Please see minutes from the board meeting held with Crawley Town FC on June 25, 2019.
Meeting held on June 25 2019, 4pm at The People’s Pension Stadium.
Those present: Kelly Derham, Joe Comper, Selim Gaygusuz, Nukhan Ruzgar, Sam Jordan, Steve Leake.
The meeting started with Kelly outlining a proposal to unite the fan base. The proposal put forward was for fans to unite and for there to be one supporters group. Paul Hayward had suggested the idea. The suggestion was that supporters would be invited to become members by contributing a monthly figure (e.g £5 or £10) which would entitle them to vote on how the money raised by this united fans set up would be spent.
This money would be ring-fenced so that it could only be spent on what the supporters’ group members voted on it being spent on. Kelly stated she would happily declare the accounts to anyone who wished to see them so members would know it’s only being used for the desired purpose. Steve stated that we had a hard enough job getting people to sign up for Reds Rollover and Joe said that this could be rolled into the new set up, encouraging fans to put their money in by giving them a say in the club.
The club would run the database of members and the voting as to how any money raised should be spent. The discussion moved on to what would happen to the CTSA’s money if one group was to be formed. Sam suggested that perhaps the new supporters’ organisation could hold a small stake in the club (5–10%) and that the CTSA’s money could be used to fund this alongside any money any other supporters or supporters groups may like to add.
Selim doubted that Mr Eren would give up a percentage stake in the club but Kelly would go away and discuss this with Ziya. Sam then informed the club’s board of his intention to step down as Chair of the CTSA to which Kelly & Joe expressed their disappointment. Joe and Kelly stated that in their opinion the proposal went a long way to serving the aim of the CTSA and asked Sam to reconsider his position.
Although not discussed at the meeting, if the suggested supporters group launched, this would enable Steve Leake to stand down as Fans Representative, which fits in with him needing to retire due to health considerations. The training ground survey was discussed and Kelly stated that Paul Hayward is happy to fund the seven figures required in order to make Bewbush a reality by agreeing a lease with the council.
The Club expressed some regret as to how the survey appeared to slight the CTSA but stated that the other two parties apparently interested in the site had expressed a desire to come in with the Club on their proposal. There has been a week’s delay in Horsham FC obtaining the keys to their new ground which has meant the Reds having to train in Surrey for this week.
However, the club have made the best of this by having the players stay in a hotel for the week to help with team bonding. A question was asked about why the club needed building quotes and Kelly Derham stated that under new regulations the Referees room needs be enlarged by 2 square metres. This will not be done prior to the season starting but the club expect the EFL to accept that plans are in hand.
A fan has expressed concern that the away team coach idles outside the players’ entrance prior to the game finishing and could be considered as harmful to health. Kelly said she thought the safety officer had addressed this concern but will seek a resolution to this matter. The East Stand was then discussed and it was stated that the stand was structurally sound but that some work was necessary on the front two/four rows. It was also stated that the away allocation had been increased to facilitate the selling of tickets in blocks, which is more efficient for the club. This affected about 5 season ticket holders who had now been repositioned. It was also stated that as the crowds were at the moment below capacity it seemed a sound financial strategy to offer more seats to away fans.
A fan had asked if it was possible to have a digital notice board installed to replace the existing static board, similar to the one at the Hawth. The club stated that this had been looked at but because power would have to be provided to it, the practical implications were too great at present. The situation is further complicated by attaining approval for this from the Highways Agency.
A question was asked about whether it would be possible for fans to vote on next season’s kit and Joe stated that this should be possible by getting Errea to provide three alternatives in the new year which could then be voted on by the fans (proposed new supporters group).
A fan had expressed a desire for a bigger range of merchandise to which the club said they would need to know what would sell before obtaining stock. A survey of fans will be conducted to try and ascertain what is desired. The catering suppliers haven’t been finalised for the new season just yet. If the present suppliers continue there will be stricter conditions for them to adhere to around quality and pricing. The club are also looking at having other agencies provide pre-match catering outside the ground.
The club clarified that the Academy being advertised is an outside agency working on their behalf and is not at the moment to be considered as an official Crawley Town Academy. Player status was then discussed and it was stated that there will be further movements, both in and out of the club, in the next few weeks.
The proposed new supporters group was left with the club to continue to work on, as other parties had to be engaged around the idea. The CTSA have always been a keen advocate of having a unified supporter base and are behind any initiative that will make this a reality.
Once the suggested proposals are formalised the CTSA will take advice from Supporters Direct on the position of Crawley Town Supporters Society Ltd as it is a limited company and a regulated entity and any use of CTSA funds must be distributed in accordance with certain regulations.
The CTSA’s AGM is a great opportunity to discuss these proposals and the CTSA have invited the club’s board to attend to discuss this and take any questions.