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Canaries Trust Quarterly Meeting with Norwich City Football Club

10th November 2021


Present: Zoe Ward, Lynnette Hannant, Sam Hall (all NCFC), Robin Sainty, Chris Newby, Gary Field, Kathy Blake, Lorraine Taylor, Andy Polley, Glenn Bate, Laurie Egan, Sarah Greaves (via Zoom),


Fair Game Discussions:


ZW said that her discussion with Fair Game had been good but felt that there was a certain amount of idealism especially concerning payment distribution. The ideas put forward would work OK if everyone was starting out with a blank canvas, but there is 150 years of football history and practice to unpick first. While NCFC were happy to keep a channel open for discussion with Fair Game, they felt that they needed to spend more time understanding the key objectives and digesting the manifesto.

RS said this issue was unlikely to go away as football is in a mess right now.


Feedback on Supporters Reporting Concerns:


ZW welcomed suggestions on new ways to report any kind of abuse to the club. RS suggested GB could help as part of his secret shopper work. GB said he thought that the stewards needed briefing better. There had been an incident at the Watford game when one person was swearing, shouting and taunting and that the stewards had been slow to react.

RS enquired if there had been any developments regarding the homophobic abuse reported at the Brighton game. SH said it was still under investigation.


ZW said it made a difference if abuse was reported at the time as it was easier to deal with rather than after the event when it is more difficult to identify perpetrators. A text system was still in place but not many of the Trust board realised which suggests that it is not publicised enough. GB suggested putting the number up in catering areas. KB suggested putting it on the back of stewards Hi-Viz jackets. ZW said not only would this help reporting but might make perpetrators think twice.


LT asked about the procedure where abuse is reported to stewards. SH said they have to produce a report of any incidents that have occurred (if any) at the end of each game.

LE suggested publicising cases where abuse had occurred, and the perpetrator punished. SH said this was a good idea but would need to be generic because of GDPR.

Women in football/#hergametoo/Norwich City Women:


SG said that the FSA survey carried out on Women in Football roughly mirrored the Trust’s own survey.

It was clear there was still much work to do as demonstrated by some of the social media reaction generated by the linking of Emma Hayes name with the NCFC vacancy.

Some EFL clubs had signed up for Her Game Too but so far no Premier League clubs. ZW said a new Inclusion/ Wellbeing Officer had been appointed at the club and would be starting soon. This is something she would deal with.

Everything is in place for the Trust sponsored women’s game against Stevenage. Jerry Goss was attending together with the press. ZW said the club would help with promotion during the 24 hours leading up to the game.


MOU/Glenn’s presentation


RS said that the Trust would review the MoU and come back to ZW/SH with any proposed changes/improvements. Glenn’s presentation has now been delivered.


Restructuring/recruiting at the club/revised business plans/position of club chairman:


ZW said there was no intention to appoint a Club Chairman at the present time. It was also confirmed that the Club would not be replacing the recently departing Chief Operating Officer. Others had stepped up to take on his responsibilities and it was working well. Sam Jeffrey had been appointed as Commercial Director and Sam Hall, who was present, is now Legal & Governance Director. It was also noted that Sam is the Company Secretary and attends Board Meetings.


Membership scheme esp. Chelsea away


At an earlier meeting the Trust had been invited to give feedback on the current membership scheme.

As far as the Chelsea game goes, the club knew that some people would be disappointed with the decision taken but that there were a number of factors the Club had taken into account in making the decision. Danny Casey had previously explained the thinking behind what the club did, and it was understandable.

ACV

ZW reiterated the Club’s former position that there is no need for the ACV at present as Delia and Michael have no intention moving from Carrow Road. The fact that it had been done at other clubs was because of a perceived threat from outside or new owners and this wasn’t the case at Norwich. AP pointed out that this could change, and it would benefit both the Trust and the Club if the latter invited the former to apply for it on their behalf. No agreement was reached.

Fan engagement moving forward/Data sharing -update:

Alistair had been working with Caroline Ellis on fan engagement and the intention was to set up a similar relationship with her replacement when they are appointed.

AP pointed out the purpose of data sharing was that the Trust wanted its membership make-up to reflect that of the NCFC fanbase as much as possible. SH agreed that there was no problem with this as long as GDPR rules were observed fully. AP also pointed out that all Trust board members signed up to a Code of Conduct regarding confidentiality issues. ZW hasn’t seen this so RS asked KB to forward a copy to her.


ZW also updated the meeting on taking a more strategic view of supporter engagement and reviewing the club’s customer service provision which she acknowledged needs to be improved.

Canary Challenge Pitch Presentation:

LH said pitch presentations were still not permitted under Covid regulations.

AOB:


  • RS asked for an update on the ‘Covid Marshall’ issue. ZW said the rules seem to change every week and there had been no indication from the Premier League as to when Plan B might be implemented, they in in turn had no direction from the government.

  • Regarding the foodbank LH said that the club were still happy for this to go ahead in the new year. As far as the bucket collection refusal goes, LH explained that there is a process for charities to follow . The Air Ambulance collection at the Leeds game had gone ahead without the club’s knowledge.

LE reminded the NCFC staff that it is soon the Trust’s 20th anniversary and that we hope to mark it in some way. ZW said it was also the Club’s 120th anniversary and the CSF’s 30th anniversary and suggested there may be a conversation to be had over holding a joint event. The Trust were happy with this.

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