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Canaries Trust Meeting with NCFC Senior Team - Tuesday 3 August 21 at Carrow Road

In attendance:

Robin Sainty, Canaries Trust Chair (RS)

Mandie Thorpe, Canaries Trust Vice Chair (MT)

Andy Polley, Canaries Trust Marketing & Comms Lead (AP)

Glenn Bate, Canaries Trust Corporate & Social Responsibility Lead (GB)

Laurie Egan, Canaries Trust Fundraising Lead (LE)

Gary Field, Canaries Trust Treasurer - via Teams (GF)

Zoe Ward, NCFC Business & Projects Director (ZW)

Sam Jeffery, NCFC Commercial Director (SJ)

Dan Houlker, NCFC Head of Communications (DH)

Lynette Hannant, NCFC Head of Supporter Services (LH)

Caroline Ellis, NCFC Supporter Services Manager (CE)


The group discussed the BK8 situation and a discussion was held around betting sponsorship in general. It was agreed that the Club would continue to discuss this area with the Trust going forward

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)/ Asset of Community Value (ACV):

MOU - Should we re-visit, with a view to improving or amending? This is an issue for both sides to consider and discuss at a later stage.

ACV - already discussed at recent RS/ZW lunch. The Trust explained that we understand the position that Michael and Delia would never sell the ground. Our take is something different – in that registering Carrow Road would be highly effective PR, allowing the Club to reinforce its image as a community club, rooted in the community. This has always remained on the agenda and is something that we would wish to pursue. There appears to be a belief on the Club side that an ACV would impact on its ability to develop the ground, but this is not the case. GF pointed out that Anfield has long been registered as an ACV, but this has had no impact on the building of the new main stand.

Sam Hall - Head of Legal to review. The Trust would be happy for one or two of us to sit down with Board members to talk it through, as our concern is that the current third-party nature of the discussion means that there is an element of “Chinese whispers.”

GF also confirmed that the topic of stadia being registered as ACVs has appeared on the agenda for the Fan Led Review currently being undertaken by Tracey Crouch on behalf of the government.

Trust flyer with accounts:

This was something that had been discussed with Ben Kensell. It was confirmed that it would be specifically in relation to shares, and the service we offer in terms of matching buyers and sellers.

ZW to discuss internally and get back to us.

Return to football/GB presentation:

GB introduced his extensive work on Health & Safety, secret shopper on behalf of the Club, where he works closely with Stephen Graham. He is keen to present the report of his work to the Club, something that has been delayed due to lockdown and he would appreciate some feedback on that. LH is to set up a meeting with Dean.

Mental Health:

MT advised on the splendid work ongoing by the Trust, on an area that has grown exponentially, especially around elite sport. MT asked if there was anyone at the Club who we could access for our Mental Health minis series.

DH advised that he and LH are sorting a framework of access to players and other Club assets for all fan groups, which should be released soon. We can then review this and determine how we wish to use our quota.

Women in Football:

MT asked DH/ZW if the Club had considered getting involved in the Her Game Too movement, which is building up momentum and support for women in football. DH confirmed that this is being considered but pointed out that any initiative the Club gets involved in must be activated properly, and so the Club would want to consider what that support looked like.

MT raised the issue of support for NCWFC team from the Club. ZW explained that the with the Club they have been working on the less visible stuff (behind the scenes) to try to get the women’s team into a good place. This has included committee support and funding the Nest to give them a home.

ZW noted that the organization of NCWFC had developed significantly from its early days, and that there is now a firm base to build upon.

While it is important to build gradually, NCFC are offering much more support than they have done previously in terms of covering a lot more costs, in order to free up what NCWFC make in gate receipts, which will allow them to start investing and paying expenses, etc.

SJ advised of a huge positive this week – the Club are looking at expanding Commercial conversations to include CSF and NCWFC. All sponsorship conversations will now include carve outs for CSF and Women’s team. Around £5k a year is being aimed for, with £2.5k achieved in one deal. Hopefully, this will produce some quick wins, and it is hoped to have a couple of people from the Club on the committee.

As part of the closer ties to the Club help is being offered to review and amend NCWFC’s constitution and strategic planning. This is a genuine commitment. DH confirmed that he will be working a lot more closely with the Women’s team and doing very similar things to the First Team, although on a slightly smaller scale.

ZW asked for volunteers for matches as NCWFC are struggling with volunteers to help them on match days. Can we help them with any volunteering? Action point for us to advertise/push this with members and on social media.


AP raised the issue of our positioning on the Club website and queried whether we can talk about moving that around. DH confirmed that the website is being re-built and the Club are preparing to launch a new one.

Match day programme - AP advised that he has had conversation with Simon Larkin, and we’ve submitted our first picks, the expectation is that there will be something Trust related in every programme. The copy for the Liverpool programme has now been delivered to the Club.

AP raised the positioning of the Trust - we shouldn’t simply be lumped in with other fan clubs, as we are shareholders and offer something different.

Global Canaries - some of them may have been under-represented, improvements with international membership, etc. but still some way to go. AP asked if we could build that up a bit more.

Merchandise - could there be some slightly different ways of looking at international fans, i.e., offers, incentives.

CE confirmed that they are working on an international “package” - engaged with those fans for feedback. New designated supporters’ area on the new website.

Data Sharing - update:

AP explained the background - and asked again for the data information to be provided. No personal details, just profile data. SJ asked why we needed it - LE explained that it was to allow us to align the make up of the Trust board to the fanbase demographic to make us as representative as possible. ZW confirmed that Sam Hall would look into the feasibility of this.


RS asked for an update on player availability. DH says that players are unable to attend any events which could put them at risk of missing games due to Covid.

Club media staff are also not mixing, mostly working remotely as much as possible with many excluded from Colney at present.

There was discussion around whether to push back the date of AGM resulting in a decision to do so temporarily until we could either have access to a player for the Q&A or decide to conduct the AGM online and have a live player forum later

ACTION - MT to cancel booking with Canary Catering. After Meeting Note: this has been done and the CC team have confirmed the cancellation.

Canary Challenge Pitch presentation:

Red Zone means pitch is a no-go area. So cannot commit to when we’ll be able to hold this. Keeping this on the agenda.

Trust anniversary:

LE discussed the background to the Trust. We want to have some events to celebrate. We discussed how the Club may be able to support an anniversary event(s).

ZW will discuss with D&M.

How can we help the Club?

RS asked how best we could support the Club going forward.

This resulted in a discussion around confidentiality, which is a key requirement of the MoU including timing of engagement with us on big announcements (for example, 10 minutes before an announcement is no good, as gives us no time to review and prepare our position or provide feedback).

Also, the Club to use the meeting as more of a consultative forum and for it to be less transactional. The Club acknowledged the onus was on them to bring forward suitable matters.

GB pointed out that we have a wide range of experience in different fields in the Trust, and this is something that the Club could tap into.

Possibility of vulnerable adults rolling forward season tickets:

RS had raised this previously with LH, having been asked for comment by the Daily Telegraph. DH confirmed that an announcement being drafted and almost ready to go. After meeting note: This is now in the public domain

Future liaison with Club staff:

We discussed the need for more focused contact between the Club and the Trust, given the increasing number of issues requiring communication and it was agreed that reporting lines need to be clear to avoid duplication of effort and avoid taking up too much of any one individual’s time

CE to set up a date with AS to discuss further, but she will be our focal point moving forward, taking the pressure off LH.

It was also agreed that there should be more agenda input from the Club side for future meetings to maximise the two-way nature of the relationship between us.


Fair Game movement – This had been raised by RS to ZW, but she hasn’t had the chance to look at it yet.

MT - Notice period for meetings/Atmosphere WG is generally not sufficient (2 days this time) - SJ confirmed this particular meeting was last minute but in future there would be more notice.

GB has been in contact with the father of autistic child who had been severely traumatized when a Villa fan jumped the barrier. A Stadium tour arranged, but the boy is still too frightened to return. GB asked whether he could go to the Nest and/or Colney as an alternative.

GB also asked whether the Club’s post covid Risk Assessments have been published and could he have a copy? ZW will check.

Date of next meeting:

November 21 - date and time TBC.

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