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Minutes of the Canaries Trust meeting with Ben Kensell and Lynette Hannant - Wednesday April 28th




Present:


Ben Kensell, Lynette Hannant, Greg Pillinger, Gary Dack, Steven Wild (NCFC Catering Team)

Robin Sainty, Mandie Thorpe (via Zoom), Kathy Blake, Andy Polley, Gary Field, Sarah Greaves, Glenn Bate (Canaries Trust).


Super League:


This had pretty much died a death since the agenda was written. The NCFC board and the 74 league clubs had been unanimously against it. BK pointed out that the 6 clubs had planned in secret and the other 14 EPL clubs had had no prior knowledge of the announcement. It was thought though that we haven’t heard the last of it.


Relations with the CSF:


SG outlined some challenges that she had experienced in trying to forge a relationship with the NCFC women’s teams via the CSF, in particular there had been considerable delay in response to a flag for the women’s team which the Trust had designed and offered to supply but which had not been signed off in time to be displayed in Carrow Road this season. BK raised an action point to arrange a meeting between Ian Thornton, Zoe Ward and SG possibly involving the team head coach. AP said there was a huge opportunity with this moving forward and it would be nice to get communication sorted. RS also raised SG’s suggestion of a liaison on the Trust side to deal specifically with matters involving the CSF. GD offered to put SG in touch with a colleague at the CSF who he felt would be helpful.


Mental Health:


MT told the NCFC staff about the appointment of David Whiteside and the very impressive work he had been doing with the MH mini-webinars. Some support for future minis would be appreciated in terms of Club staff/players being involved. GD said he had watched them and was very impressed and also offered suggestions for possible improvements. He confirmed how pleased the Club are with the Trust’s work in this area.


Statement about Club/Trust co-operation:


This arose from an earlier conversation between RS and BK and RS asked what the club had in mind moving forward. BK said that following recent events and the furore surrounding the super league, it would be good to publicise how well both sides felt the relationship was developing and that we should amplify an already good relationship. The Trust should take the first step in producing something. AP said the Trust was developing a good reputation outside the Club, ie with the FSA and other trusts with its MH and WIF work.


AGM:


GF said the AGM should ideally be held in March or April but we had until the end of June. It would be preferable to hold it in person so we would like to go for later. BK said the club would be happy to supply a venue with certain conditions and would also prefer it as late as possible. Players would almost certainly be away but there was the possibility of having an ambassador. AP said that Jeremy Goss had been very impressive at the recent prize presentation and that would be an option.


Trust anniversary:


The Trust 20th anniversary is coming up later this year. AP said that as Delia had been very encouraging and supportive of the formation of the Trust, it would be good to organise a dinner which he hoped Delia and Michael would attend along with some of the ambassadors. BK said that it would be wise to send the invite to Delia & Michael themselves.


Canary Challenge presentation:


After not having a winner's presentation for this event for the last two seasons, it would be nice to have one for this year’s winners at the start of next season. KB outlined some previous issues which she hoped could be addressed.

  • Lack of communications regarding the pre-match dropping off of the large presentation cheques.

  • The logistics of the presentation party getting from and back to their seats at half time.

  • The issue of non-match ticket holders taking part in the presentation.


BK said all these problems could be overcome and asked KB to liaise with LH & GP


Women in football:


Apart from the flag as already discussed, there were lots of things in the pipeline. SG had ideas for female fans, Norfolk FA and further work with the NCFC women’s team. Podcasts were planned for Millie, Megan and Louise. The Trust are keen to help advertise games and retweet any posts referring to the women’s team.

The independent survey regarding women attending football matches had been completed and the results were in. It showed that although things had improved considerably, there are still issues, mainly banter and sexism but occasionally abuse. A Zero Tolerance reporting procedure is in place and introduced as the club continues to work towards the Preliminary Level of the Premier League Equality Standard similar to the Kick It Out racism, homophobia reporting. This is not widely known due to lockdown / fans not attending Carrow Road this season. Action point – advertise this widely throughout season 21/22.

SG pointed out that Huddersfield have one game per season aimed at existing and female fans. It was thought whilst this is admirable, they have much lower gates and NCFC would struggle to find the extra seats. GP said now we are in the premier league NCFC were applying for the lower tier of accreditation re discrimination.

SG said toilet facilities also figured on the list. BK pointed out that there had been improvements to toilet facilities, but fans were yet to see these because of lockdown.


Chablais Sports:


RS explained to the meeting about a conversation he had had with his counterpart at Bolton Supporters Trust about a company called Chablais Sports. They produced and marketed replica shirts with a percentage going to club trusts. He appreciated there were licensing implications, and he didn’t want to compromise the football club. BK said that he would check with Retail staff and Kayleigh Coverdale would come back to them directly.


Return of spectators to Carrow Rd:


This will depend upon the success of various pilot events across sports, and nightclubs, cinemas and weddings and is dependent upon HM Government. GD went to Wembley for the Caraboa Cup Final. He said the event was well organised with testing before and after, but fan behaviour was poor. They didn’t wear their masks properly, were abusive to stewards and moved around to sit with mates instead of keeping one seat apart. The success of various events will be judged by data afterwards. NCFC had applied for a pilot event but the governing bodies had decided to go in a different direction. GB offered to do risk assessments for the club but GP said there would be ongoing ground improvements which might get in the way. BK thought that if the Euro final had full capacity, then the government couldn’t really stop full attendances at the start of the season but we will have to wait and see. The club is doing all it can and we were recognised in being a leader in this area.


Marketing and Communications related items:


The anniversary events had already been covered.

AP told the NCFC about Italian Canaries and their planned visit and said that he hoped the club could show support and help make them feel welcome. Italian Canaries are organising a Zoom call imminently to discuss with the Trust.

AP said it was hoped to put on an event to welcome the influx of new members and asked the club for support.

Another possible event was the foodbank. The last planned one had been on the day of the postponed Southampton game.


Data sharing -update:


AP said he had not received any response to the request for data sharing from the club. The Trust simply needed it as a guide to whether or not Trust policies and membership reflected the bigger picture, and the current and future diversity of the fan base.

BK reiterated that the club were undergoing data merging / upgrade of systems. He said data sharing may be reviewed, in line with GDPR regulations, when the process is complete. BK said he would make sure some information about this and the Trust in general including the mission statement went in the club’s internal newsletter. LH to discuss with Head of Engagement & Delivery and introduce the team.


ACV:


GF said he had included this because two land registry alerts had come through to him. BK clarified the position and proposals relating thereto which the Trust were happy with.

The Trust are keen to move forward on registering Carrow Road as an Asset of Community Value and whilst this doesn’t require permission from the Club it is something that the Trust is reluctant to action if the Club objects. BK pointed out that this is a board decision and will raise it at the next meeting.


How can we best help the Club moving forward?


AP said that it would help if the club could endorse publicly Trust initiatives in the same way they did other groups and this was noted.

BK requested that LH is copied in on all correspondence with Club officials so that she can maintain an overview of what’s happening. This was agreed.


AOB:


MT said that Trust membership had soared since the Super League issue and the Trust would like to hold a new members webinar. She invited BK or ZW to attend and speak, particularly about self-funding.


Date of next meeting:


LH to arrange with RS later


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