Middlesbrough Supporters Forum……Meeting 33

Held at Middlesbrough FC. Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough 6.30pm Monday 14th October, 2019

In attendance were:-

Chris Joseph Chair – Middlesbrough Supporters Forum

Peter Hodgson Secretary – Middlesbrough Supporters Forum

Caroline Walker Diversity – Middlesbrough Supporters Forum

Rob Nichols Fly Me to the Moon Fanzine

Paddy Cronesberry MDSA

John Donovan Twe12th Man

Yvonne Ferguson Middlesbrough FC

Peter Hall MFC Catering department.

Alan Geddes MFC Foundation.

Boro Fusion representatives.

Boro Supporters Club representatives.

Jen Hayton of One Boro .

Apologies from Dave Roberts, Red Faction, Mark Motley, David Joyes & Rainbow Reds.

Per normal practice, after circulation to all parties by e-mail, the minutes of meetings 32 were accepted as read.

Peter Hall addressed the meeting:

Main focus has been on the new FanZone which is proving to be a real success – Heineken trials at some of the bars have been well accepted and will continue.

Discussion was held regarding the club’s green credentials – PH explained the issues faced regarding reusable glasses – is not as simple as it seems! All single use plastic glasses are recycled by the club. The club is also moving towards wooden cutlery in all concourse and fanzone outlets. PH stated that a lot of thought & research went into the club’s green credentials and different avenues were always being evaluated.

John Donovan asked whether the club had discussed the use of Wind Turbines which was discussed about 6 or 7 years ago. Along the same lines, Imran from Boro Fusion also thought we should look at SOLAR panels as a good energy solution- also BIOMASS Heating could be used for all “heating & domestic water” usage in the stadium. Maybe on Concourses. P. Hall said he would note the points and discuss them further.

RN mentioned meal deals – PH said many new initiatives had been tried and rejected by fans. It appears old favourites ARE the preferred choice. Rob also suggested that food offerings could be advertised on the club website to raise awareness.

PH announced the club’s first “BEER & GIN FESTIVAL WEEKEND” on the 8th 9th and 10th November in a heated marquee near the Fanzone. More info and tickets available on 01642-352781 or events@mfc.co.uk Please publicise on your web- pages.

Alan Geddes from Middlesbrough Foundation addressed the meeting:

Alan introduced the “Football Welcome” programme which works to create a more welcoming atmosphere for asylum seekers and refugees. It will offer football and educational provision at the Herlingshaw Centre.

RN mentioned holding a ‘boots appeal’ for the players plus any other kit which would assist the initiative. Anyone with suggestions for local groups to play Alan’s teams in friendly matches would be much appreciated.

Alan gave an overview of the Foundation and its work. It is not funded by the club or the players (although they give up time to support initiatives) and needs the support of fans to help it to help and support the many people it works with. For example – Alan always needs more sellers to sell matchday jackpot tickets. He also asked members to raise awareness of the Foundation’s work through their own platforms and contacts.

Tuesday Dec 3rd“Question of Boro” – Fundraiser Quiz with Old players v New players – further details from MFC Foundation – phone 01642 – 757674.

Financial fair play: Following a discussion, it was agreed that the MSF would minute its support of Steve Gibson’s stance on financial fair play and the action he is taking.

RN explained why long distance away fixtures often ended up being at the most inconvenient times. This is due to most fans preferring to travel to closer games which are scheduled to be more convenient.

JD called for the club to consider subsidising tickets and travel for games switched due to TV from the money earned from the TV deal. Letter to be sent to MFC suggesting this.

A letter we sent to Neil Bausor regarding reciprocal ticket pricing had not been responded to. It was agreed that the letter would be re-sent, reminding Mr Bausor of MFC responsibilities of reply under the Fans’ Charter.

The MSF wished to minute that it was dismayed at the departure of new ticket office manager Derek Matthews who had attended two meetings and was described by all who attended as “a breath of fresh air with the right ideas “. JD noted that the club was still “behind the times” with ticketing and fans wanted “better pricing, more initiatives and flexibility to lead to bigger crowds.” The meeting agreed.

A “disabled parking issue from P.S”. was passed to P.C. to discuss with club.

Our “next FOOD BANK collection will be Sun Nov 24th at HULL CITY game from 10am as kick off is now at NOON. CW to liaise with Foodbank, Hull City FC & others and issue PR material.

It was noted that “Safe Standing is now a pledge from the Labour Party” and would be actioned swiftly under a Labour Government

An “exit safety” issue raised by supporter (MS) and passed to YF to deal with.

An update was given on the new Boro Supporters’ Club which is almost established.

Rainbow Reds and Boro Fusion are now established.

Jen Hayton of One Boro – briefed the meeting on her group and her personal aims, which were well received by all present.

C.J. reinforced that it was “one member – one group” at monthly meetings. Some matters discussed need occasionally to maintain some confidentiality – but comprehensive minutes are issued for all member groups to publicise on their websites.

It was agreed a separate meeting would meet to discuss new members applications. Next meeting Monday 11th November 2019 @ 6.30pm at the Riverside Stadium.