commented that this was a nice idea; the Club would need some way of identifying long-term supporters; perhaps long-term supporters could receive an exclusive, commemorative badge.
JT noted that next year (2019) marks 100 years since Leicester Fosse became known as Leicester City Football Club. It was suggested that the Club’s historian, John Hutchinson, should be involved in activities to mark the centenary, eg inviting supporters to tell their stories.
Q. For people who can only afford one kit, the old 10% discount was more beneficial than having points in their account, particularly as the points expire each year.
A. The Foxes Reward scheme was introduced to modernise the benefits, to give extra flexibility and extra rewards, eg £5 and £10 bonuses were given last year, the system includes the potential for “double-points” weekend, etc.
Q. Part of the objection to the Foxes Rewards system would be removed if the points didn’t expire every year. Could the points be allowed to roll-over?
A. It’s difficult to keep rolling over. LD explained that having a cut-off point is an industry standard and the 31st May expiry date had been very carefully considered. He said the Club would take these suggestions onboard.
Q. One FCC member cited the example of a lady who spends a considerable amount of money buying Christmas presents every year, earning points which she would like to spend the following Christmas but can’t because they expire. Positioning the cut-off date at the end of the season is not a good time as people would like to use their points when the new kit comes in. Could the cut-off be rescheduled to 1st January?
Q. Could the life of points be extended to 24 months?
Q. What happens if someone makes some purchases 2 days before the expiry date?
A. Normally points are credited after 28 days but points for purchases made after 25th May each year are credited immediately.
JT invited everyone to attend a Your 90 Minutes session on Foxes Rewards.
2.4 Training Ground and Stadium Expansion
MM said a public consultation was held on Saturday 7th April, at LCFC vs Newcastle, to present the plans for a new state-of-the-art training facility to be built on a former 180-acre golf course at Seagrave. KSS who designed the training facilities at Spurs and Liverpool have been appointed as architects. The brief is to create the best world-class training facility, including a full-sized indoor pitch, academy and the UK’s first pan-sports turf academy. The Club has been working with authorities for several months on traffic, environmental issues etc, in preparation to submit the planning application on 13th June. It hopes to commence work in October. MM confirmed that the environment and the use of renewables are key requirements of the design.
MM said plans to expand the stadium were announced as part of the celebrations for Khun Vichai’s birthday. The Club expects to submit the planning application in September. The plan includes expansion of one stand and additional complementary development on the site. A public consultation over the planned expansion will be held at a home game (tbc) during next season.
SW added that the Club previously purchased 6 ½ acres which has been used as a car park and fan village. She explained that the Club is engaged in finding out what the city of Leicester needs and working with the City Council. The final plan must develop a destination and fill the capacity of the stadium. The planning process for seats will begin one year before completion. The plan takes into consideration access and egress requirements.
SW noted that Safe Standing is also an issue and one on which the Premier League has taken the lead and carried out considerable research; current proposals are being discussed in parliament. SW pointed out that standing tickets do not cost less, do not increase capacity, those opting for standing areas will have to stand for the whole time and surveys have shown that only 5% actually want the standing option.
Q. Will bus services be increased if the stadium expansion goes ahead?
A. The masterplanning studies take into account the reduction in parking spaces and the Club is working with the Council on Park & Ride schemes, road closures etc.
Q. The last train from Leicester to London leaves too early for those attending mid-week 7.45pm KO games.
A. AG responded that Leicestershire Police have previously asked for train times to be changed to accommodate visiting teams and for football specials. Unfortunately the train companies don’t have the necessary resources.
Q. Will fan experience be at the heart of the expansion plans?
A. Yes and fan experience will be the topic for the next Your 90 Minutes.
Q. The choice and quality of food on matchdays isn’t very good.
A. Any comments and feedback on catering are welcomed and should be sent to JD at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. How does the Club plan to fill the additional capacity, sell season tickets and memberships?
A. Everything is on the table and there should be choices for supporters.
Q. What is the level of demand for season tickets?
A. SW confirmed that 63.5% of season tickets for 2018/19 had been sold in the first 5 days of sale but she added that the Club needed dynamic sales schemes in the future to ensure capacity and would welcome comments/feedback from the fans. As well as this, development in the city must continue. In 2016/17, when the Club was playing in the Champions League, there was huge cooperation between the Club, the council, the cathedral etc. The development plan aims to create a safe, dynamic environment with good food and beverage facilities. MM added that the number of seats hasn’t yet been decided because the design work is ongoing.
FCC members commented on the importance of having places where families can come, get food and drinks, saying there should be more family areas. They said the ticket pricing policy for children and the 18-22 year olds is fantastic. SW agreed it was important to provide facilities for families, adding that the Club could learn from other clubs and from sporting arenas in the US where fans’ entertainment was a key element of every matchday.
Q. Can away fans be made aware that they are sitting next to the Family Stand in order to reduce the use of bad language? Will the expansion plans include moving the Family Stand?
A. The away fans have to sit where they do for the sake of getting them out quickly at the end of a game.
Q. Would some signage about the proximity of the Family Stand help?
A. Perhaps a note could be included with away fans’ tickets, saying they are sitting next to the Family Stand and asking them to be respectful. It was acknowledged that signage and notes were unlikely to have much effect. The police believe the situation with away fans has improved but the idea persists that football in general allows unacceptable behaviour. The Club takes every possible step, including filtering out known troublemakers, to ensure that its own fans behave well at away games. The Club has also made every effort to ensure that adults and children sitting in the Family Stand come in together but it is very difficult to enforce the regulations. The Club is changing its policy on unaccompanied 16-17 year olds who will no longer be allowed in the Family Stand.
2.5 EHRC Report and Equality
The Club worked very hard for 18 months to reach Intermediate Level of the Premier League Equality Standard, an achievement that celebrates Leicester’s diversity. Work is already underway towards Advanced Level and again involves the Disability Support Association, Foxes Pride, the HR department and the Club’s Equality & Diversity group. The Club has appointed Lucy Robins as Equality & Diversity Manager who will develop a working group of supporters. SJ invited the FCC members to get involved.
The European Human Right’s Commission Report was published on 16 May 2018. The report said LCFC was found to have a positive attitude and approach to improving the facilities for its disabled supporters. Every Premier League club has undertaken to make their clubs accessible. LCFC performed very well in its first meeting with the Commission on Accessibility and the Club’s report is available online. Additional aspects such as an autistic room are being considered in the expansion plans and other measures, such as dog bowls for guide dogs and lower shelves for wheelchair users, can be implemented sooner. Any feedback should be sent to Jim Donnelly.
The Club received two nominations at the Sports Business Awards, its first nominations on a sports-wide basis. Together with DJS Research, LCFC was nominated in the Best Fan Engagement Programme and took bronze in the Best CSR or Community Scheme for improving the match day experience for disabled fans. As a result of the research which included a mystery shopper equipped with a camera, the Club has improved the accessibility of toilets, ensured that supporters with disabilities have convenient parking spaces and improved the accessibility of food and drinks counters. The Club is now looking at providing an at-seat service.
These Minutes were published by LCFC
Part Three of the Minutes will be published on Fri July 6th covering topics requested by fans representatives to be agenda items