Middlesbrough Supporters Forum……Meeting 30

Held at Middlesbrough FC. Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough.                                                  Tuesday 9th. July, 2019 at 7pm.

In attendance were:

Christopher Joseph      Chair / President – M.S.F.
Peter Hodgson      Secretary – M.S.F.
Rob Nichols      Fly Me to the Moon Fanzine.
Dave Roberts      RedArmy.TV
Mark Motley     M.S.S.
Representative     Red Faction group.
John Donovan      Twel2th Man.
Jimmy Wilson      MOSC.
Yvonne Ferguson      Middlesbrough FC.
Paddy Cronesberry MBE.      MDSA.

Apologies were received from the following members:

Caroline Walker      Diversity & Equality
David Joyes      Middlesbrough FC

Per normal practice, after circulation to all parties by e-mail, the minutes of meeting 29 were accepted as read.

Matters arising from previous meeting: –

  • Foodbank initiative – First foodbank collection will be Sat 10th August -v- BRENTFORD. We have been in contact with Brentford Bees people and they will promote it on their websites & local media to encourage their supporters coming to the Riverside to make a donation to our Foodbank initiative. RN, CJ, DR and YF will all ensure plenty of info gets onto local media.
  • Proposed meeting with new Police Chief. Rob has spoken to him and he will organise a date          to meet up when the new season gets underway. RN to follow up.
  • Gary Parkinson Fundraiser. Dinner re-arranged until later in season (prob. Jan/Feb 2020).
  • MDSA bus funding. PC & PH researching actual costs re-new vehicle.
  • Financial Status Report for MSF for y/e. 30th June 2019.

Peter Hodgson reported thus:

Balance c/fwd from 1st July 2018 was –               Cr. £    454.12p

Cash paid in during year to 30th June 2019 –            £ 1,200.00p

Expenses during year to     30th June 2019 –            £    384.77p

CREDIT Balance to yr end   30th June 2019 –           £  1,269.35p   (at Bank)

Audit Notes: – PH reported that funds were enhanced due to a sponsorship package from a local I.T. and Training company plus the nominal member contribution of £50 per group.  MSF group started in January 2017 so we have now operated for 30 months.  Total amount of money we have spent during those 30 months is £930 – which equates to £31 per month or approx. £1 per day. We have 9 actual contributing members and 2 “officers” of the MSF so operating costs per each individual contributing group have been about 9 pence per day.

MOSC – operational status: –                                                                                                   

MOSC have not operated this last season (2018/19) and have had major issues re-admin and management. Several officers did not contribute to their elected responsibilities as expected. An EGM was held in Feb 2019 to try to sort out problems to enable continuity but this did not happen. It was agreed that a position as to their future would be taken at an AGM to be held in July.


Jimmy Wilson informed us that a meeting would be held later this month (JULY 2019) and he would report back next meeting as to the status of MOSC going forward – or not.


RedArmy.tv & RedArmyRadio: –                                                                                                   

Dave Roberts announced that from 26th July, he would “launch” the new “RedArmyRadio” station covering the TEESSIDE region on a 24/7 weekly basis.  Dave showed a short DVD presentation to highlight the excellent new coverage the station will provide to the area – and the impact that the coverage can give to BORO related groups and news across the region too. All partner MSF groups are invited to utilise the opportunities available and also to become contributors to the ongoing news from the Boro specialist fan groups.

Twel2th Man – Ticket subsidies: –                                                                                                                    

Asked whether there was an opportunity to consider subsidies of ticket or travel prices where AWAY games are broadcast “live” on TV & when KO times are changed to early or late times, causing huge inconvenience to supporters. It was suggested that when Football clubs are due a “compensation package” of about £12,500 per game when televised – which IS A BONUS for the inconvenience – would a suggestion of £10 a head OFF the coach fare for 10 coaches (= £5,000 subsidy) – or off the away ticket price be considered. It could mean the difference between 500 fans OR 1,000 fans travelling to support OUR TEAM. Which is better? We will write to MFC.

FMTTM – various issues: –                                                                                                           

Rob reported that the latest FSA meeting raised a few issues worthy of discussion. The prospect of    the European Super League as proposed by UEFA looms larger each week. The big clubs across the Continent are working with UEFA towards a “closed shop – two-tier Super League” with no relegation which will hoover-up huge amounts of commercial revenue and make the rest of the clubs a lot poorer. Meetings at a higher level between FSA, the FA and FL are continuing apace. CJ proposed that we draft a letter of “concern” to the President of UEFA (Aleksander Ceferin) PH also suggested that we send a similar copy to the President of FIFA (Gianni Infantino) as sending a letter to Ceferin’s “boss” might make him feel a little more uncomfortable about receiving a letter from a “small town in Yorkshire’s” fans forum – who have also had the audacity to write to HIS boss.   Proposal carried.  CJ will attend to this. Rob also added that the Premier League have agreed that “Anti -Super-League banners” will be allowed in stadiums.

Financial Fair Play: –                                                                                                                     

FSA also discussed the many issues that have raised concerns about the management / stewardship of an increasing number of Football clubs in the UK.  There has been, season after season – issues thrown up of chicanery and skull-duggery by “owners” who seem to all intent and purpose to use the Football Club for their own ends.    Supporters are treated as “the great unwanted” – they are financially abused and kept in the dark.    Not until threats of Liquidation or the Receivers knocking on the doors does the truth behind the Boardroom doors emerge. There is supposed to be a clause in the FA rules that says “people who want to buy a Football Club, must be of a FIT & PROPER standard in all aspects of the business.“ Numerous incidents have proven that this HAS NOT BEEN the case – and at some clubs, players & staff have not been paid for months & creditors have gone to the wall due to non-payment of outstanding bills. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.     The FSA have suggested that Football authorities at all levels look to introduce and rigidly implement far more stringent and appropriate financial and licensing conditions as soon as possible.  We will keep an eye on this issue with the FSA, who have our full support.

Environmental Issues: –                                                                                                             

Rob also reported several suggestions that were discussed to make football stadiums a “greener place to be” – and so much more environmentally friendly for everyone’s benefit.  Ideas include: Re-usable beer tankards for a £1 deposit – Wooden cutlery to replace plastic type and paper straws – No balloons – replacing plastic bags and food trays with paperboard types.  It was decided to take this further once the season got under way.  YF also said that she would bring to MFC attention to consider what more they could do.   Anyone with good ideas – get in touch via www.boro.support

Reciprocal Away Ticket Pricing.

Discussed several times before and a letter from EFL has already been issued again across much of the FL. This issue is strongly supported by all fans & we will promote this where & whenever possible.


Ticket Pricing at MFC.

There is still widespread criticism of Boro’s ticket pricing on social media.  How do we handle this?   Rob has already spoken with SG – NB – and AB during the close season.  They all suggested some kind of dialogue could be had with the fans during the close season. To date NOTHING has materialised.    Rob said that SG cited a few reasons why this is such a sensitive issue from a financial perspective.    IF this is the case – would SG hold an open and frank discussion with a group of supporters to totally clarify these reasons.  IF he convinces the fans group that all these issues are justifiable for MFC’s longer term benefit – then we should support that . . . and get that message across to all our groups.

Positivity abounds.  

Comment was also made about how encouraging it was to see SUCH TREMENDOUS POSITIVITY   around the Football Club, the local area AND particularly the fans throughout the Country – and many places across the World – with the appointment of Jonathan Woodgate and his management team.      It certainly bodes well with a great positive vibe for the new season.  Well supported by ALL member groups.

Increase in Disabled Parking costs: –                                                                                      

Paddy queried WHY such a huge increase in costs for the disabled parking was applied for the new season. YF explained the financial rationale behind the reasons and it was a decision not taken without a lot of research and thought. Paddy and his members are not happy about the decision – nor are other disabled parkers.

Open Training Session Day: –

John Donovan suggested an “open training day” at the Riverside open to all fans before the season started – or the first week or so – which could be a great promotional event at little cost. It could be a great PR exercise for all the groups “linked with” MFC and a fantastic experience for our fans. Entertainment could be provided at very little cost and it would be a great opportunity to promote sales from the Club Shop.

YF said it was a good idea and would be considered.


There being no further business, CJ thanked everyone for their attendance and closed the meeting at 8.55pm.


Next TWO meetings will be:

Monday AUGUST 12th and Wednesday SEPTEMBER 11th.                                 

Both at the Riverside – BUT starting time for each will be 6.30pm please.


We will contact all members about a week before each meeting to put together an agenda for discussion on whatever new issues arise in the meantime.