Today we publish the first part of the minutes covering Susan Whelan's report and follow up points ot previous FCC meetings
Stuart Johncock welcomed all attendees to the second session of the current Fans Consultative Committee. He explained that he was standing in for Jamie Tabor who has been seconded part-time to OHL for six months. He gave apologies on behalf of Club staff and FCC members who were unable to attend the meeting (detailed in the final article on this website)
1. Chief Executive Officer
Susan Whelan said the Club would be sending formal thank-you’s to all who assisted during the recent accident events but she wanted to take the opportunity to express her thanks at the meeting. The support offered by everyone, especially the staff and fans, had been extraordinary and been a huge source of comfort to the families of the victims. Khun Top had displayed incredible bravery at the Burnley game. Over the next few weeks and months, the Club needs to explore how to build on the way the tragedy united the Club and the city. The spontaneous generosity and tributes from the fans were remarkable. She said every letter, card, flower and gift would be collected and archived as a tribute to Khun Vichai. She said it had been immensely important to involve the fans in moving the flowers and tributes from the brickweave.
The Club has announced that a statue of Khun VIchai will be commissioned in the future. It is too early to announce the site and timing and the family will decide on the image to be used. SW stressed the family’s and King Power’s long-term commitment to the Club.
SW gave an update on developments at the Club since the last FCC meeting in May. The Club was granted planning permission for the new Training Ground and as a result, the migration of the newts at the Park Hill site is now underway! Engagement with the local communities is ongoing and developing. The process of consultation and masterplanning for the Stadium Expansion project is also underway, for example to determine the optimum number and type of seats as the Club must ensure it builds the right facilities for our fans. An external company will contact supporters for their feedback. SW said the Club was always ready to listen to the fans and invited FCC members to forward their ideas and suggestions. The new giant screens have also been installed and feedback from the supporters would also be welcome.
Other works completed since the last meeting in May include ongoing development of the website, the opening of the Fan Store, the launch of the adidas kit, hosting the international game against Switzerland, having three England internationals in the squad and the success of the summer transfer window.
Nicholas Heard congratulated the Club on its handling of the recent tragedy and in the way it had come together, saying it had been magnificent. He offered his congratulations.
2. Action Points from the Previous FCC Meeting
2.1 Development of Away Priority Ticket Scheme
The Club is meeting with SeatGeek (formerly known as TopTIx) throughout the week and is investigating the options for an Away Priority Ticket Scheme. Current options only allow adult tickets to be processed.
2.2 Foxes Rewards’ Donations to Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Foundation
Work on this function is at the feasibility stage and the Club hopes to launch relatively quickly. The aim is to add a “Donate” button at the online “CheckOut” and/or supporter account page. Since May, customers have been able to round up their total spend to the nearest £10.
2.3 Centenary Year Magazine Feature
Supporters had asked for a centenary year magazine feature for supporters. SJ confirmed that the Club Historian and Archivist, John Hutchinson, is working on a matchday magazine feature for next season. He will be looking at fan features and at collating 100 voices/stories. SJ noted that John is always looking for new stories.
2.4 Foxes Rewards’ Life-Cycle
LD explained that in line with industry standards, Foxes Rewards expire at the end of each season and this system will remain in force for the current season. The Club will review the system on a seasonal basis and will ask supporters for their suggestions on reformatting for next season.
Your 90 Minutes
Jim Donnelly noted that the take-up of places for the last three sessions of “Your 90 Minutes” had been very low. He asked FCC members what topics they would like to see discussed.
SJ explained that “Your 90 Minutes” is a focus group of 12-18 people that discusses a different topic each month. The invitation to attend Your 90 Minutes is advertised on the website and social posts. The session is held in the Players’ Changing Room. Some FCC members said that they hadn’t heard about Your 90 Minutes until it was mentioned at the last FCC meeting. SW stressed that the Club was committed to listening to its supporters and Your 90 Minutes is a good forum. She said the fanbase is a great pool of experience that the Club is keen to utilise.
SJ asked the meeting for the best ways to broadcast upcoming sessions. Suggestions included notices in the matchday programme, messages on the big screen, by SMS, messages alongside marketing campaigns. SC suggested that the selection process might be too targeted. It was also suggested that weekends might be more convenient.
SJ asked FCC members what topics they would like discussed at future Your 90 Minutes. Suggestions included:
- Creation of a Fans Park to make the matchday experience more appealing especially for families. SJ explained that the Club was looking for the right location. It was suggested that the topic, “Matchday Experience”, should be sub-divided. SJ asked for suggestions to be emailed to email@example.com.
It would be useful to look at other clubs which have created diversified fans zones including parks, shopping areas, bakeries. SW confirmed that the Club is working with external experts, looking at the feasibility.
2.5 Wifi and Mobile Phone Signal
SC explained that more market research will be carried out in order to make a final decision as to the optimum solution in a constantly evolving market place..
2.6 Update on Safe Standing
Opinions on safe standing were very divided at the previous FCC Meeting. AH explained that the Premier League has been consistent in its response and is awaiting the outcome of the government’s review, to ensure that Clubs make an educated decision based on facts. Recent surveys have shown that finally only 5% of respondents are in favour of safe standing.
In response to a question on the police’s viewpoint, Dave Stevens noted that safe standing had worked well at Celtic Park where the standing area is entirely comprised of rail seating. He stressed the importance of being very careful that standing is done in the right way.
The 6th edition of the Green Guide (Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds, issued by the Sports Grounds Safety Authority) focuses on risk assessment but doesn’t cover safe standing as a topic. SC noted that new developments will have to comply with the latest version of the Green Guide as stadia must comply with the Green Guide applicable at the time of their construction.
SW confirmed that the architects working on the Club’s stadium expansion project are part of the government’s advisory group. She added that the Club and the Premier League want to ensure the enjoyment level of the fans, in line with government guidelines.
2.7 Update on Bad Behaviour/Language within Away Section near the Family Stand
JD confirmed that the Club has written to every visiting club asking them to ensure that seats allocated next to the family stand should be sold only to families. It was suggested that signs could be erected, stating “Family Stand” and advising that bad language will not be tolerated. JD said the problem was prominently caused by visitors. The Leicestershire Police representative mentioned that away fans were unlikely to take much notice of signs.
2.8 Posting Pre-Match Build-up Videos/Montage on YouTube
AH said there was a great team working on video content with the aim of creating a certain matchday magic. He said the matchday montage signifies to the fans that they are present, in the stadium, at the game. The VT played out before the Burnley game on 10 November 2018 was a one-off production, intended to be shared on a level that reflected the global response generated by events that preceded it. The general pre-match montage is intended exclusively for in-stadium matchday use, but the Club will consider making these available when in-stadium VTs are refreshed from time to time.
2.9 Fan Cam – Safeguarding Concerns
The Club’s Head of Safeguarding has confirmed that the Club is indemnified to utilise photos/videos as the ground matchday T’s & C’s state that coming to the stadium provides consent to the use of images. However, as an additional duty of care, photographers always try to ask a group or a group leader if they are happy to be photographed. Obtaining permission for video images, however, is more difficult although videographers will try to let people know that they’re going to be filmed. Requiring Minor and Adult Release Forms would be problematic, for example when filming a throw-in.
2.10 LCFC Supporters Standing at Away Games
This is very difficult to eradicate. Currently the first four rows are only sold to people with disabilities or older people. The Ticket Manager is communicating to fans that they have to sit down. Tickets for home and away games state, “Your ticket is a seated ticket”.
The DSA representative said the situation is improving but at away games, some supporters with disabilities find their view blocked by supporters standing in front of the wheelchair bays. Some clubs close off a few rows in front of the disabled bays.
2.11 Away Game Ticket Distribution
JD has asked the other Premier League clubs if we can sell “out of synch” but none of them had agreed. The current system prevents us from deciding how we sell our allocation. It was explained that for away games, the Club estimates how many seats it can sell and applies for that allocation. FCC members agreed that at the moment most games are going to general sale so there were no major issues.
2.12 Update on Ticket Resales
SC explained that the facility for season ticket holders to sell tickets back to the Club will be launched imminently. The key question was protecting personal payment details when processing a refund.
2.13 Update on apple and Android Access
LD advised that SeatGeek are in the process of building the functionality and the “smart phone” access launch is imminent. The access control system is nearly “NFC ready”, pending an upgrade of the software which is being costed.
2.14 Relocation of the Burger Van Electrics
JD explained that this relates to the matchday burger van being parked directly in front of the memorial wall, blocking access. The van has now been moved further forward away from the wall but there is a potential hazard from the electrical cabling connecting the van to the mains. The Club is looking at ways of moving the electrics to a new location so the van can be moved from its current site.
2.15 Update on Child Ticket Prices for 2019/20 Season
Currently there is a big difference between the ticket prices for 11 and 12 year olds. The Club is drawing up a plan for next season which will include a new age bracket of under-16s.
2.16 Update on the Draw for Mascots
SJ advised that all season ticket holders are now entered into the mascot draw with members.
2.17 One-way Vehicle System for Matchdays
The point was raised at the previous FCC meeting that pedestrians are walking outside the barriers around the VIP parking in front of Main Reception. JD said the Club’s Head of Security will explore options in the closed season.
Held on Tuesday 13 November 2018 – King Power Stadium
Attendees: Adrian Neal, Alan Digby (Foxes Trust), Becky Taylor, Cliff Ginnetta (LC Supporters Club), Christine Graham, Dinesh Prajapati, Jack Munton (Union FS), Joshua Malam, Nicholas Heard, Paul Angrave, Peter Wilson, Richard Smith, Samantha Guyler, Sandra Fixter (DSA), Sarah Mitchell (DSA), Shaun Jackson. Dave Stevens (Leicestershire Police)
LCFC Personnel: Susan Whelan (CEO), Anthony Herlihy (Director of Communications), Caroline McGrory (General Counsel), Simon Capper (Finance Director), Jim Donnelly (Supporter Liaison & Disability Access Officer), Liam Docherty (CRM Manager), Stuart Johncock (Head of Supporter Engagement), Esther Walker (Executive Assistant to CEO)
The final part of the minutes will be published later this week covering new agenda items requested by FCC members.