Middlesbrough Supporters Forum……Meeting 27

Middlesbrough Supporters Forum……Meeting 27.

Held at Middlesbrough FC. Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough-7pm. March. 11th 2019.

In attendance were:-

Christopher Joseph                                Chair / President – M.S.F.

Peter Hodgson                                      Secretary – M.S.F.

Caroline Walker                                      Diversity & Equality – M.S.F.

Rob Nichols                                            Fly Me to the Moon Fanzine

Paddy Cronesberry, MBE.                        Apols due to injury

John Donovan                                        Twel2th Man

Jimmy Wilson                                        Apols due to work

Dave Roberts                                        RedArmy.TV

Mark Motley                                         Apols due to holidays

Representative                                      Red Faction group

David Joyes                                          Middlesbrough FC

Yvonne Ferguson                                    Middlesbrough FC

Invited guests: –                                          We welcomed Andy Wilson from Yarm Reds, Adam Bragg season card holder and Josh – active Red Faction member

Per normal practice, after circulation to all parties by e-mail, the minutes of meetings 26 were accepted as read.

Matters arising from previous meeting:

Foodbank – YF & CW

This event at the QPR game on 23rd Feb. was a huge success, our best to date with over half a ton of food donated at the pre-match collection and £350 in cash. The Middlesbrough Foodbank people were absolutely delighted with the collection which is desperately needed to replenish stocks for increased calls on their services. CW suggested that it might be worthwhile to hold another Foodbank collection if possible, before the end of the season.  YF suggested the Good Friday game against Stoke City would be ok – so it as agreed to do that.  DR and CW commented on the excellent amount of press and local radio coverage the collection got over the next week or so.  Good publicity for all parties involved.

PH asked YF again if the club would consider moving the collection point into the Car Park A or B in front of the West stand. The position near the Shepherdson Way all at the rear of the car park was suggested as it has far greater passing footfall, would heighten visual awareness as to what was happening and would not affect pedestrian or vehicular access.   YF said she would discuss this with Chris Patzelt.

FANZONE Event at Norwich game on 30th March.                                                 YF outlined plans for the Norwich game and asked for volunteers. MFC is also planning a FLAG day with flags needing to be placed on every seat prior to the game. John Donovan offered the services of Twe12th Man group volunteers.


Updates re- Derby County Heating and Celtic Safe Standing initiatives.

David Joyes confirmed that MFC will be looking to attend the proposed “INVITATION to see how the Heating System works” event to be held soon at pride Park but the exact date has not yet been organised.

The info re-our visit to Celtic about safe standing was forwarded to the Minister of Sport Office by local M.P. – Andy McDonald. The response from Mims Davies – Minister of Sport – was very bland and merely suggested it was still under general discussion. Rob had attended the FSF meeting since then and it was suggested that both the FSF AND the Football authorities are “on board” with this idea and further progress should be made once anything other than BREXIT is back on the “agenda”.


Gary Parkinson Go Fund Me and other initiatives.

CW reported that the GFM page was now up and running and donations are nearing £1,000 to date.                                                                                                       CW has spoken to Burnley FC players association and they have agreed to publicise our page – and co-operate where possible on any future initiatives.

PH reported that he and DR are holding discussions with the intention of holding a Sportsman’s Dinner at the Jurys Inn in mid- May. Early days yet but they have had some really good feedback so will be looking to confirm asap.

Match Signage suggestion. 

CJ showed a short P.P. presentation of one of his ideas which he thought may be of benefit to MFC for publicity and Match awareness ideas.  It was for a fairly simplistic match information board to be displayed adjacent to the A66 and Riverside Stadium giving details of WHEN our next match will be taking place. CJ has noticed that lots of other clubs have this information on boards in the approach to the ground or when traffic is queuing to enter and exit the car parks – it is a VERY EFFECTIVE and cheap method of reminding people of future match info. CJ has spoken to several clubs and they all consider it a worthy concept.  It was a simplistic but effective idea.  DJ said that it is something that could be considered and Chris said he will pass his info to DJ.


Racial abuse towards Boro fan, Yusuf – RN.

Yusuf is a well-known Boro fan who runs a Boro fans blog on social media. He videos fans at Boro games and promotes “feel good” clips on “social media” for Boro fans. He is a well-known fan and travels to home and away games. His work is well known to Rob. Recently he was subjected to some racial abuse at a game and has also received similar comments on social media. Rob stated that he had advised him to report this as a hate crime to local Police, having taken advice from the Cleveland Crime Commissioner’s office and FSF police advisor. Yusuf decided not to do this in this instance. Rob will keep us up to date with this as it should NOT be allowed to happen.

Police Liaison meeting – RN.

Rob has recently had  some conversations with the Police Crime Commissioner and Jason Harwin – Assistant Chief Constable ( Local Policing and NPCC lead for Drugs Community Safety Hub ) and a few ideas and suggestions were discussed to improve the whole operational link between Police, fans, club, personal safety, travel ideas etc.  Rob has suggested that we meet up with the Police group and they have offered us a chance to chat with them AND the Senior Police officer in charge of the Football unit in early May. Rob will keep us up-dated on this for next meeting in April.

MFC Ticketing system issues – general.  – RN.

Usual issues and queries re- tickets and prices after publication of season card prices. After a very brief discussion – Yvonne suggested that if we would like to defer this subject until April meeting, she will bring along Derek Matthews who is the new man in charge of the whole range and concepts for a new Ticketing system to be operational for next season at MFC.     Agreed to meet Derek in April.


PH reported that he has seen recent comments in the press about both these groups who had made approaches to MSF last season but did not pursue any further with us.

Under guidance last season from Yvonne – we did suggest that when they had “formalised” their groups further, we’d love to chat to them again to discuss potentially joining up with MSF.

Yvonne explained that both groups had been operating now on a regular basis and they had both had inter-action with Yvonne’s groups.

Yvonne said she would approach them again and report back to CW if any further interest from them.


INVITED GUESTS for this evening – comments.

Andy Wilson of Yarm reds had a query over “exit for coaches” from Car Park E re- holding back the coaches to allow people who are walking through coaches and along the main road.

Yvonne suggested that as we had discussed this on a few occasions, she would ask the MFC safety Officer, Chris Patzelt, to speak to Andy personally on this issue.

All 3 guests had contributed to the various discussions throughout the meeting and had given lots of experienced views and information about several of the issues under discussion.

CJ thanked the guests for their attendance and their very spirited and knowledgeable input to the meeting


There being no further business to discuss, CJ thanked everyone for their support and closed the meeting at 8.45pm.

Next meeting is scheduled for 7pm on Monday 8th April, at the Riverside.