Supporters Groups Meeting

The Club have released the minutes from the latest Supporters Groups meeting held on 9 April 2021. 

HUST were set up to achieve genuine fan representation and the Fans Forum is a welcome and important part of that journey. We will always approach these meetings constructively, honestly and with the benefit of our members feedback.

We’d like to thank Phil King for both the time spent setting up these meetings and separately, for his time discussing joint initiatives between HUST and the Club, some of which are referenced in the minutes below.

By putting fan engagement front and centre the club will only grow stronger and we look forward to future meetings.

Attendees:
Neil Appleyard – HUDSA
Emily Easson – HUFC (minutes)
Phil King – HUFC
Nick McNaughton – HUST
Pauline McSweenie – HUFCSA
John Pearson – HOOC1908

Agenda:
1. Introductions and updates
2. Meeting format
3. Season tickets
4. Next season’s kit
5. Volunteering
6. AOB


Meeting format:
● PK discussed experience of how these meetings can work the benefit of all parties,
and attendees gave a range of opinions on how they have worked previously, what
has and hasn’t worked and what they would like to see going forward.
● Anyone in the meeting can request items in advance to go on the agenda going forward.
● It was agreed the club would take minutes/notes, these would be distributed around those who attended to agree that it was a fair reflection of the meeting and then the club and supporter groups would post the minutes on their websites.
● The group can be made wider and more inclusive going forward – does not necessarily have to include ‘formal/constituted’ fan groups. To be invited in the future
– South East Poolies & North West Corner representatives.
● Meeting to take place every 6-8 weeks for meetings unless stated otherwise – will be 4:30pm onwards for convenience.

Season Tickets:
● PK presented plans for 2021/22 season ticket prices, which included detail with regards to benefits and rewards for 2020/21 season ticket holders.

● PK showed research which the club had done on prices of season tickets and matchtickets across a range of categories for clubs in National League & League Two, HUFC falls around the middle in most comparisons.
● PMc and NA felt the change at start of current season from over 60’s concessions to over 65’s was done with little warning, but appreciated that this categorisation was consistent with many other clubs at similar level.
● Attendees discussed the ‘thankyou package’ which HUFC gave to current season season ticket holders in January which reflected the 10 home games to that date. Some attendees felt that the free tickets did not hold much value to themselves, some attendees felt that they held value in that they could be gifted to family or friends.
● HUST suggested that free tickets could be donated to community groups or key workers if ST holders did not want them and that HUST would be happy to assist the club in managing this – PK said that there had been previous discussion on this with other representatives of HUST and that the idea had merit and the club would work to help make it happen.
● NMc asked if the free tickets which season ticket holders had could be used for pre-season friendlies (dependant on crowd capacities etc). PK said that there had been some discussion about this internally at HUFC and if attendees thought that this would be well received then it could be something that could be included – but would clearly be subject to the club organising a home friendly if dates allow.
● PMc asked a question regarding whether money from 2021/22 season ticket sales would  be used immediately (i.e. in 2020/21 season) given that they were going on sale soon. PK confirmed that all income from 2021/22 season ticket sales will be used in 2021/22 financial budget – not in the current season’s.
● HUFC will be selling tickets based on full capacity but could review if/when government guidelines are updated. In essence, it will be first come first served if
restricted capacity at start 2021/22.
● North West Corner – as it stands, this section is currently closed as per the stadium safety certificate due to the current barriers in place not being fit for purpose. Season Tickets will be sold in this area on the proviso that if the situation is not resolved then
fans will be refunded or offered a different part of the ground. The club is working on solutions to solve this at present.
● HUFC will ensure season ticket sales are promoted via direct mail, email & social media over the coming weeks and throughout the summer.

Next Season’s Kit:
● O’Neill’s sizing options are a looser (new option) or slimmer (current) fit – the question was asked which one we should go for next season. Fans are used to the sizing by now so we could keep with the slimmer fit or change to the looser one which may be more popular with fans. There was mixed opinion from attendees.
● Remembrance Day shirts – these will be designed and on sale a lot earlier this year in order for people to get them by 11th November. An application process needs to be started earlier in order to have a poppy on the shirt if that is what the club decides to do. Again, this will be started in good time this year.
● Away kit – club asked opinion of fans on social media a number of weeks back withthe popular colours being dark (dark blue or black), red & black, yellow and fluro. Attendees agreed that these were popular choices.
● Home kit – attendees felt that stripes were popular as well as all blue with white collar and cuffs.
● Attendees also discussed the club crest – with some preferring the previous ‘ship’s wheel’ crest and some preferring the current crest.
● HUFC are currently looking into potential sponsors for next season’s kit.
● Pools retail – PK discussed that the club believed there was more potential for growth with the retail operation and that the range of products and the marketing could be better. Work is being done on this currently and the club hoped to give an update soon. Attendees comments included:
o Pin badges are collected by home/away fans.
o Retro shirts have been popular amongst fans.
o Polo shirts in the same colour as the kit.
o More advertising for Christmas products.

Volunteering:
● Media volunteers have been introduced for match days to help Alex with live streaming, graphics & social media.
● HUFC asked the attendees if groups had people who would like to volunteer tosupport the club with regards to improvements/maintenance at the stadium. The club had a list of jobs they would like to do before fans return. Attendees agreed that volunteers would like to support and would collate names.
● Match day experience – PK said that the club were keen to focus on this and improving all aspects. The club had already discussed internally but would also like wider input. PK will arrange a further meeting with attendees and other individuals to contribute  towards this.

AOB:
● Youth development – the club are working on plans to reinstate a youth set up at ages younger than 16. This would have to be done in a way that was financially sustainable and operationally manageable by the club – but it was an area that the club are looking to progress and hoped to have something additional in place ahead of 2021/22 season.
● HUFC are looking at options regarding a ‘beamback’ livestream for the away game at
Sutton on May 22nd . This would be subject to getting the necessary approvals, costs, scale of it (i.e. whether this would just be in existing bars / lounges or on a wider basis) and also the viability of it with regards to Covid restrictions.
● Attendees discussed whether the club would make the organisational structure of the club more apparent to fans so they know who is who in and around the club, given there has been a large amount of change in the last 12-18 months. PK agreed that this is something that would be beneficial and something that had already been discussed internally.