Bobby Blair (Chair)
Paul Breading (Secretary)
Absent: Heather Nicklinson
- BB welcomes all attendees to the meeting and asks each in attendance to summarise what their vision for The Supporters Club is. There is a general consensus from all those at the meeting that The Supporters Club needs a clear mission of providing for supporters, building a better membership package and working together – as a committee and closely with the club – with a key focus on togetherness.
- BB takes note to appreciate new individuals who have taken the time to attend the meeting and is hopeful they may wish to commit to The Supporters Club moving forward.
- BB then leads an open discussion around ideas on improving The Supports Club and any points around the current approach and setup. NC mentions the quality of football has been poor, attendances dropping and wishes to explore what can be done to still build a successful membership base at The Supporters Club. NC continues that the 5 year plan was good and useful on the surface but how can we help stick with it and update supporters – personal feedback from fellow supporters is that they desire more short term fixed goals to go alongside it. MB mentions the club is very aware of the current situation and that himself has an ambition to work for a league club. BB then asks G for any insight on how other supporters club manage things. G suggests that initiatives and targeting communities works well as a focus – such as the Autism Awareness Game that is being planned, there is help available from the FSA to do things and continues to suggest improvement on social media presence to reach fans away from matchdays. BB stresses that building strong links with the foundation is therefore key and we should look to build a strong relationship. AM agrees with this. AM then suggests carrying out a joint open day would be a good opportunity. Suggests aiming for a long term project to launch into the new season with momentum. SC then agrees that would be a great opportunity for a membership drive. All in attendance then agree that an open day would be a good idea. NC suggests this time it is on a Saturday. MB says that would be difficult for the club as it needs to fit into the training schedule and last time it was school holidays. MB then brings conversation to what the club can offer The Supporters Club. MB then suggests social posts can be shared by the club for exposure and then goes on record for thanking The Supporters Club for their running on ‘In With A Shot’. MB states there are many local business opportunities available to the club that could be passed on to Supporters Club members such as discounts on gym memberships, car repairs, domino pizzas etc. MB says he will supply a full list to PB. MB is happy to offer discounts on mascot packages and happy to offer hospitality as occasional prizes for members. MW then says the discount for the shop can be kept. MB stats matchday discounts are more difficult as club do not handle catering and that The Supporters Club should contact the caterers for match days to discuss opportunities. The Club are also happy to offer the EBB lounge should The Supporters Club wish to run an event. NC then asks if the players can be told to attend any events planned. MB says we would have to let the club know dates and go from there. PB thanks MB for considering what the club can offer. AM then says the foundation can offer discounts on holiday camps and also community stand tickets when needed and please just ask. BB then asks about the foundation’s current targeting. AM confirms a range of different areas such as Veterans and Schools etc. NC suggests once the fixtures are released we should plan events for next season. BB states the want to subsidise at least one coach next season. NC then suggests if there is a way to orchestrate a Carpool resource for away days. MW suggests discussing this or creating a topic on ShotsWeb. G then suggests a way that another club generated members was through travel incentives so may be something we wish to explore. BB asks SC if the Trust benefited from away travel. SC states they did but after a while experienced difficulties with it.
MB & MW leave meeting.
- BB asks if everyone who was in attendance at the previous meeting approves the minutes. PB and AA agree.
- PB asks G what is an ideal committee level. G states that filing the 4 key roles but having additional voices consisting of age, gender, background etc. Perhaps dedicated roles for social media, club liaison, travel representative etc. BB asks AM if he knows anyone via the foundation who may fit the younger supporter role. AM will investigate.
- Topic moves to discussing how to connect with supporters. SC suggests asking fans what they want from a Supporters Club. NC mentions that he himself feels a little distant from the club. SC points out that the new manager has not had a fans forum. NC suggests if there is something that can be done to bridge that gap, such as requesting a fans forum from the club. Also that he wants to see more fan involvement from the manager. BB mentions that a presentation was planned prior to raise awareness to the players on autism but now training is held away from Aldershot scheduling such events is very difficult. NC says that it is more important now then that players attend any events so they are not distant from the fans.
- AM wants to hold a tournament for grassroots teams and says The Supporters Club is welcome to have a presence at any events held by the foundation. He will ask the team to attend this. NC mentions that they aim of The Supporters Club should be on the start of next season now. BB then goes on to say now Covid restrictions are lifted that the open day is the core aim. NC suggests 4 core calendar events per season.
- BB says there is £1100 in the account currently. Nets for the community stand are to be purchased to protect fans and seats – a sign can be placed on them saying that they were donated by The Supporters Club. AM agrees this would be valuable for parents & children.
- PB gives membership overview to the committee. BB says that mugs have been priced as a new joining gift now scarfs have run out. NC raises questions on costs and if £15 feels too high. PB says payment online seems to be working well and does not seem high for online purchase. NC proposes two tier membership – one with a free gift and one without for a reduced cost. NC then asks if we can get things signed as a bonus for members – shirts etc. PB agrees this is a great idea, especially for younger supporters. This is to be raised with MW. BB then outlines benefits for members currently and AM then clarifies what the foundation can offer members.
- BB then suggests working with other supporters group – for example, growing a relationship with the East Bank, is there something we can help with for example, offer support towards displays etc as benefits all. NC asks if we can do more to back next season’s TOD.
- Conversation moves to what more can be done – NC discusses doing more and suggests the idea to put the fans forum instead of the club. Conclusion from All is to discuss at a later date.
- BB shows plans for the flag that has been created in preparation for events etc, including the up and coming autism awareness day. BB also says a photo has been added to programme notes to raise awareness of the team behind the committee.
- BB then discusses whether player sponsorship is something we should be looking at next season. PB suggests one of the younger players and suggests Saunders. NC agrees this is a good option. PB suggests making Saunders the player face of the committee as an ambassador.
- BB Player of the month award to return. PB asks if we are going to ask the club or just do it. BB says we will do it and give fans the opportunity to vote and then can select a voter from the winning player to present.
SC then leaves the meeting.
- G then states he can help with the constitution and also mentions the FSA can help with fan surveys. Says it is also possible for any club surveys to contain an opt-in to receive information on the supporters club. All say thanks and then G leaves the meeting.
- AM asks if The Supporters Club can link to the foundation from the website. PB to action. AM requests logos to be sent also.
- Conversation then turns to the planned Autism game being sponsored at the end of April. BB asks how we can best auction ball, proceeds to go to Braain. AM confirms 214 seats filled for game via community stand. BB says Tesco will provide goody bags for half-time for those attending. Ball sponsorship will say Autism Awareness and not reference Supporters Club.
- BB states being approached regarding sponsorship of the supports club. PB recommends we put together a membership package which is fixed and can be found on the website. PB will put together a proposed plan.