Supporters meetings with FGR

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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby NewForestRover » Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:13 am

Tomiswalking wrote:It isnt too late NFR! Keep going.

Are you able to make the cheltenham game?


No.
Once was enough!

:lol:
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby Timb » Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:17 pm

There was no discussion about setting up a specific singing section in the East Stand.

There was a general discussion about how the singing is building all round the ground over recent games, which is good. Hopefully by the end of the season enough supporters will have lost their inhibitions to increase the decibels around the ground so that the whole place is a singing section. For those that want to join in that is.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby Eco-Exile » Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:37 pm

Timb wrote:The October Supporters Meeting was held on Monday with an open discussion between FGR (Henry Staelens, Paula Brown, Mark Smith) and 7 supporters.

A number of issues were discussed including possible improvements at all 4 stands. The club will now consider the points raised and feedback will be given in due course as to any improvements that can be implemented around the ground. From points raised previously by supporters, the following improvements and changes are now confirmed, as in the pipeline, or being actioned.

New ticket categories being looked at to suit U21 fans.

Review taking place on the stadium speaker system, with potential view to improve during close close season around the ground.

Away supporters of teams with low support will be allowed access into The Green Man, this is already happening this season.

Groups watching from the North Stand will be requested to enforce more control of youngsters, and warnings about stray balls during warm ups and matches.

“Kick It Out” anti-racism announcements will be made prior to every match from now on.

A more formal Man of The Match presentation will be made in The Gym Bar after each game, using a small podium, PA and Microphone, so that all supporters attending The Gym Bar after the game can be part of the Man Of The Match presentation.

New systems are being put in place in The East Stand Concourse to increase throughput of orders at outlets to reduce queuing at half time and before the match. Feedback from fans would be welcomed on this.

Tap Water is available on request from all outlets. Additional staff training to be undertaken,

Disabled access is available to The Gym Bar via reception to all disabled supporters, and also exit via reception and in via turnstiles.

Other improvement suggestions were also raised at the meeting and are now under consideration, and will be reported as and when a decision is made.


Very good answers and information to address and provide clarity on issues others and I raised. Thank you.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby FGR Supporters Club » Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:08 pm

The next fans meeting with the CEO will be Thursday 6 February 2020 at 5pm at the club, finishing before 6.30.

Mark Smith, Safety Officer, Paula Brown Safety Officer and Henry Staelens CEO will be attending.

Please feel free to come along and raise any matters that you feel need airing face to face.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby Timb » Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:18 pm

As well as the fans meetings, Henry S, CEO, has been receiving questions, and the responses have been published in match day programs over recent games. The text of the questions and the responses are set out below, if you didn't manage to get hold of a copy of the match day programs.

Hopefully some of your questions are answered below, please feel free to contact Henry, he is very approachable.

(Plymouth)

Are there plans to further improve food choice in the outlets?

Yes. We have already increased the menu options, including wraps/sandwiches from the RealWrap Co, Quorn nuggets, and homemade sausage rolls. In a nutshell, we aim to offer our fantastic vegan food to supporters in all corners of The New Lawn, whilst ensuring our speed-of-service doesn’t get dragged down by being too complex. ‘Sides’ like salad and coleslaw are going to be tested in the future, and hopefully some more ‘home cooked’ options can be developed. The outlets are restricted in what they can sell due to various limiting factors.

Since FGR Ladies have moved to play their games at The New Lawn it seems they have barely played – can you offer an update please?

The FGR Women (improved re-name for this season and going forward) have had a few games called off due to both weather and a cup tie as well. We’re working closely with the FGR Women’s Chairman and others to make sure the team get all of the support they need to have a great future.

How is the setting-up of international fan clubs coming along?

It’s an exciting opportunity for FGR – officially recognising our global fanbase and supporting them as they continue to follow us from all corners of the world, that’s really cool. We have had over 80 applications in a very short space of time, from Alaska and Los Angeles to Melbourne and Perth, and everything in between. The next step is start working with these groups and seeing how far we can take it.

I note that our phonelines don’t operate on matchdays, this became apparent against Crewe when I called to see if the game was on or not. What’s the thinking behind this?

Phonelines have not been open on Saturdays for years and this hasn’t been flagged as an issue – until now. Other clubs do operate this model, as all staff are getting everything organised for the Matchday. If phones were open, there would be long hold queues (frustrating). Then, if you get through our Reception Team wouldn’t be able to provide any updates different to our online channels. We’re looking at a new text service and FGR App, hopefully for next season.

With one postponement and one near-postponement in last two weeks, could you advise how games are called off?
It is important to clarify that the club has absolutely zero authority to decide whether a game is on or off; this is at the discretion of the referee only, who will liaise closely with our Head of Football Operations. The process against Billericay last weekend was interesting, with the ref making his decision at 2.30pm – very late - if the game had been called off at this point, then every fan (home/away) would’ve been at the ground – but thankfully, it was the extra time that he allowed that saw the game go ahead.

(Swindon)

This week, rather than my usual Q&A column, I thought it important to address the off-field issue we faced during the last home game (Scunthorpe United), plans moving forward and some other thoughts around the subject.

Firstly, and most importantly, the club has an absolutely zero tolerance policy against racism, or any kind of targeted abuse. The incident which occurred against Scunthorpe was inappropriate and not something, thankfully, we have encountered before, but we moved quickly to make sure the right action was taken in line with legislation as well as EFL/Kick it Out guidelines; I’m pleased with our response. The person in question has been banned from all home matches until the police investigation is complete. We will then make a longer-term decision, based on the outcome of this.

Since the incident occurred, we have been in direct communication with senior management of Kick it Out who, as well as complimenting us on how quickly we dealt with the incident, are working with us on future initiatives in order to further reduce the chance of similar occurrences in the future at The New Lawn.

We will be holding our dedicated Kick it Out match against Northampton in March 2020 and we’ve invited their CEO to join us.

“We were pleased to see Forest Green take such swift action on the recent incident, which sends a clear message that discrimination will not be tolerated. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the club for supporting our campaign and look forward to their dedicated game in 2020” commented Roisin Wood, CEO of Kick It Out.

Moving forward, I would ask that if any supporter hears anyone using racist, homophobic or other such inappropriate language that they make a steward aware. We are a club that is welcoming and friendly to all supporters and we’ll make sure this remains a priority.
I’d also like to update on the pitch incursions that happened in our match with Plymouth – following work from our safety team, the away fans that entered the pitch have been identified and are currently being dealt with by Devon and Cornwall police.

Scunthorpe

What was the story with the water tanker at the Plymouth match?

For big matches, we almost inevitably run out of water during the first half (or get close to). It happened last season against MK Dons, Tranmere, Lincoln and Exeter – this is a potential hazard that could see the game abandoned. This season, we won’t be taking any chances and will have to invest in a backup water supply for the bigger matches. A new stadium designed for a growing football club sounds like a sensible idea…

Lots of talk about getting a drum stand for South Stand – has this happened?

We spoke to some of the South Stand regulars at the Fans’ Forum and said we’d get a drum stand sorted. Since then, we’ve been speaking to the drummer about different options – believe it or not, there are loads of different options! So yes, in short, it’s happening and we will always support initiatives that improve the atmosphere.

How’s the club doing this season in terms of attendance and commercially?

Commercially we are flying - in terms of matchday, sponsorships and merchandise. The main thing now is to make sure the improving/evolving fan experience doesn’t suffer because of the extra work. Regarding attendance, I’ve heard some say that it is drastically down - that’s just not the case. We’ve only had one ‘big’ match this season (Plymouth), but by this time last year we’d had Swindon and Cheltenham. By May, I expect our average home crowd to surpass last season should we be fighting for promotion once again. Bar/catering figures are on track too, plus hospitality has almost quadrupled since November 2018.

I’ve noticed a different stadium setup for cup games vs league games … mainly that the West terrace and the Black & White lounge is closed. What’s the idea behind this?

Until such day that we draw Liverpool in a cup competition and Mo Salah makes his way through Nailsworth, our cup crowds are always smaller. We’ve reduced ticket pricing for all cup games and it makes very little difference – if it’s not a game that’s included in a season ticket, then it seems to be the one that some choose to skip. So, it’s more efficient to manage three stands, plus having three busy stands is a better TV backdrop for the highlights shows.

A couple of points on the matchday programme: it took until page 5 before any mention of our opponents and the fixtures & results page is difficult to read.

Not sure what your question is but we’re really pleased with the changes made to improve the programme over the last two seasons. It can always get better and feedback is welcome and sought at the end of each season. The results and fixtures page is the best way to currently to fit so much information into a limited space but we will look at the design to see if it can be easier to read.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby Tommo » Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:31 am

TimB - thanks loads for posting that. I don’t get the programme regularly any more. If I buy it, I just throw it into recycling after the game and that doesn’t seem worthwhile. However, this information doesn’t appear elsewhere and it’s great.

Cheers
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby michael » Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:21 am

similarly thanks.

i guess to make it worthwhile-the onus is to keep the (mainly sensible ) questions flowing.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby Tomiswalking » Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:06 pm

Thanks so much for all the info.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby michael » Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:14 pm

Tommo wrote:TimB - thanks loads for posting that. I don’t get the programme regularly any more. If I buy it, I just throw it into recycling after the game and that doesn’t seem worthwhile. However, this information doesn’t appear elsewhere and it’s great.

Cheers


if we are completely honest-is that for the same reason as me ?

i read the comments about improvements-but compared with the content you get at the majority of EFL2 clubs and 50% of national league clubs-(at same price )frankly-the programme is imo poor value.

that given-i accept its probably quite a bit down the priority list of things to do ,so not really bothered anyway ;but i don't think it will win too many awards.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby FGR Supporters Club » Sat Jan 11, 2020 7:39 pm

If you're a member of the Supporters Club please check your email, and the SC forum on here, ref the upcoming Player Sponsors Event at the Carlisle game later this month.

A response is needed by Wednesday 15 Jan.
Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/FGR_SClub for news updates including Away Day Travel ;)
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Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby Pitchfork » Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:12 pm

The next CEO Fans' Meeting is on 6th Feb 2019.

The gathering will be held at The New Lawn at 5pm

Mark Smith, Safety Officer, Paula Brown Safety Officer and Henry Staelens CEO will be attending.

Please feel free to come along and raise any matters that you feel need airing face to face.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby Timb » Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:26 pm

Just bumping this up for the meeting tomorrow afternoon at FGR at 5pm.

If anyone would like to attend to discuss any particular issue or suggestion then please feel free to come along and meet the Chief Executive, henry staelens, paula brown commercial manager and mark smith safety officer.

It's an open forum and all are welcome to attend.

If you can't attend then post any points for discussion on here before 5pm tomorrow and they'll get raised.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby The Old TomCat » Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:17 am

I attended last night’s meeting along with five other supporters. Unfortunately two of them had to leave room mid-way to attend a different supporters meeting.
I was only season ticket holder who is a member of the travel club in the room.
I’m sure someone will later send out minutes of meeting but here is my take:

• There was discussion about the poor atmosphere at recent games. I said that the underlying feedback I’m getting is that at next home game it will be markedly improved. The obvious distress to Matty S at Carlisle game seems to have changed attitudes for the better.

• The CEO said that pre-match both the Gym Bar & Green Man are always packed out. He was requested to arrange further bars at both North & South Stands. The CEO gave an inconclusive reply.

• The CEO stated at first game after the drum platform had been erected it was vandalised. All the mandatory padding around the scaffolding had been ripped away. He was also disappointed that 15 fans climbed on platform, which was in violation of H&S. However the CEO did agree that subsequently there had been no problems.

• The CEO said the club will not be involved in the EFL sponsored Three Peaks Challenge in June.

• The pitch at TNL is less than 100% perfect. CEO had received an email for up-to-date information about it but was reluctant to discuss the issue. He preferred to talk about state of pitch at Grimsby or Mansfield or Tranmere saying ours looked good in comparison. It was like trying to draw blood from a stone and he kept throwing question back to supporter. Eventually it was disclosed that the under-soil drainage pipes had cracked in two places and could not be fixed until close season. Last season the pipes had cracked in five places so the situation is a lot better than then. He also mentioned that the pipes have a maximum 15 year life span and FGR replace them around halfway during that period.
We all agreed that Adam the groundsman is doing a fantastic job.

• There was a vigorous debate about where to put the away fans and here I admit I was only person in room to strongly suggest they be returned to North Stand. Having away supporters so close to the pitch for its entire length is, to my mind, allowing them too much influence. Our home results since the change from North to West Stand is poor and I put it down almost entirely to that reason. During the Exeter game [which we lost] their fans almost certainly influenced the referee in their favour.
The CEO was not remotely interested, saying that away fans would make more noise in North Stand. Big deal, I’d rather have them making a noise than actually influencing the game.
The CEO had received an email asking him to discuss having away fans so close to pitch with manager but had not done so, claiming it is outside the manager’s remit where fans are housed. Funny that because it was a previous manager who convinced club to swap the home stand from North to South.
I also said the away trip to West Stand at TNL is probably the worst of any other for opposition supporters. The CEO disagreed and said that he hardly ever gets any complaints. I replied that’s because those guys are voting with their feet and avoiding TNL and losing the club valuable money. Another good reason to put them back in North Stand.

• There was discussion about erecting a scaffold/canvas roof over West Stand. Here I admit I mis-spoke and was misunderstood. Tim B, whose day job is involved in complex planning, said it would be dangerous. He had assumed I suggested the roof be as high as adjoining small stand, whereas I meant it only be as high as rear wall, even if it only comes halfway forward.
Standing under the open sky is the biggest complaint by visiting fans and one I agree with. I would not want that at any ground I visited especially in cold wet weather.
After Tim left room for his other meeting, conversation returned to same subject. The answer then was that the club would not want to do this because not all spectators would be under it!!
Yea gods, spectators could move to back of stand and of course the prevailing wind is from that direction so probably those at front would also be dry.
Erecting a scaffold roof is fairly inexpensive and the club would recover its expensive with more visiting fans.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby Kentstripe » Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:08 pm

Thanks for the write-up OTC.

Must say that some of those the responses from the CEO don't sound all that great. Particularly regarding away fans, it is delusional to think that the majority are happy with the facilities provided, every club I have visited in league 2, including Stevenage, Macclesfield and Crawley, arguably the 3 smallest clubs, provide decent covered accommodation for our fans and the club should be doing everything it can to reciprocate that.

The pitch debate sounds overly evasive/defensive too. Pointing out one or two other club's pitches being in poor condition is irrelevant, and by the same token you could point to many other clubs pitches which are in much better condition. The question is why is ours, which used to be award winning, in a pretty poor state and what can be done to improve it.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby voodoobluesman » Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:35 pm

We have to now remember that the club made a loss last year, so funds may not be so readily available this year. This should also be coupled with the chairman's desire for a new ground and the property development of TNL. The worst the conditions are at TNL, then the better the case for a new stadium would be. Don't expect them to be throwing money at TNL any day soon.

Or am I being too cynical?

Also, I have no major concerns over the Wet Terrace, and if it discourages other team's fans, then I don't particularly care. The North Stand, when it had opposing supporters in often drowned out our support, so any advantage we can get is preferable.

Or am I being too harsh?
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby Too occasional fan » Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:39 pm

A new stadium will also have a pitch that needs looking after, and costs money to do so. It is part of running a facility.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby The Old TomCat » Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:42 pm

voodoobluesman wrote:We have to now remember that the club made a loss last year, so funds may not be so readily available this year. This should also be coupled with the chairman's desire for a new ground and the property development of TNL. The worst the conditions are at TNL, then the better the case for a new stadium would be. Don't expect them to be throwing money at TNL any day soon.

Or am I being too cynical?

Also, I have no major concerns over the Wet Terrace, and if it discourages other team's fans, then I don't particularly care. The North Stand, when it had opposing supporters in often drowned out our support, so any advantage we can get is preferable.

Or am I being too harsh?


# Whatever the conditions are at TNL will not hasten move to Eco Park. It was mentioned at meeting that is is almost certain that FGR will not move before end of 3rd season from now.
# Kentstripe has already answered your second point "provide decent covered accommodation for our fans and the club should be doing everything it can to reciprocate that."
# Having away fans at pitchside is far more to their advantage that keeping them behind the goal.
This season's stats confirm that > home: 5 wins, 4 draws & 6 losses [19 pts] // away: 7 wins, 5 draws and 4 losses [26 pts]
Besides I like a set of noisy opposition supporters - it livens up the game when our own fans try to outsing them.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby The Old TomCat » Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:46 pm

Too occasional fan wrote:A new stadium will also have a pitch that needs looking after, and costs money to do so. It is part of running a facility.

Sorry but you need to elaborate your thinking.
I'm not sure where you are coming from.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby Kentstripe » Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:31 pm

voodoobluesman wrote:We have to now remember that the club made a loss last year, so funds may not be so readily available this year. This should also be coupled with the chairman's desire for a new ground and the property development of TNL. The worst the conditions are at TNL, then the better the case for a new stadium would be. Don't expect them to be throwing money at TNL any day soon.

Or am I being too cynical?

Also, I have no major concerns over the Wet Terrace, and if it discourages other team's fans, then I don't particularly care. The North Stand, when it had opposing supporters in often drowned out our support, so any advantage we can get is preferable.

Or am I being too harsh?


It’s about being fair imo. A lot of clubs pride themselves on their hospitality and so should we. Treat them well off the pitch and beat them on it.

I believe like me you travel to a number of away games and can imagine that if we were served up the sort of facilities we provide there would be quite a few complaints from our fans, particularly if there was a covered terrace about a third full at best right next to us as we got soaked. For the club to say that away fans would outsing us sounds a bit small minded/petty tbh, there are always more home then away fans so we should have the ability to outsing them whichever stand they’re in and whether they have a roof or not. The fact we’re a quiet crowd should not be taken out on visiting fans.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby Timb » Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:44 pm

OTC you've managed to put an extraordinarily negative perspective of the meeting , and missed a lot out among other things.

You're right. Some notes will be produced and published.
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