MSC / Club Meeting - 10 November 2016
In attendance - Steve Kavanagh, Alan Williams, Lucy Pepper (MFC); Bob Asprey, Stan Godwin, Ted Robinson, Laura Romitelli, Graeme Smale (MSC).
Welcome and introductions
First impressions and initial plans of the CEO
Steve sees a club steeped in history, and is proud and privileged to represent the club. It will be an extremely difficult job but the initial plan is to get to know everybody: the fans and the staff, while continuing with the day job. There is a clean sheet of paper and if we all pull in the same direction, things will work well, although there are bound to be differences of opinion.
As is known, this is Steve’s third club and he feels he’s always had an open, honest and good relationship with supporters, however that group was constructed - to the extent that both Charlton fans are still in contact and Southend fans’ messages have been lovely. Even those fans where there have previously been strong debates, have sent kind messages. We probably won’t always agree, but if we work in a constructive way, we will have an open relationship.
Bob said, with Andy it was a constructive relationship, where we usually agreed. We all had the same goals/desires, to improve the club, win games, and make money.
The MSC mentioned that Andy had suggested a fans’ survey to gauge the views of the supporters. Steve pointed out that this fits well with the EFL ‘whole game solution’ (see AOB). Steve’s last act as Southend CEO was a curry with Southend supporters’ trust, where he said to them that they need to make sure their voices are heard.
The MSC asked Steve how Millwall are viewed by other clubs and Steve replied that we’re generally seen as a ‘fantastic club with a great chairman’. It’s professionally run and working hard on its issues; Andy’s are difficult shoes to fill, given his status in the game. Does Steve have ideas on how to increase attendances? There’s no magic wand, but the plan is to sit down with the staff and revisit ideas, try some again and see if there are any new initiatives. Although we may feel that club demographics are against us, many clubs have the similar problems. Steve has already learnt that the Chairman is frustrated by attendances. Here the Community Trust can help us by opening the door to a potential new audience.
Steve said that it would be great to reach a similar position with Millwall that Charlton now enjoy with Greenwich Council.
2016/17 adult and junior season ticket numbers
Same as last month. Half season tickets to be launched at end November, applicable from Gillingham match (December 30).
Steve’s been briefed on the situation. The chairman wrote a letter to the councillors in the last week that went out in Steve’s name. The fight continues and we keep chipping away. The Chief Executive of Lewisham Council, Barry Quirk, has asked to meet Steve and the mood in the Millwall camp is positive. There is as yet no indication as to when the CPO decision will go back to cabinet but there is still a huge amount going on. The Freedom of Information requests have provided a huge amount of useful information, such as the recently discussed report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
MSC supporting the club with the regeneration.
There’s nothing that can be done at present. When the club do need the help of supporters, they know where to come. At the moment, they don’t want to do anything to disrupt the political process. If it were deemed politically wise to exhibit Millwall’s plans for the areas of land under dispute, they would do so.
Future of FOTB position
Steve’s met Pete and had a short briefing on the role but has yet to form a full view. It’s clear that Pete’s role has developed and is quite different to similar roles at other clubs. Steve would like to understand the MSC’s position as, in Steve’s eyes, the MSC is the core group for engagement with the supporters. There were conversations at Southend between different supporters’ clubs and Steve arranged a meeting across the groups, within agreed parameters. Steve needs to find out the issues surrounding the position and, clearly, the chairman’s views need to be incorporated. It was pointed out that the clock is ticking, as the current term of office ends in April 2017.
The key message is that neither the club nor anybody associated threw Sean off site when he was setting up to sell before the Southend game, or call the police, and would never do so; he had been invited by the club. When the club heard what had happened, they tried to bring him back, but Sean did not want to exacerbate the situation. Just by trying to collect money for the RBL, a situation escalated due to the fault of nobody at the club. The MSC recognises the work of Alan Williams here and records its thanks.
Marking the anniversary of breaking the unbeaten home record
There had been talk of a lunch around the date of the anniversary (26 November) to celebrate the run and this would be seen as a commercial opportunity. There was a doubt that it would prove popular enough to be viable but Alan has agreed to look at this. After a short debate, it was agreed that this could best be incorporated into the end of season dinner.
The club is still waiting on the historians to supply the list of exhibits. Alan Spoke to Chris Bethell at last home game and he agreed to progress this with his colleagues. The club is ready and waiting with plans for the cabinets and there’s a range of items for sale in the club shop.
Future arrangements for the club media and marketing teams
Lucy is filling the role of Head of Media and this is appreciated. Nothing will change for the time being. MSC raised concerns regarding how much coverage we are getting from the wider media. Reassurances were given that this is being addressed with improved lines of communication key to moving forward.
FA Cup 2nd round
There will again be a lower price for season ticket holders to ensure they see true value, as in the previous round. The whole ground will be open and the club hopes that fans will take advantage of the low prices and support the team.
The first round match was moved to Friday evening following a request from the police and this was agreed, in order to help maintain good relations. Despite perceptions, the club generally has a good relationship with the police and, clearly, it’s in our favour to continue this.
This season, there is a new police liaison officer. He has been due to attend one of these meetings but this has not yet happened. Steve will talk to Jason, as he already knows him, to organise his attendance at a meeting, as he feels this would be beneficial.
Any other business
Whole game solution. The plan is to have a two part questionnaire: half focusing on Millwall issues and half for thoughts around the game as a whole. Clubs will meet with the EFL in groups of around four to discuss the initiative; Millwall’s meeting is on 23 November. There are certain key strategies that the EFL have committed to, for example, that no club will be financially worse off; if they can prove that, fantastic. The game has struggled to revolutionise but having conversations help develop new initiatives. There are a significant number of challenges; these conversations should have started sooner as decisions need to be agreed by next summer when the TV contracts are aligned and changes can be implemented. The EFL is trying to drive initiatives and some control so things aren’t always being driven by the Premier League.
Steve’s views on managing ticket sales to avoid potential problems at high profile matches. There are various methods, such as membership schemes or reviewing purchase history. Steve understands that there is a great passion around the club and this is an advantage, but it’s important that people do not cross the line. It’s an extremely difficult question and nobody’s yet found the answer. Generally, the image of club has improved but to avoid potential incidents such as those at Wembley, this issue need to be addressed.
Auction Site There is a Millwall auction site. Ted has two items that have been donated on the understanding that proceeds will go to the Kitchener appeal. Alan agreed that these items can be sold on the site, which is usually reserved for items put forward by the club. Lucy will help with publicity.
Next meeting 15 December 2016. Meeting closed 18.08 pm.
MSC / Club Meeting - 29 September 2016
In attendance -
Andy Ambler, (MFC); Bob Asprey, Stan Godwin, Laura Romitelli (MSC)
Apologies - Alan Williams (MFC), Ted Robinson (MSC)
2016/17 adult and junior season ticket numbers
Full 5,451; 693 under 12s; 286 u16s; full memberships 3,754; JL memberships 687
Club officials’ attendance at Lewisham Council meeting
Bob suggested that the fact that no senior club official attended the cabinet meeting didn’t create a good impression. Andy replied that everything was done deliberately and what was thought to be right for the club. The chairman, Demos and Andy met the councillors in a private meeting at the club and believed that, on the night of the cabinet meeting, the fans’ emotive voice, represented by Pete Garston, was the best policy. The club’s advisers were at the meeting with Pete.
That cabinet meeting was chaired by the deputy mayor, who is a strong supporter of the mayor. The mayor has extracted himself from the voting process on this issue, due to his conflict of interests.
The subsequent scrutiny meeting was attended by the club’s advisers, including the lawyer, who answered the questions that led to the decision to refer back to the cabinet.
In the last 24 hours, a document has come to light which led this agenda item being removed from the agenda of the 28th September Mayor and Cabinet Meeting.
If the council tries to proceed to CPO, this will eventually move to public enquiry.
Stan asked if there might be a situation where the developers say the presence of MFC is detrimental to the sale of property in the area. Andy says he can’t see this happening at all. Andy can’t think of a football club that’s been actually forced out of its borough by the council.
At some point, when the council’s legal team has investigated the current issues and advised the cabinet, this will go back for a CPO decision.
Other regeneration news
All contained in 2
MSC supporting the club with the regeneration. Meeting of all interested groups
The MSC reminded Andy of its offer to help the club wherever possible with the regeneration. The MSC had suggested holding a special forum on the subject, bringing together all those associated with the club and with a wish to help. Andy is concerned that if a meeting is held, it has an objective and a result. If and when the situation dictates, the club will liaise with the MSC.
Midseason season ticket sales
Season tickets are sold up until the first game of the season. They are then taken off sale and the half season ticket is launched at mid season. This policy is in place to ensure that the greatest value is given to those fans that commit their money to the club before a ball’s been kicked. Bob mentioned that in 2014, the policy was different and the club would make season ticket sales following the start of the season and Andy confirmed that the policy has changed since then, to enforce the reason above. The supporter that raised this query says that he was told by the club ticket office that the MSC knew all about this policy, but Bob was not aware of the change of policy. Bob did recall that in 2014, at least one season ticket had been sold in November. Bob suggested that the club needs to be clearer in its publicity that there is a final date for the sale of season tickets.
Future of FOTB position
The suggested meeting between the chairman and the MSC needs to take place. The revised plan is to roll this into the meeting with the new CEO. As there is as yet no confirmed date for Steve Kavanagh to start, so this is all to be agreed and finalised.
Marking the anniversary of breaking the unbeaten home record
As Alan Williams was not at last month’s meeting, Andy passed on the conversation we’d had on these commemorations. He’d also spoken to Chris Bethell regarding Dockers’ Day; it would be good to ask the FA to approve a 3.15pm kick off for this game. The idea of a lunch on Sunday 27 November needs to be picked up; this could include a ground tour. Stan asked if the club pays the travel for ex players that now live abroad; the answer is no.
Bob asked if the club has any fans that have held a season ticket for, say, fifty years. AA wonders if the records go back far enough to know.
The AFC Wimbledon programme, which is our home game closest to the anniversary of breaking the record, should include the programme from the record beating game.
Charlton ticket sales and notification of the potential postponement
The MSC mentioned that the club didn’t caveat the ticket sales regarding the potential postponement of this game. The club has undertaken to give people as much notice as possible of a confirmed postponement, as we have home games for all three international weekends this season. The publicity for those games will include a caveat.
Bob says that the most recent update on this project was Alan describing how the scope had increased. However, one of the club historians, Chris Bethell, didn’t seem to know much about this. The club is specifically speaking to the historians that form the ‘Millwall Museum’ group. Regardless, there seems to be no momentum with this. Andy has asked the media team to keep this moving; his latest understanding is that the historians are drafting a plan on the layout for approval, given the volume of exhibits they have available. Andy will take this to Alan.
More to follow on this, when a start date is confirmed.
Future arrangements for the club media and marketing teams
Head of Media, Billy Taylor is leaving in a few days. For the short term, Deano will increase his working hours. Rather than Andy organise the longer term future of the teams, this will be left for the new CEO to make his preferred structure.
In respect of Marketing, Jimmy Carter is in the role of Commercial Sales Manager, and there is an online brochure due to launch soon that will introduce the team.
Any other business
Whole Game Solution It’s been announced that the Premier League B Teams idea won’t proceed. The League is now meeting with clubs, in small groups, until Christmas for their views. Clubs will then consult with fans. Andy suggests this should only be done when we’re clear on the questions from the League and will be coordinated with the MSC when it proceeds. Probably the best way to do this is by email questionnaire – half focused on Millwall and half for views on the league proposals and the game as a whole. Examples of questions could include regionalisation of lower divisions and reorganisation of the season’s calendar.
As this is likely to be the last meeting with Andy in the CEO role, the MSC took the opportunity to thank Andy for all his hard for the club over the years. Andy confirms that he will be back as a fan!
Provisional next meeting 27 October, 2016. Meeting closed at 17.25.
MSC / Club Meeting - 1 September 2016
Andy Ambler, Alan Williams (MFC); Bob Asprey, Stan Godwin, Ted Robinson, Laura Romitelli (MSC)
Apologies Alan Williams (MFC)
Police Football Liaison
An officer from this group was due to attend the early part of the meeting but, unfortunately, apologies were sent. This will be rescheduled.
On the subject of the police, the club complained about the tweets sent by Lewisham Police following the matchball incident v Sheff Utd. No response has as yet been received.
2016/17 season ticket numbers
Adults 2,731; over 60s, 1,368; 16-21s 374; under 16s 286; under 12s, 691. MSC members 3,357, Junior Lions 579
No towels for sale in the club shop
The MSC received this complaint, but there are two sizes of towel available for sale and these have not been out of stock. Andy checked this himself and that the staff in the shop knew where they were. Perhaps somebody needs their eyes testing?
Sheffield United match ball incident
The CCTV of the incident was shown, both inside the ground and outside the stadium. When the ball first goes out of play, it does not go into the crowd, but lands onto the track and was taken by one of the crowd. Then, another man (dressed in black) can be seen raising his hands to the face of one of the opposition players. This has been included in the FA observer’s report and the club has been asked to provide their observations (the club had around a dozen of these reports to deal with last season). At the same time, the ball is taken by a third man in the crowd, who immediately makes his way out of the ground.
The club feels that certain statements on social media the next day did not help the situation. The whole episode was very fast moving, with many different considerations and the club was under pressure from the FA. The man that took the match ball came into the club the following Tuesday before the Forest game. He admitted his mistake and apologised, asking not to be banned. He is keen for the incident to be closed. Having agreed to sign an undertaking, a ban wasn’t imposed. The man in black will be sought out at upcoming matches.
Away ticket sales on match day
The complaint is that the club often announces that Millwall fans will be unable to buy tickets at the turnstiles for away games. MFC will make a decision on ticket sales in conjunction with the away club and Safety Advisory Group. MFC encourages away clubs to give us our tickets in advance and we will sell to our members; these go off sale on the day before the game. This is necessary due to the behaviour of some fans at some away games. The club needs to be seen to know who is attending its games. At the time the ticket information is advertised, it’s a true reflection of the agreement between the clubs.
If someone wants to take a risk and turn up ticketless, they may be refused entry. At the recent MK Dons game, fans that turned up were admitted and sat in a separate area of the ground. The club was able to do this simply due to the capacity of the stadium and the empty areas. Many other clubs will be unable or unprepared to do this.
Future of FOTB position
The committee suggested that the chairman meets the committee to talk through his thoughts and Andy agreed this might be helpful. He will suggest this to the chairman.
Marking the anniversary of breaking the unbeaten home record
18 March 2017 is Dockers’ Day and Chris Bethell and colleagues are finding as many as possible of the players from the run, to attend. However, the MSC pointed out that the anniversary of breaking the existing record was 26 November 1966 and this should be commemorated. The first team is away that day but home the Tuesday before. The MSC had also discussed this anniversary at its own meeting and so put forward a suggestion of a Q&A with a couple of those players. This idea evolved to include a lunch, to be held on the Sunday 27 November. Andy will take this idea for further thought, but time is of the essence.
A couple of other ideas include printing the original programme in the 22 November 2016 edition and kicking off at 3.15pm for the Dockers’ Day match (this would need FA approval).
Stan asked if there was any TV footage and Andy suggested asking the club historians.
Match footage for Millwall fans abroad
The EFL is looking at the ability to stream live matches abroad but the technology to prevent UK coverage is a critical factor. The current option is Lions Player, which is an identical product, regardless of geography and offers extended highlights (12-13 minutes).
Live streaming will need to be organised on a collective basis but Andy is sure this will happen in the foreseeable future.
Memorabilia update (involvement of Ted Wilding?)
This is gathering pace. Another meeting is probably due with the Millwall museum group, which is organised as a charitable trust. They have asked the club to put forward a liaison officer and this is in hand. The trust has a website and offers merchandise and their plan is to open the museum each Friday from 10.00 am to 2.00 pm, manned by volunteers. It will also form part of the stadium tour. Ted Wilding is not part of this group.
Any other business
Football League consultation - ‘The whole game solution’. This consultation was launched some months ago and the league clubs’ thoughts and observations are due on 5 September. Items for consideration include: fixture congestion; midweek fixtures, the Premier League’s plans for a winter break. FA cup replays are disappearing and there is a wish to protect play off finals weekend. As such, is there an appetite to restructure the leagues? The EFL will not recommend any changes that will leave any club worse off. So there was a proactive initiative to have a year’s consultation. Already, for example, the suggestion to include Premier League B teams has caused a backlash and the continued low crowds for EFT games compound this. Andy thinks fans will be asked for their views at the second stage. Stage 1 is the 72 clubs thoughts and deciding what can go off the agenda immediately; for example, regionalisation does not seem to have been a popular suggestion.
Millwall auction site - Are the items available on this site only as provided by the club? Ted has been given some items on the understanding that the sale proceeds go to the Kitchener charity. As such, the club may be able to help and this should be taken to Alan.
Meeting closed at 18.28.
MSC / Club Meeting - 28 July 2016
Andy Ambler, Alan Williams (MFC); Bob Asprey, Stan Godwin, Ted Robinson, (MSC)
2016/17 adult and junior season ticket numbers
Total number of tickets sold - 5,320.
(16-21 up by 27 from the same time last year. U16 up by 14 from the same time last year. U12 up by 36 from the same time last year.) Away season ticket sales up to 26 from 18 at the same time last year. Also, there are approximately 1,800 members. It is expected that these figures will rise in the last week before the season starts.
Bob said that he was glad to see that the season ticket sales were up and that the end of last season there was a feel good factor amongst the fans, which is still there. Everyone was disappointed with the Play-Off Final but we move on and there is reason for optimism
This matter had been listed for discussion because the MSC were not best pleased by the way it had been introduced. The MSC had no problem in principle with the introduction of a loyalty scheme and in fact, over the years, they raised the matter with the club on many occasions. At the previous meeting the club clearly wanted to introduce a loyalty scheme, on account of the issues that arose with the ticket allocation when we played Gillingham in the last game of last season. The club agreed that the MSC would see the proposal when it was done. The next thing we knew it was introduced by the club without any meaningful discussion or agreement.
Andy said they had left instructions for Bob to be emailed the scheme before its introduction. Bob confirmed he had not received an email. Andy apologised that the communication had broken down.
2016/17 Season New Shirts
Alan informed us that to date, 1,500 new home shirts had been sold; more would be sold in the run up and on the day of Tony Craig’s testimonial. There is also the open training day coming up and the first league game. The new away shirt will go on sale on July 30th.
The new home shirt commemorates the unbeaten home run of 59 home games in the league from 1964 to 1967, when we were finally beaten by Plymouth on January 14th. During the unbeaten run the club achieved two successive promotions from the 4th to the 2nd Division. The new unbeaten record was set on 26th November 1966.
Whilst the shirt is blue and white stripes with red numbers, the MSC commented that they would have preferred it to have been closer to the 1960s design. Andy noted the comments of the MSC and also pointed out that Chris Bethell was planning to organise the next Dockers Day in March 2017, featuring as many of the players involved in the two and a half year unbeaten run as he can get hold of. He suggested that we meet Chris Bethell regarding the recognition of the achievement.
Future of the Fan on the Board
Andy told us that he had various discussions with the chairman from time to time but the board had not made any firm decisions yet.
Shop Procedure For Out of Stock Items
The MSC explained about the case of a fan who had placed an order from the club shop, but his item had not been delivered. He enquired to find out why it had not arrived and was told that the item had been out of stock since it was ordered. The fan concerned was unhappy and asked for their money to be refunded which it was. Is this the way the system should work?
Andy agreed that this was not correct and the shop staff will be reminded of the correct procedure.
Fans Forum on 4th August
It was confirmed that the forum would take place on 4th August, although Andy said he would not be able to be there because he would be on leave. He had spoken to Neil Harris who had indicated that he was happy to do two hours on his own. Subsequently it was agreed that Scott Fitzgerald would attend with Neil.
Millwall Fan v Manchester City
The Millwall fan who was refused tickets for Manchester City v Swansea on the day of the Oldham postponement has had his complaint to the Independent Football Ombudsman (IFO) upheld. Manchester City claimed that he was refused ‘on police advice’, but a Freedom of Information request to Greater Manchester Police proved that this was not the case. With the help of the Football Supporters Federation he sent a complaint to the IFO which has now been upheld. Manchester City were criticised in the jurisdiction and so were the Premier League, regarding their lack of provision for neutral supporters. Whilst this long drawn out bureaucratic procedure ended in success for the supporter and for the FSF, sadly the original objective of the complaint, to get an apology from Manchester City, was not successful.
Collaboration with Junior Lions Committee
Bob has attended a meeting with the JL committee and a commitment to greater co-operation was made.
We were advised by Andy that meetings are ongoing and the situation remains fluid. To date no COP has been implemented.
Memorabilia Cabinet Update
Progress is being made on this project, which has again expanded in scope and scale, to include the press room and the interview room.
Meeting closed 6.00 pm.
MSC / Club Meeting - 26 May 2016
In attendance - Andy Ambler, Alan Williams (MFC); Bob Asprey, Stan Godwin, Ted Robinson, Laura Romitelli (MSC)
2016/17 adult and junior season ticket numbers
Adult sales currently 4,533 compared to 4,664 at the same point last year. Final adult sales for last season were around 5,500.
Additional 2015/16 memberships sold
Memberships for the current season were on sale until 17 May. From the last league game to deadline, 398 adult and 35 Juniors purchased memberships.
2016/17 membership and matchday prices
There is a meeting planned to discuss this and proposals will be sent to MSC following that meeting. If the club is not promoted, the MSC suggested that prices should stay unchanged, given inflation is virtually zero. It’s agreed that the main benefit of membership is the access to away tickets but the club points out that this does not bring any revenue, apart from the small membership fee, into the club, so there is an argument for increasing this price.
Next season’s home shirt and launch, away shirt and launch
Sponsorship for shirt front and back will be announced next week. The launch of the home shirt will be either 11 or 18 June, dependent on the stock being available for immediate sale – there will be no pre-ordering. The Macron contract ends on 31 May. The away shirt is scheduled to be launched on 1 July for pre-order and on sale 30 July, the day of Tony Craig’s testimonial. The film of the winner in Italy will be included in the launch. There will also be a video for the home shirt launch and the plan is to include footage from the play off final. There were very minor changes made to the original design of the away shirt to arrive at the final product.
Pre-final whistle pitch invaders at Bradford game
Three arrests were made for pitch incursions. None of the three is a member or season ticket holder. A report is required by the FA and the club has already submitted this ahead of tomorrow’s deadline. There was a Football League adviser at the game and his view was that the mood was celebratory and non-threatening. Everybody at the meeting agreed that the referee handled the last few minutes very well. Regarding the Oldham incident, a supporter slapped the player (Gerrard). The club mounted an exercise to find him, he was identified through CCTV and was arrested. The player didn’t want to press charges, so the fan received a fixed penalty and club ban.
Stewarding and crowd control for Bradford game
As previously discussed, safety stewards are not permitted to stop supporters running on the pitch, only to act as a deterrent. Regarding managing the crowd during the game (sitting in their seats, not blocking the aisles/stairwells, bringing beer into the stands), stewards should call for help if needed. At the end of the game, there are tens of stewards standing around the pitch but it’s not clear where these stewards are working throughout the game. It seems straightforward that if they were working in the busier areas, it would help crowd control. All these points will be discussed when the debrief is carried out.
Drinking in view of the pitch is a breach of an FL licensing law and there’s no indication that the FL observer commented on this.
Specific email sent to club (copying Pete/MSC) on stewarding for Bradford
The points raised in this letter will be addressed by Colin Sayer and Ken Chapman and a full reply provided to the member that wrote this letter.
Opening of the ground / bars before Bradford game
Members of the MSC noted that the ground opened late, perhaps only 55 minutes before kickoff. Certain requirements have to be in place for the ground to be opened and then gates are opened simultaneously. Alan’s pretty sure that there were people in the ground at 6.30 pm (75 minutes before kickoff) but this will be queried at the debrief.
Limitations of Wembley ticket website, eg: not being able to mix price bands, not being able to log back in
Andy has had lots of very good feedback on the selling arrangements. The logistics of the sale and the very short turnaround time make it very challenging. The tickets were at the club on the day of the game in sealed boxes to be claimed by the finalists at the end of the match. These then need to be counted by hand to verify the numbers and for audit/accounting purposes. This was done by a team of workers from 10.00 am to 10.00 pm on Saturday and 10am to 8pm on Sunday. On Monday morning, the tickets were couriered to Seetickets for immediate despatch; it’s not clear if there is a particular order to this despatch.
The club had worked hard to produce the best possible notification to supporters on ticket arrangements and generally this was very thorough. The MSC pointed out a couple of areas for improvement that should be taken into consideration for future: fans could have been advised that despatch could not begin until the Monday at the earliest, and the input of the membership number did not need to include the MEM at the start. This was not clear in the instructions.
The club had a choice of delivery options and given the short turnaround time, chose the £6.50 tracked delivery. (Barnsley chose a £2.50 regular post option). Fans that purchased tickets late in the week, with collection on the day, will not be charged the delivery fee.
The system was deliberately set not to allow mixed price sales as the assumption is that people buying on a single transaction will want to sit together. The system could not accommodate multiple logins, if the four ticket allocation was not used at the first login.
The club doesn’t receive prize money for this game, just a cut of the surplus made on ticket sales. The crowd is expected to be 55-60,000.
The MSC expressed the hope that the stewarding at Wembley will be well organised and effective. The club has provided some of our own stewards, as requested by Wembley and the hope is that this will help.
Overseas memberships and encouraging communication between these fans
There are 600-700 overseas members. They receive the same benefits as UK members but are charged more due to the additional postage costs. The first suggestion from the MSC was that these fans would receive a membership card that reflects their own country but as the minimum print requirement for these cards is 1,000, this isn’t feasible, although a single ‘overseas’ card might be an option. However, would these overseas fans prefer a separately designed card or the same as that received by the UK members? The MSC’s general aim is to encourage these overseas groups, build their numbers and encourage them to become affiliate membership clubs, with links to local websites from the main MSC site, etc. As a first step, it was agreed that the MSC would draft two letters, one to overseas members and another for overseas groups of visitors (who are not currently/yet members) and the club will include these letters with the members’ welcome packs/ticket despatch. These letters would welcome the fans and give them information on contacting the MSC, etc. Additionally, if the MSC badges can be ready for when the club despatches memberships, they can also be included in the welcome pack.
Football League proposals on restructuring of league. Club view and FL’s consultation process
The intention is to bring these discussions into an open forum. The FL board wants to debate the longer term future of football and wants all interested parties to participate. The debate should include the FA Cup, the Premier League, the National League, FSF, and all other relevant areas. The consultation will be on this year’s FL AGM agenda this June, open for discussion for a year and then reviewed at next year’s AGM. The Bradford chairman’s complaint that he and other chairman were not aware of the consultation prior to its announcement was purely due to the way the FL decided to manage the communication.
The proposal says ‘no league club can be worse off’. So the revenue generation needs to be looked at. For example, for some clubs, fewer midweek league games will help, as they lose money; other clubs will disagree. Evening games will not be lost completely due to League Cup games, and JPT games for lower divisions/Europe for Premier League.
One of the main drivers for this consultation is fixture congestion. This season, there were FA Cup clashes with Champions League games, which are generally not permitted. There are concerns that UEFA could hold back money or European places due to these clashes. If the result of this is the loss of the Europa League place awarded to the League Cup winners, there is a direct consequence here.
Other suggestions are that, in order to grant the Premier League clubs a winter break, those weekends are used for back to back FA Cup third and fourth rounds matches.
The Premier League gives the Football League £120,000,000 a year. A way for the FL to give something back may be to allow Premier League B teams. As in Spain, there would be rules to not allow these teams promotion to the top division(s).
If changes were approved, another issue would be to manage the transition from 20+ teams in a division to the twenty suggested in the consultation.
At least 90% of the 72 clubs in the Football League have to agree to any change.
There are meetings taking place, one in a couple of weeks between the club’s advisers, Lewisham Council, and Renewal. The club is complying with council’s wish for discussions to try to find common ground.
Figures on the value (including financial) of the community work the club carries out
The club recently commissioned a ‘substance report’ that gives this information. Andy will arrange for a copy to be sent to the MSC. It was launched at a House of Lords event on Wednesday night, where the club was hosted by Lord Ouseley and where Harvey Brown’s father thanked the club for all its support of his son.
Similar, independent reports have also been written for Spurs and Brentford. The Millwall report shows that every £1 spent is worth £8 to the local authorities that benefit. This is the highest figure ever calculated. As the club spends £1m, this represents £8m to Lewisham and Southwark councils. The councils have also been provided with copies of this report.
Memorabilia cabinets and meeting of all parties
There had been a meeting between Colin Sayer, Deano Standing, and the club historians; disappointingly no member of the MSC committee was at this meeting, despite the committee being the original driver behind these plans. Apparently, this meeting was only to discuss the inventory of memorabilia, although the meeting notes show that it discussed other items.
At the moment, the historians are still collating the potential exhibits. There will then be a further meeting to progress this initiative, where the MSC must be included. This needs to be progressed urgently, given that the project should be completed in time for the start of next season. As Alan is involved in this, he will keep it moving.
Any other business
During the course of the meeting, the FA announced that FA Cup quarter finals will be single knock out ties (no replays) from next season. There was a discussion on alternatives for the earlier rounds of the competition and how this might affect the finances of smaller clubs. Ideas included seedings and switching the home team to generate more gate revenue.
Meeting closed 6.17pm.
MSC / Club Meeting - 28 April 2016
In attendance - Andy Amber, Pru Buckley (part), Alan Williams (part), MFC; Bob Asprey, Stan Godwin, Ted Robinson, Laura Romitelli, MSC
2016/17 adult and junior season ticket numbers
6 May is the saver deadline compared to 1 May last year, so the figures are running behind, totalling about 2,200 sales (2015: 3,799). As such, it’s expected to be very busy during the early part of next week, running up to the saver deadline. The Junior Lions shows a similar pattern.
Andy was a guest on Lions Live the day after the council meeting to update the fans on the latest position; he’s received feedback that the information provided was clear and informative. The council have appointed an independent assessor to review the club’s case, alongside the other options. We await the assessor’s thoughts and comments. As far as is known, the item of the CPOs is not on the next cabinet meeting agenda, although that clearly could change. The longer any decision is delayed, the better that would appear to be from the club’s perspective. Andy has written directly to the councillors/MPs last week, with a reminder of the information that was presented. The ball is in the council’s court with regard to next steps. Stan asked if it was possible that the appropriate people at the council didn’t see the club’s original plans at the time they were originally made available. Andy has already publicly stated (on LL) that he didn’t think that the elected councillors had seen the plans until recently. They all now have their own copies and Andy has direct contact with them and can keep them fully updated with developments.
Sale of Gillingham tickets
Following reports received by the MSC, the club’s head of ticketing, Pru Buckley, gave a full account of the events at the club’s ticket office on the morning of the sale of the Gillingham away tickets. Suffice to say that, despite fans’ disappointment following the early sell out of the allocation, the abuse given out o ticket office staff by some in the queue was unacceptable. A detailed discussion was had, covering the mechanics of the ticketing system across the three platforms: in person, online, phone, and the limitations of the system; ways of managing the allocation fairly, giving priority where considered appropriate; and communication to the buyers. The MSC emphasised that one of the issues on the day was the lack of information that was made available and how the online and phone systems are not clear in advising buyers that the allocation is sold out, and there was a similar observation with the queue – those at the back of the queue may not have waited for so long if it was clear that the allocation would sell out before they reached the front– there was just one announcement when the tickets were sold out. This is not to condone the reaction of some of those in the queue. The entire issue of ticket sales, especially where demand exceeds supply, will be reviewed in the close season. This will include the use of the technology to prioritise sales where this is considered appropriate. Andy stressed that Millwall is in an extremely small minority of clubs that still offers in person sales. The vast majority of clubs now only provide online sales and this is the case in many other areas as well, such as concert tickets, other sporting events, etc.
Sale of potential play-off semi final tickets
The MSC suggested a number of options that could be used to better manage the sale of tickets for this potential match (and in future). These included priority for regular away travellers and limiting the number of tickets that can be purchased by each individual if in person sales continue (regardless of the number of season tickets they present). However, no definite plans can be made until the opponent and date of the game is known, together with the allocation granted. Should the club make the play-off final, ticket arrangements will differ again and will be outside of the club’s control to a certain extent, as the sale is managed by Wembley. The MSC emphasised the need for greater communication both before and during the sales period.
Future of Fan on the Board
The MSC constitution shows that any future FOTB has to come via the MSC committee, having served a minimum of one year on the committee. So, only the current committee members, including the three that were voted in at last night’s AGM, would be eligible to stand, when the current term held by Pete Garston expires in April 2017. BA to send a list of committee members to AA for use at the meeting. Andy’s plan is to have a thorough discussion on this subject at the end of season board meeting and so this will be on the agenda. The constitution defines the parameters and term of the role and Bob will forward Andy a copy of the constitution for Andy’s information. At this point, it’s not clear on if there will be a FOTB role in the future and, if so, what form it will take; this is all ultimately the chairman’s decision. Discussions between the MSC and the club will continue on this subject.
Memorabilia cabinets: meeting of all interested parties
The proposed meeting between the club, historians and MSC on progressing this matter has not yet taken place. Andy will chase this.
Latest on complaint made by disabled supporter
Andy replied in writing to the supporter, copying in Pete but there has been no response. The response included notification that the faulty lift that formed part of the complaint, is being fixed. The response included an invitation for the fan to come into the club and meet Andy to discuss the points raised. Bob will encourage the fan to accept the invitation.
Shirt design competition
There was a process to select the winner and the judging panel included the MSC chairman, Neil Harris and others at the club. The winner of the prize, a lady flies out, with her son, to Italy on Tuesday morning, returning on Wednesday. It’s possible that the final design may differ slightly from the version publicised by the club from her entry. A film crew is also flying out to follow the story. The prizewinner will return with the very first shirt produced and the film will be released – Sky’s Soccer AM, who have been following the story, have asked for the film. It will also be on the club’s YouTube channel, and other media. Both the first team manager and the players like the shirt. There’s a belief that results go our way when we wear a yellow kit. The MSC asked if the runner up designs might be held for future use. All the entries have been kept on file, with the final fifty and the final four especially noted. If these are used in any way, the designers will be acknowledged at that time. Similarly, there were some entries that would be suitable for a home kit. Ideas for using these designs were discussed, for example, in previous seasons, fans have been given the opportunity to vote from three options for the next season’s kit, and these designs could be used in that context. There will only be two kits next season. Both the home and away strips will have change short and socks, meaning that a third kit will not be needed.
Any other business
Next season’s membership and matchday ticket prices will be finalised, following discussions with the MSC, when we know what division we’re in. Obviously season ticket prices are not subject to this review, so the value there will be maintained.
The Lionesses game, this Saturday with a 6.30pm kick off after the men’s Oldham game. The other stands will be closed and fans will be in the Kitchener stand. The kiosks will stay open but fans can leave the ground and come back, provided they retain their matchday/season ticket. Given the ladies’ match and a potential playoff match to come, there will be no running on the pitch at the end of the men’s game.
Meeting closed at 6pm.
MSC / Club Meeting - 31 March 2016
In attendance - Andy Ambler, Andy Williams (MFC); Bob Asprey, Stan Godwin, Ted Robinson, Laura Romitelli (MSC)
Apologies received - Kevin Allen (MSC)
2016/17 adult and junior season ticket numbers
Year on year total sales comparison, 2015: 389; 2016: 552. Sales of Under 16s season tickets shows the largest percentage increase.
Regeneration updates and future supporter involvement
As announced, there will be a meeting in a couple of weeks with the Mayor’s cabinet. The Mayor himself is not able to vote and may not attend. A lot has been happening behind the scenes, things look better place than they have for a long time. There are no specific activities the supporters can help with at this stage.
‘Recruitment’ (player analysis) department
Andrew Mills was brought in to set up the department and he leaves with the club’s thanks. He will not be replaced and Neil (Harris) is very happy with the department’s set up.
Memorabilia cabinets including costs
There are now a number of separate conversations taking place on this subject. Andy had met with Dave Sullivan (one of the club historians) and others, and asked Dave about what they proposed to exhibit. He has not yet heard back. Members of the MSC had met Colin Sayer and they walked through options for the nature and locations of the cabinets. Alan suggests themes to the exhibits, for example, the 1960s record home unbeaten run, or ensuring they are laid out in chronological order. A logical structure is needed, and shirts will need to be framed and labels printed in a consistent way. Bob suggested a single meeting of everybody involved to finalise plans and Andy will ask Ken Chapman to arrange this.
Final work around the screen
Some structural work is required to finish the fittings around the screen, so this will be done during the close season, along with perimeter advertising.
Future shirt sponsorship opportunities
Shirt sponsors are in place for next season for both front and back of shirt. Announcement date is yet to be decided, the new home kit launch will be at the end of May. We will not be able to play in the kit until the new season.
Shirt design competition
The SLP said that the competition related to the home shirt, but it’s definitely the away shirt. There were over a hundred entries in the first week and the first nine shortlisted entries, as selected by the club’s marketing team, have been posted to the dedicated website letsmillwall.it today. Each week another nine will be selected. A total of 500-600 entries is predicted. The deadline for entries is 12 April and the winner’s trip will take place on 3-4 May. The judging panel will comprise representatives from the club, the MSC and the Junior Lions committee. The winning design will be released when the winner is announced, so supporters will know the look before production and the winner’s trip will be filmed. Sky’s Soccer AM were at the training ground today and have picked up on this story and it will be featured on this weekend’s show.
Dockers’ Day and Player of the Season voting arrangements
The MSC is planning to collect votes this season but the club commented that they ran this last year and wondered if they should retain this task; the press team was keen to stay involved. The MSC hadn’t felt a vote/award was appropriate last season, given the feedback received from its members. Ted pointed out that the vote last year was not an MSC endorsed award, that the voting was online only and the whole event was very low key. However, agreement was reached that the MSC would carry out all the usual arrangements: collecting paper votes on 9 April, holding an online vote with an opening date of 7 April and the closing date to be decided, promoting the vote through all its usual media. Alan offered the support of the club with an advert on the big screen during the Shrewsbury game, a full page advert in the matchday programme, and further promotion through the club’s media channels. The MSC will liaise with the club’s press department to coordinate the various pieces involved. Given that the Shrewsbury game is also Dockers’ Day, the area around the Blue Bus will be very busy. As such, there will be two voting tables by the Surrey Canal entrance, under the club’s gazebo, and one table each by the Blue Bus and ‘Our Wall’ by the Zampa Road entrance. The Young PotS will be decided by the club manager, as usual.
Player of the Year Dinner
This will be held on 1 May and was announced yesterday. Over a hundred tickets were sold in one day. This is expected to be popular this year, but the event will definitely be held at the Den (not at another location). The executive lounge holds a maximum of 400.
Manchester City incident
Andy’s been in touch with the fan involved and has spoken to Manchester City as to the circumstances after our match at Oldham was called off at the last minute. There is nothing further the club can do, and the MSC are following up through the FSF.
Prior to the Peterborough match, the club had received a number of complaints from fans in the Dockers Lower, over a period of time, regarding the behaviour of a single other fan. The club responded to those supporters’ issues but the incident was handled poorly. It is hoped that any similar situation will be handled differently in future. Lessons have been learnt.
Complaint from disabled supporter
Andy did eventually receive this complaint directly, but not until after it was published on social media. He’s spoken to the complainant directly, and the lift that was one of the concerns is being repaired. A written reply will be issued.
Any other business
Coventry tickets: after the sale of 1,500 tickets, a further 300 had just been made available. There will be no further tickets for Millwall supporters.
Next season is the 50th anniversary of the club’s unbeaten home run; the record was broken on 26 November 1966 and, this year, this day is a Saturday. The MSC asked if the club would ask the League for a home fixture on this date and if the club are planning to commemorate the event. Andy confirmed that the club is aware of the anniversary and its significance. Only a limited number of fixture requests can be made to the Football League, but this will be one that the club will make.
Next meeting: 28 April 2016
MSC / Club Meeting - 28 January 2016
In attendance - Andy Ambler (CEO), Bob Asprey (MSC Chairman), Ted Robinson (MSC), Stan Godwin (MSC).
Apologies - Alan Williams (MFC), Laura Romitelli (MSC)
Season Tickets, Half Season Tickets, Membership, Jnr Lions
The current figures are as follows, Season Tickets 5,363, Half Season 64, Membership 4,392, and Jnr Lions 676
Season Ticket age pricing update
Andy explained that for the foreseeable future the status quo will remain, he went on to say that Alan Williams is looking at various options but need to examine all the evidence which is still being collated. A report will be produced which will go before the Board for their consideration. This matter will be subject to further discussion with MSC at a future meeting. Season ticket prices will be frozen for 2016/17.
Club Recruitment Dept
Bob pointed out that the recruitment dept. comes in for a lot of criticism from supporters, saying that some supporters took a view that with no evidence of action they assume there is little action. Andy responded by saying the recruitment dept was working well and the club was determined not to repeat the mistakes made by the previous two managers, who had signed expensive players and some were coming to the end of their careers. The board had backed the managers and we all know the policy was clearly flawed & unsuccessful. Now, when the managers expresses an interest in a player or players, full research is carried out, but again Andy reaffirmed that any player that is signed is done on the say so of the manager and no one else, but the data provided to the manager is very valuable. Andy pointed out that when coming home on the train from Chesterfield he had a long chat with some Millwall Fans also returning home. He told us that he had a good discussion covering many aspects of the club. Andy went on to say that when asked about getting George Savile, who had just returned to Wolves, he doubted Kenny Jackett was prepared to let him go at this stage. Wolves wanted George to get game time, which he did, and on returning to Wolves at the end of the loan Kenny commented that he was a better player for his experience at the Den. Andy confirmed that Neil was in discussions about extending Jed Wallace’s loan period. Andy also said that fans were asking about the Chairman’s commitment to the club in terms of signing players. He told them that John Berlyson was putting into the club £15,000 per day, 365 days of the year. On hearing this some of the supporters were slightly taken back. It was also explained to them that if next season we were still in this division then under the rules which cover League 1 the club could only spend 60% of its income on wages.
Confirmation of MSC Contribution to cost of replay equipment, fitting of screen surround and advertising
It was raised about how long the arrangement was for. Andy said he would get Alan Williams to write to Bob with all the details and then if there was a problem then it could be raised and probably brought back to this forum if need be. There had been complaints about the size of the clock, which cannot be seen from the Cold Blow Lane End, and there was still also work to be done on the surround of the screen.
Plans for the FOTB
The MSC are still of the view that there should be a FOTB after Peter Garston’s term is completed. Andy informed us that because the Government are considering proposals regarding football governance, one of which is a Private Members Bill sponsored by Clive Efford, a Millwall season ticket holder, the situation may change. If either of them make the statute book then the Club and the MSC would need to consider the appropriate action.
Having run the trial and examined the proposals the club was of the view that the cost would be prohibitive, especially whilst we are in Division One. If and when we get back into the Championship then it may be re-examined.
Closure of Kiosk by Block 20 (Dockers Upper)
Andy pointed out that the Block 20 Kiosk had not been opened all season and he was surprised it had only just been raised. He also pointed out that not all of the normal kiosks were open for the Oxford match because of the very low ticket sales.
Strategy on Pitchside Advertising
Andy said the club were not prepared to compromise on pitchside advertising, even when there are vacant spaces. However, this can always be reviewed.
Sponsorship or Partnership with Marks and Spencer, given their new CEO is a Millwall Season Ticket Holder
Andy confirmed that no discussions had taken place, but that could change.
Man City not admitting Supporters following Oldham Postponement
Andy confirmed that the Police had sent messages to all grounds telling them not to admit Millwall fans to the ground. The position of the police was very simple, given the Millwall fans’ reputation once the Millwall match was postponed they wanted Millwall back on the road to London as soon as possible. Man City decided to operate what the police had said.
Date of next meeting - TBA
Meeting closed 17.40 hrs