MSC / Club Meeting - 30 March 2017
In attendance - Steve Kavanagh CEO, Alan Williams (MFC). Bob Asprey,
Stan Godwin (MSC).
Sale of Season Tickets 2017/18 as of the date of the meeting
(Total last year 189) - Total today 525
• Adults (81) 258
• Seniors (73) 131
• 16-21 (6) 32
• U16 (6) 20
• U12 (23) 84
So far tickets have only been advertised on Social Media and the Club Website, letters will be sent to STH’s and Members, it was felt that these figures were a good indication, but it was very early days yet.
Club Questionnaire to fans
It was reported that it is still work in progress, it is expected that the questionnaire will go out in the not too distant future. The questionnaire is being designed so a good general view will be given. The club want as many fans as possible to take part.
The club have heard nothing officially from the Council although there was an article in the Guardian this week by Barney Ronay. Renewal are still going on with their PR Campaign.
Aftermath of Leicester and Tottenham Matches
Steve said with regards to the Leicester game the club have provided all the necessary information to the FA. Leicester have done so and now it was a case of waiting to see if the FA want anything further. On the Spurs match it was pointed out that neither Spurs nor the player nor their fans made any complaint about the chanting towards the spurs player, in fact it was a member of the press. The referee’s report made no mention of the chanting, but has subsequently been asked about it. If required the club will offer further assistance.
Alan Williams reported that the 2016/17 home shirt is the best ever selling shirt. With regards to the shirts for the 2017/18 season the design is agreed and will go into production when the sponsors are confirmed. We asked if the club intended to make either the home or away strip into an all-white we were told no, not this year anyway. The current manufacturers of the kit ERREA have one more year to on their contract with the club. The club was asked if they were happy with ERREA they confirmed they were , but they are keeping their options open for the future.
Steve Kavanagh confirmed that it is a Football League Rule that clubs must have a minimum of 2 Fans Forum per season. Under the rules of the Football League there meetings are not just open to Season Ticket Holders and Members but to all Millwall fans. When asked how he found his first meeting with the fans at the forum he said he it was part of his learning curve about the club and fans.
Family Club of the Year
It was reported that for the first time ever Millwall have been shortlisted for this award, and this demonstrated that the club is moving in the right direction regarding families at the Den.
Benefits for Members and Season Ticket Holders
There will additional benefits rolled out in the next week or two, also the Marketing Dept. will be launching a campaign for lapsed Season Ticket and Members. We asked to be kept up to date on progress and we will monitor this matter at future meetings.
Live Streaming of Matches
Steve Kavanagh told that the club was aware of fans who were streaming games on their mobile phones. He reminded us that to do this is illegal he also pointed out under Ground Rules of the Football League fans are not even allowed to take photo’s . The streaming of matches in the Football League and Premier League is a major problem because it means a serious loss in revenue. In fact in the Guardian carried a story stating that the Premier League will be taking a strong line.
Player of the Season and End of Season Dinner
Fans have already been notified on the club website that the dinner will be held on the 23rd April, the cost of the tickets will be £75 + VAT per person. The MSC noted that it was marketed as the Millwall POTY and not the MSC POTY. Alan Williams responded that there was no conscious effort to exclude the MSC in any way, it was being organised by a new team this year. The ticket price is back to where it was two years ago, the lower price in 2016 had resulted in a loss. The MSC will be organising the voting for the Player of the Year at the home match on Good Friday. Fans can also vote online.
Alan Williams reported that it is proposed to have the museum ready for the start of the 2017/18 season. He reported he had a meeting with the ‘museum committee’ whch is doing this project and he was very impressed with their memorabilia, their natural enthusiasm and with the plans in general.
The meeting finished at 6.05 and the next meeting has not yet been scheduled as it will be after the season and after the MSC AGM.
MSC / Club Meeting - 2 March 2017
In attendance - Steve Kavanagh, Alan Williams – MFC
Bob Asprey, Stan Godwin, Ted Robinson, Laura Romitelli, Micky Simpson – MSC
Tottenham tickets update
2,700 sold after two days of sales with just under 1,000 left for Friday onwards. The club expects to sell out fairly soon. The majority of sales have been made remotely (online/telephone) with only a small proportion in person.
The recent months have been an education process for both the club and supporters. Supporters are becoming much more knowledgeable on how to best manage their season tickets to maximise their loyalty points and there is much more confidence in the system. The club is working hard to communicate better on this and in other areas.
Tickets for home and away ends have been seen for sale on secondary websites. Steve was aware of one of these and has reported it to the FA. He took details of another site where tickets were advertised.
There are rumours and concerns that police may use dispersal notices on the day that will therefore not allow people with tickets into the area. Given the high profile of this match, the club is clearly working closely with the police and others to manage the day as well as possible. Steve will ask Ken Chapman to look into this concern.
Associated with season tickets/loyalty points, the club is looking to offer a cashless card for use around the stadium and this could link to loyalty points. Micky suggested that the quality of the food for sale is debatable and Alan said he already tested random kiosks and the club uses a mystery shopper. Regardless, Alan and Micky arranged to visit a number of kiosks together on an upcoming matchday. Club is going through a catering retendering exercise, so this is important and timely. Although the contract is stadiumwide, to make it commercially viable, the club have looked at other speciality concessions. Anything on these lines would need to be agreed with the principal contractor. Again, the club is looking at beer lanes in order to speed up service. Bottom up glasses were used for the Leicester game, but our average gate doesn’t make this viable as a permanent solution. The club is open to any other ideas or suggestions.
2017/18 season tickets
Loyalty points next season will start from zero but this year’s records will be held as contingency. Some clubs apparently have a rolling system to additionally reward long term commitment, and this could be considered as part of our loyalty scheme.
Plan is to launch 2017-2018 season ticket sales during March. There will be a saver period but full details of this year’s prices and options have not yet been finalised.
The Chesterfield £10 promotion was a success, with the gate up 2,000 compared to the previous Tuesday fixture (Port Vale) and most of those sales made following the announcement of the offer; catering and other sales were also up. The club are conscious of season ticket holders – this season, they’ve received a £5 discount on prices for cup game and obviously receive other benefits such as priority for important games, such as Spurs.
Renewal seem to have decided to go on the offensive. Mushtaq Malik gave an interview to ITV and South London Press are stating that the CPO process will, in time, be repeated. The tactic appears to be to try to paint John Berylson as a US based venture capitalist, looking to profit from the club and the regeneration. John has made a statement to the SLP repeating his commitment to the club. The club will not be dignifying much of what’s said with a response, but certain items, such as those regarding the chairman, will be challenged. The fight will get louder.
The inquiry into the council’s actions has been called but its remit is too narrow. While the inquiry continues, nothing can happen, in respect of progressing the regeneration. It’s estimated that the inquiry will take a minimum of six months.
New Fan on the Board and Terms of Reference
In accordance with the MSC constitution, applications/nominations for FOTB can only come from those currently part of the MSC committee. There is one candidate, who has therefore won the process – Micky. The role has been discussed and the conclusion is it’s the same as is but without being a director of the club. Micky doesn’t see that as important, he feels he has to build trust with the club but hopes the directorship can be kept open for future review. He also feels the FotB has lost credibility with the fanbase and is often seen as a club mouthpiece, rather than a fan spokesman. Having to sign the confidentiality clauses required of a director could be seen to continue that perception.
The FOTB needs to properly engage with the fans and needs to be accessible on a matchday. He will then engage with Steve and maybe other directors before board meetings. The FOTB also needs to make the fans aware of the issues coming out of the club, both operational and strategic issues. There will also be occasional meetings with the chairman. While there is MSC and other social media available, the FotB should make use of the club’s YouTube channel to validate the relationship. The announcement will be made shortly on tonight’s Lions Live. It will also be announced within the next day that John has asked Pete to be a plc director, in recognition of his long service in the role.
Club questionnaire to fans
This is currently being compiled. There are two versions, one for the Executive areas and one for the rest of the stadium and the results will help shape plans for next season. The final draft will come to the MSC for review before its release by the end of next week.
The Chesterfield game is an example of the initiatives being used. This was implemented very quickly: suggested on Monday morning; approved by 1pm and launched, with a supporting video by 2pm.
Supporters’ coaches from Kent/Medway
This is included in the questionnaire.
Touchline incident with Southend substitute
The player made an allegation of racism, which is under police investigation.
Pitch invasion post Leicester
The club does not condone people coming onto the pitch but the overwhelming majority of people were simply celebrating the win. Leicester have released a letter of complaint to the press but not directly to Millwall. The police are continuing with their investigations and have today released a number of photos to the media.
Objects being thrown on the pitch
At the end of the Leicester game, the flashpoint was dealt with quickly, efficiently and according to protocol. The horses were there to avoid trouble, not because there was any trouble. The mentality of throwing items has to be eradicated; it’s damaging to the club and its reputation.
Disability Supporter Rep
Various disabled fans have issues, is there point of contact? The MSC is open to all supporters, able bodied or disabled, but will happily designate somebody to disabled supporters as a rep/point of contact. Millwall for All has disability reps, so Bob will also speak to them and a couple of regular disabled fans.
Alan will shortly be meeting with the historians to finalise their plans. Alan wants a breakdown of what they have and how it’s to be displayed. The historians have drawings and a suggested layout. Costings will be reviewed. MSC will be making a contribution, which was provisionally and originally agreed at £1,000.
Olympic Stadium Coalition
As previously discussed, it would be good to put our name to this and it could be a mutually beneficial relationship. Steve will pass more information on to Bob.
End of season dinner
No date yet confirmed. Anniversary team recognition is part of the plans.
Any other business
- Smoking there are no signs advising fans of the external smoking areas. Steve will speak to Colin, as there are rules to be adhered to but additional signage should be possible.
- Leicester game Due to a lack of stewards at the tops of the stairs, gangways couldn’t be kept clear. Similarly, since relegation to League One, stewards do not check tickets to the upper tiers at the bottom of those stairs. This makes it difficult for fans trying to watch the game from the seats.
- Fans’ forum will be held before the end of the season, date to be decided, according to other commitments. Neil, Steve and Micky is the planned panel. FL rules require two open meetings with the fans per season.
- MSC has donated £1,000 to the junior cricket team that Barney Ronay is involved with, in recognition of his work on the regeneration.
Meeting closed 18.06
Next meeting 30 April 2017
MSC / Club Meeting - 22 December 2016
In attendance - Steve Kavanagh, Lucy Pepper - (MFC), Bob Asprey, Laura Romitelli, Ted Robinson, Micky Simpson, Graeme Smale - (MSC)
2016/17 adult and junior season ticket numbers, including half season ticket sales
Half season ticket sales are at 54. Numbers across all categories are slightly ahead of last season.
Steve raised the issue of investigating how to increase attendances. The Charlton attendance was good and how the larger attendance improves the atmosphere is clear. It was noted that such atmospheres make the crowd want to attend future games. Football is more than just the game, it’s the whole matchday experience. Steve is going to organise an ‘attendance strategy working party’, which will ultimately include MSC, Millwall Community Trust and Millwall for All. Steve is looking for ideas from the MSC and all other parties and is looking for a range of ideas that will be introduced over time and bring about a gradual increase in the average attendance. Graeme suggested we need to involve the Millwall community, and contact with lapsed fans. He mentioned a division amongst supporters and a need to engage all fans. Micky raised issues with security and stewards, and catering, including beer sales. These are constant concerns and will probably never completely disappear.
Beer sales are topical – because of the bottle throwing at the Charlton home game, and also against Wycombe, bottled beer sales will be restricted at future games which Steve noted was unfortunate as it will decrease Club revenues. It was agreed by all that bottle throwing is completely unacceptable and causes damage to the club. Those in the crowd that do this need to be educated in the consequences – do they really love the club and care about its reputation and future? Would more strongly worded publicity make a difference? Is it worth bringing these fans in to talk to the club about their thoughts? Would a fans’ panel with representatives from across the range of fans be helpful? The MSC suggested that, it was important that there should at least be prominent signs in the kiosk areas on the day. Acceptable alternatives to bottled beer are under consideration.
The long queues for ticket collection before the Charlton game were well managed and cleared by 7.55pm.
Bob mentioned that we see on TV bottles/coins being thrown onto the pitch. The affected club always issues a statement of disapproval but nothing really seems to be done. Steve assured us that there will be plenty happening behind the scenes. It might be useful for members of the MSC to sit in on the stewards’ security briefing to understand the guidance they are given and the range of items on the agenda.
The MSC undertook to look at greater fan engagement; draw up a list of key issues, which could be included in the proposed fan survey; and Steve will discuss internally and consider the idea of a fans’ panel.
Following the adjournment of the meeting on 15 December, the council wrote to the club with a deadline for a reply of 23 December. They want to understand the relationship between the trust, the club, and the academy. Apart from the current headline issue of access to an indoor astroturf pitch, there are a number of outstanding issues that need to be worked through. Steve is delighted that the MSC and AMS are working together for the good of the club.
Future of FOTB position
Steve understands the history of this role and how it has evolved. However, what is the future? Will any new FOTB also hold the role of club director, with all the associated obligations and commitments, or a position with less fiduciary responsibility but similar access? The MSC suggested that director responsibilities might put some people off the role. It was agreed that the MSC should draft a job description, including intended expectations of the role, for Steve to take to the Chairman and Board. Bob’s personal view is that the supporters are able to have input into the board meeting, given that they are as much a part of the club as other elements, but will have their own view and a constructive role to play. Some supporters may want to know about discussions at the board meetings but others will not be so concerned. Micky mentioned that the role has changed over time and the fans’ perspective is that Pete is nowadays probably more establishment than fan. Steve does see that Pete puts forward the fans’ perspective and has been invaluable in that; however, the role probably needs a revamp.
Steve asked how the FOTB role differs from the meetings the MSC has with the club. Bob feels there is a different agenda for the supporters’ club and the board meetings, being fan issues and more strategic matters respectively.
Graeme says that Pete has been under a lot of pressure is when the team are doing poorly. Steve says that the role is not about that and that needs to be made clear. It’s about fan engagement and liaison, and defending the club. Micky says it’s a privileged role; the jobholder needs to make themselves available to the fans. It’s generally agreed that, on matchdays, the FotB should be very visible and make themselves known. Steve says this needs to be defined in the job description. The MSC asked Steve if he thinks the roleholder needs boardroom experience. No, not necessarily, although it will be helpful for the FotB to attend elements of a board meeting, where possible, as it will aid their understanding.
This was used for Wimbledon and worked very well. The points required were pitched accurately and the system will also be used for Charlton, which has just been announced. Supporters need to know that the first release will always ensure demand can be met and this is the type of message that needs to be promoted to the fans The points required are allocated to best manage the allocation and away season ticket holders will automatically be allocated a ticket as first priority. Following a query Steve received from a regular fan, corporate clients also need to be accommodated fairly.
Child abuse in football
The club is working with the FA; the police are liaising with clubs via the FA. If people want to report a name, that’s the process and club will provide all the information required to assist the enquiry. No specific allegations have been made against anybody employed by the club at that time. Police are not investigating clubs, but individuals, although this may change.
EFL Whole Game Solution – abandonment of proposed league restructure
The reason given by the EFL for the abandonment of the proposal was that the FA wouldn’t move the third and fourth rounds of the FA Cup to midweek. This made the proposals impossible to achieve. Steve has asked that the issues continue to be debated otherwise there is a danger the EFL will be left behind as the key issues still exist for the Premier league and The FA and indeed revenue distribution is an issue for all Clubs. However, for the time being, everything is on hold. Funding structures, youth recruitment, income distribution, fixture congestion, a winter break, are still active issues. They need to be considered to try to be in the best position to manage them or find a solution. Graeme suggests a premier league winter break would be good for the football league, as it would refocus attention on the lower divisions. The MSC asked where more money could now come from? The only real option is to take any more money offered by the premier league but is that a good thing? However, if it’s not accepted, the divide becomes bigger. The club’s questionnaire to the fans is still going ahead; if the MSC has items for inclusion, they should be sent through to the club. The club will be able to analyse the results according to fan type, for example, corporate/general/season tickets. Graeme suggested that questions on bringing children to the game should be included. Steve mentioned there is also the question of diversity.
The MSC used to receive advance away game information, such as designated pubs, but this has stopped. The information was announced on Lions Live. Steve asked Lucy to speak to Ken Chapman to try to reinstate this. It would be good to release the information promptly on social media, both the club and MSC, but the information’s usually received only at very short notice. Steve has yet to meet the new police liaison officer, but this will be organised and will invite him to an upcoming meeting.
Price of Football Survey
This seemed to receive less publicity than in previous years. The influx of money into the premier league has caused some artificially low ticket prices that mean that football league prices don’t compare favourably on tickets alone but that is due to subsidy permitted by the high central premier league income
MFC/MSC new joint initiatives
This includes the Goal of the Month vote. The MSC has agreed to cover the cost of the trophy for the rest of this season or until the club can secure a sponsor. Everybody is keen to start this immediately in the new year, so the proposal will be confirmed by the MSC and hopefully the club can agree this in time for a new year launch.
In Alan’s absence, there’s no full update. The historians have provided a handwritten list of memorabilia, which is with Alan. In order to make this list easier to manage, the MSC offered to transfer the information into excel. The plan is then to plan the exhibition and cabinet layout.
End of season/50th anniversary dinner
The plan to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the unbeaten home league run at this season’s end of season dinner will go ahead.
Partnership with Goodwin Smith
There had been a flurry of publicity promoting this range of shoes. The club receive a commission for sales made in the club shop. It’s been fairly well received and there’s no financial risk to the club.
Any other business
Against Charlton, the club experimented with some music, with the volume deliberately higher than usual. This will be adjusted according to the size of the crowd. The team can’t be guaranteed to win every match, so what makes people want to come to Millwall: atmosphere, experience, buzz. What else can we do? Steve wants to generate an atmosphere at the opening whistle. What can be done to bring people to the ground earlier? All these are open for ideas.
Next meeting 26 January 2017.
Meeting closed 18.32 pm
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 QandA 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 and 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