Minutes for Mbro Supporters Forum……Meeting 31
Held at Middlesbrough FC. Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough. Monday 12th. August, 2019 at 6.30pm.
In attendance were:
Christopher Joseph Chair / President – M.S.F. Peter Hodgson Secretary – M.S.F. Caroline Walker Diversity & Equality. Paddy Cronesberry MBE. MDSA. Rob Nichols Fly Me to the Moon Fanzine. Dave Roberts RedArmy.TV Representative Red Faction group. John Donovan Twel2th Man. Jimmy Wilson MOSC. Yvonne Ferguson Middlesbrough FC. David Joyes Middlesbrough FC.
Apologies were received from the following members: Mark Motley M.S.S.
Chris Joseph also welcomed to the meeting, Michelle Coleman of the recently formed Rainbow Reds group who we look forward to welcoming to the Forum shortly. Michelle gave us a brief synopsis of how their group was formed & their aims and ambitions for the future.
Per normal practice, after circulation to all parties by e-mail, the minutes of meeting 30 were accepted as read.
Matters arising from previous meeting: –
- Foodbank initiative – The season’s first foodbank collection was held Sat 10th August before the Brentford game. We had a great response from the fans, including donations from a good number of Brentford fans who had followed up the publicity on their website and Football club boards that we were holding our event today. It was most appreciated and we will ensure that our fans are encouraged to reciprocate their kind gestures when we pay a return visit to Brentford later this season. This collection was a huge success & raised our best total to-date, 512 Kilos of foodstuffs & £450 cash donations gratefully received. Well done everyone.
- Proposed meeting with new Police Commander, David Sutherland. Rob has spoken to him and he will meet with us on 11th September. CJ and RN will remain in contact.
- Gary Parkinson Fundraiser. Initial invitations for guests are under way. Dinner re-arranged date will be late Jan / Feb 2020. MDSA bus funding. PC & PH starting quotes for actual costs re-new vehicle.
- MOSC. The AGM was held on 16th July 2019. Discussions were held with members and a plan to close the current version of MOSC by 31st August was decided on. Jill Atkinson of the MOSC group has had discussions with MFC (Yvonne Ferguson) and has suggested a new format for a re-invigorated group to carry on as a NEW group with a different status and perspective – and a new name. Discussions are ongoing & very positive. We await further “good news”.
- Fanzone updates. Yvonne reported that the initial reaction to the new Fanzone in West Stand Car park had been a very successful initiative with compliments from all directions. MFC are looking to build upon the success and she gave a brief idea of possibilities to be introduced. It was suggested that a “fan’s karaoke” could also be a welcome attraction as well as local musical groups to entertain the fans pre-and post match It was suggested that she discuss this further with the Forum’s “musical maestro” Rob Nichol.
Matters arising from MSF groups.
European Super League – Initiatives – or threats?
CJ reported on letters sent since the last meeting (no.30) to UEFA. We had received a very prompt response from UEFA President, Aleksander Ceferin supporting our stance and our hopes and concerns about the possible introduction of a “Super League”.
President Ceferin said that this idea that has been talked about for some time but the UEFA stance is that it will never happen in a way that would challenge the concept behind football competitions. Competitions for a “closed group of clubs” is simply not considered acceptable by UEFA. MSF held a Press conference to introduce Mr Ceferin’s comments to the local Football media which was well received and we received congratulatory comments from many sources – good publicity for the actions of MSF.
Re:- Safe Standing: We received an update from Dr. Rosina Allin Khan ( the Shadow Minister of Sport )who has discussed this issue previously with the FSA group and wrote to us as a “supporting group” to say that she is chasing up this situation with the Government and we should support her actions. We have not only reminded the FSA of our support BUT CJ has also written to the Secretary of State for Sport – the Right Hon. Nicky Morgan, M.P. – alerting her to OUR work in relation to the Safe Standing issue . We enclosed a copy of the report we put before our local MP group and the fact finding details we brought away from the Celtic Park site visit – also the “legal” facts we have had clarified in relation to “ appropriate measures that can be taken in relation to helping acceptance of SS by local SAG groups and local councils as well as the actual clubs.” We have already had a response from Nicky Morgan acknowledging our comments and we will be kept informed.
RedArmy.tv & RedArmyRadio:- Dave Roberts announced that the “launch” of the new “RedArmyRadio” station covering the TEESSIDE region on a 24/7 weekly basis has proved to be very successful and although early days, content and coverage is increasing all the time. More staff and contributors are “getting on board” and expectations are very high. Dave highlighted the excellent quality and variation of the new coverage that the station will provide to partners and organisations across the area – and the impact that the coverage can give to BORO related groups and news across the region too. Partner MSF groups such as FMTTM, Twe12th Man, MDSA, The Gazette and Boro Walkers – (with others in the pipeline) – have already contributed to their own “podcast or talk-in” shows which have proved most successful. Yvonne Ferguson asked if there is an opportunity for MFC to utilise the station for promotion and publicity for Boro issues and Dave said he would welcome the opportunity to help whenever possible. YF suggested that it would be a good idea to discuss further.
The RF representative commented on the ticketing issues experienced in early season games via the internet and the issues in relation to the pre- Brentford ticket fiasco causing huge queues with hundreds of fans stuck outside the Stadium at 3.35pm or later. Other members made comments supporting the reports of “chaos” outside the North Ticket office. YF & DJ responded with reasons discovered by MFC re-the “totally unsatisfactory problems” caused in the new system. Hopefully, these have been eradicated and are already under active trial ready for tomorrow’s game against Crewe Alexandra. Other issues relating to individual booking for tickets and “fees” were also discussed – as were issues re- loyalty points for tickets for MDSA travellers.
We were about to discuss the subject of the “Future Direction of MSF” – as raised by RedFaction when the STADIUM FIRE ALARMS were triggered & the meeting adjourned as we were evacuated from the Stadium. Unfortunately, we were not allowed back in until all Fire Brigade checks were completed so the rest of the agenda has been held over until the next meeting. We will obviously issue a new and amended / brought forward or updated agenda in due course.
Next meeting will be Wednesday 11th September at The Riverside at 6.30pm.
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.
(Secretary – M.S.F.)