Middlesbrough Supporters Forum……Meeting 16.
Held at Middlesbrough F.C.,Riverside Stadium,Middlesbrough @7pm 14th May 2018
Attendees were :-
Caroline Walker Chair – Middlesbrough Supporters Forum
Peter Hodgson Secretary – Middlesbrough Supporters Forum
Christopher Joseph President – Middlesbrough Supporters Forum
Paddy Cronesberry, MBE. MDSA.
Rob Nichols Fly Me to the Moon Fanzine
Representative Red Faction Fans Group
Mark Motley Middlesbrough Supporters South
John Donovan Twe12thMan Group
Mark Ellis Middlesbrough FC.
Yvonne Ferguson Middlesbrough FC.
Phil Bullock RedArmy.tv
No representation from MOSC as their meeting clashed with this meeting.
Per normal practice, after circulation to all parties by e-mail, the minutes of meeting 15 were accepted as read.
Matters arising from previous minutes:-
The question of online ticket sales raised its head again – this time relating to the Aston Villa play-off matches. There was a lot of anger expressed at the issues that happened and the exasperation of fans who encountered problems and concerns about what would happen if we did reach Wembley – would it be ticket chaos.
There was considerable negative feedback:
Red Faction: On-line & phone ticket problems/can’t purchase coach tickets /used privileges
Chris Joseph: By phone – 80th in queue. Called back – 120th
Mark Motley: Away application-“no online privilege’ message MSS had about 30 complaints.
John D: So many problems of all types from their members.
Phil: RedArmy.tv : Many problems with linked tickets reported.
Rob Nichols-FMTTM: Quite a lot of problems but liaised with Mark Ellis over the weekend and managed to solve many of the issues.
There was a general feeling of frustration and annoyance from all members of the Forum and feedback from their members at this situation, especially when IAN SANDERS from Ticket Master paid us a visit last month and spent a long time explaining how much work TM had put in to solve the problems of ticket sales at the Riverside. We were given reassurance that these problems had all been solved and we would be running smoothly for future games which clearly did not happen.
One concern raised by the club is that about 10,500 supporters had not signed onto the MFC Online Account prior to that weekend
Over that weekend 2,500 of those DID SIGN ON SUCCESSFULLY. (Comprising 2,000 new and 500 existing members.)
It was explained by ME that a new system of logic was put in place by TicketMaster for acceptance for tickets that weekend which the club was unaware of.
The newly added “logic system” dealt with the home and away tickets slightly differently – this was what caused the issues.
TicketMaster and MFC staff put in many extra hours over the weekend to assist fans on the helpline.
By early Tuesday the problem was completely solved.
Thanks to Mark Ellis and Yvonne for answering the many issues that we reported to them over the fans issues.
Statement received from Mark Ellis, MFC.
The club acknowledges that some supporters encountered problems when trying to purchase tickets for the home leg of the Play-off semi-final against Aston Villa.
Many of these supporters had not previously set up an MFC Digital Account and/or linked this correctly to their existing Season Card ticketing account.
There was also an unforeseen issue with the set-up of the Ticketmaster system for home games which required additional “seat management permissions” for
This arrangement was different to that normally encountered by supporters
purchasing tickets for away games.
This was resolved once recognised, but we acknowledge that a number of fans
experienced issues in the first instance.
RAIL SEATING UPDATE.
We have a meeting scheduled on Friday 1st June with Simon Clarke MP at the Riverside Stadium.
Rob and Dave are also attending a round table discussion held in Parliament by the Shadow Sports Minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan in London on Wed 6th June.
FOODBANK COLLECTION UPDATE.
Full details will be given as soon as available but will be early-season home game.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS.
Loyalty Scheme for away games.
We had 21,000 Season Card holders and there had been many requests asking for a suitable scheme to reward the most loyal travelling fans. There had also been many different ideas suggested and during discussion there were several further ideas discussed as to how such a scheme MAY WORK. It was suggested that MSF should discuss this further and all partners in the group could canvass their own members for ideas via their own websites. Mark Ellis said he was happy to listen to all sensible and workable ideas as a future proposition.
Crowd trouble at Millwall game. (MFC)
Mark reported that the Referee had NOT made an adverse comments on the situation however, the FA Observer had made a report and he would keep us advised when the report was received and any action taken.
Supporters General Survey re- Match Day Experience.
We were asked to run a very generic trial survey with all our own group fans over the Summer.
Report and discuss and then open it to the general public via public media.
MSF Website maintenance (RN)
Rob has had discussions with Tom Curry and they have sorted the “glitch” in the system and all should be OK in future.
Report from FSF meeting. (RN)
Rob fed back on discussions held
Cardiff are looking at the Rail Seating initiative
There could be a general proposal put to all clubs.
Hull City look to continue their “no-concession” scheme.
Supporters Stadium Experience: – Lots of concerns over some of the “Restricted View Seats” that are offered by some clubs. Many are very badly situated with viewing restricted for large parts of the pitch. Should there be a policy of drastically reduced prices for drastically restricted views?
Parking charges for Organised Away Coaches. Would clubs or local councils consider organised parking with sensible charges for away support coaches?
Review of MSF partnership workings – with club as first 1.5 seasons draws to a close. (CJJ )
Chris asked for comments as to the success, or otherwise – of how the MSF / MFC relationship has evolved across these first 18 months. The general opinion was that great strides had been made towards a strong relationship between the two parties and lots of good work had been done – particularly on bringing in all the major supporter groups to contribute their opinions and thoughts – and very importantly, some excellent work on the rial seating initiative which has attracted national, media and government attention. Our efforts in bringing all local MP’s together to support our efforts has been excellent. Good progress has been made.
Captain Cook 250th Anniversary – August 2018.
There is still some uncertainty as to whether M’bro Council or The Cleveland Centre will be arranging any events to celebrate this significant date in Local, National and Commonwealth history. We still have our ideas but despite Rob and David’s best efforts in trying to get positive answers from people, it appears that we will just have to wait until the “powers-that-be” can decide on coming to the party – or not. The general feeling in the MSF is that we would like to take some part in a celebration event if at all possible. Further news (hopefully good) will be relayed as and when available.
BORO MATCH PROGRAMME
ME was asked if MFC planned to stop producing matchday programmes in line with the thoughts of other clubs. He commented that there are NO PLANS to do this at this time.
There being no other business, the meeting was closed at 9.20pm.
Next meeting at The Riverside Stadium, Monday 11th June @ 7.00pm.