Present: Ben Kensell, Lynette Hannant, Robin Sainty, Andy Polley, Glenn Bate, Kathy Blake.
Trust organisational chart/NCFC input:
AP walked BK through the new organisational chart and invited his comments. BK was impressed. Gary Dack should be involved in the mental health aspects and no department should be excluded including marketing, fundraising and catering. The idea is to create a new committee of Trust and club staff to take things forward.
Return of spectators to Carrow Rd:
The bare bones of the replacement strategy that the club are proposing regarding the return of fans to Carrow Rd can be found in the separate report on the Zoom meeting held for all fans circulated earlier.
In addition to this BK added that he had earlier had a meeting with the EFL and that he and others had been outspoken about the government seeming to opt out of taking responsibility for what fans do on the way to and after matches. The clubs can’t be held responsible for travelling and what happens in pubs. If necessary NCFC would require fans to travel to the game in cars if it meant we could have a crowd at Carrow Road. He encouraged a concerted effort by all 92 clubs to push the issue.
He was also disappointed that the EFL hadn’t presented a summary package of the pilot games experiences held by eight clubs including NCFC to the government.
The 10-day deadline for match credits had passed. This was because of the ever-changing landscape of Covid19 and its effect on football clubs. Members had however been credited 50% of their subscription as promised.
BK said he hoped that by the start of the 21/22 season in August things would have returned to normal.
AP pointed out that there was a danger of fans getting out of the football habit having found other pastimes, and he hoped that wouldn’t happen.
Meeting with Stephen Graham:
GB reported on the meeting with Stephen Graham about ideas for using Carrow Rd during lockdown.
• People coming into the ground, sitting in their seats and having a coffee to restore a sense of connection.
• There were 41 boxes at Carrow Rd and also the lounges. Why couldn’t socially distanced groups of six watch streamed games in these? There could be a charge of £10 which most fans would rather see go to the club rather than to iFollow. BK said at present this wasn’t possible because of streaming regulations. This had been brought up at the EFL meeting and this could change. Also a beam back with fans in the stands is solely dependent on the SAG (Safety Advisory Group) and whether an agreement could be reached between the EFL and the stream providers.
• GB suggested that the club could set up a tutorial on how to use iFollow as fans had had lots of problems. The club had been providing a help line which was very good and was subsequently pinched by other clubs, but a structured training session would be a possible idea.
• Thinking outside the box, haircuts and beauty treatments available at Carrow Rd.
• Allowing access to the perimeter track for early morning runners. BK pointed out this would have to be stewarded and likely not to be cost efficient.
• Open day. BK said this was a nice idea but would need to manned by volunteers.
GF was not present to provide details but RS was able to confirm that the Trust was now the 12th largest shareholder. BK offered congratulations and whether members were aware. AP said this was in hand.
Health and Safety:
GB thanked BK for the unlimited access to the ground and for the trust shown by the football club. BK said this had been earned.
Stadium tours had been postponed.
BK said GB should liaise with Dean Sharp who was now GP’s deputy. GB would still like to do his H&S presentation for the club and continue as a secret shopper. BK suggested this was something for a future meeting with DS.
GB would like to develop the secret shopper to provide similar information to what the Premier league offers, the work would still be ongoing with the disabled fans surveys. The presentation is a combination of both sets of works (secret shopper & disabled survey) taken last season.
Marketing and Communications related items:
The document AP referred to had initially been produced in August so some items were no longer applicable, however most were.
AP had met with Simon Parkins regarding the Trust featuring on the front page of the programme. No decision had been made but he hadn’t said no.
The planned joint event was obviously on hold.
BK said to still make use of the club ambassadors for on line purposes. That is what they are there for. Get them to tweet, model shirt prizes, wear snoods etc.
Regarding the Colney Academy visit which is at present on hold, AP said we were anxious for a small charge as the aim of the exercise was to raise funds.
Use of Yellows:
BK said Yellows is managed by the catering team. It could be reopened as a sports bar with beam backs or just as a bar with good food. It would however be free some nights of the weeks. Zoe Ward was handling this. AP to meet with Zoe and Stuart Cox later in the month with a list of proposals for Yellows.
Delia’s was proving popular at the moment and the club proposed extended opening hours.
Mental Health Joint Initiative:
RS had met with Gary Dack prior to this meeting as had Kris Gunns. There had been a lot of issues this last month exacerbated by lockdown. RS had spoken to a cross section of fans and highlighted cases where fans were too intimidated to come to matches for fear of running into people who had bullied them on line, and also people who had come off social media because of it. BK said that while this was worthwhile and he agreed to GD supporting RS in this initiative, social media issues weren’t really the club’s issue to deal with as it’s a public forum. RS made the point that while it certainly wasn't the club's role to referee spats on social media the reality was that there were vulnerable people needing support as a result of these and that by working together GD and the Trust could use both our knowledge of the fanbase and the club's access to resources to offer the best possible help.
AP asked for access to the demographics of the fan base and staff at Carrow Rd to compare with that of Canaries Trust membership. BK said this shouldn’t be a problem.
As had been discussed earlier, iFollow had been problematic. The club had done their best to help but it was really out of their hands. They had been promised things would improve.
As far as the ‘Women in Football’ Q&A RS said that the Trust were a bit perturbed that the Club had taken over the event and replaced two of the proposed guests. RS said the Trust would like to charge a nominal fee rather than it being free as the basic idea was as a fundraiser but that this wouldn't be a deal breaker.
KB said there had been a discussion on social media regarding using incoming transfer cash to modify the Main Stand while there were no spectators which would remove the need for temporary relocation. BK said Covid19 was costing the club severely and it was a case of survival and focusing on returning to the Premier League rather than building at this moment in time.
Date of next meeting:
RS and LH to come up with a date in January.