NCFC staff at the meeting………. Ben Kensell (BK), Charlotte Foster, Lynette Hannant and Rebecca Shearer. Representatives from Forces2Canaries, Canaries Trust, Proud Canaries, Along Come Norwich, Barclay End Norwich and Capital Canaries.
A brief overview of the points raised from last nights 90-minute meeting.
From the club. Firstly NCFC stated the club acknowledged they got the membership scheme launch wrong and that they should have also consulted with fans much earlier in the process. The club has moved to a Commercial based membership. NCFC is a self-funded club and the only one in the EPL. In the Championship NCFC had one of the highest wage bills. Season ticket prices have remained static for many years. Letters referencing the new scheme should (and were planned to) have arrived with fans earlier than they did. In the coming months, fan consultation on this membership scheme and any future system will encompass a much broader cross-section of the fan base and over several meetings. Six thousand memberships have been sold so far. BK has spoken to many many fans in person and by phone discussing this new scheme. This new system was agreed and signed off by the board and not just one person. Consultation with fans will take place ahead of the 20-21 season membership launch which should be announced In January 2020.
From the fan groups. Families have been hardest hit under this new scheme with a parent and two children having to pay out £150 to be in with a chance of obtaining an away ticket, x 2 if they wish to attend home games as well. Many fans feel this is unfair, and some refuse to pay this extra expense.
The 2 tier membership and pricing point (particularly the junior membership) is not popular with fans. One membership to cover home and away would have been better. Not one club operates the same system as the current one at NCFC. At present, 9 EPL clubs are using a points/loyalty system.
The old system wasn’t perfect, season ticket holders getting a 1000 points was crazy and just needed tweaking, not this massive overhaul we have before us. One suggestion was to have a loyalty-based system with 10% of away tickets guaranteed for new away travellers.
Some stats for those that like them….. 2015/2016 season which was our last season in the EPL and before the current £30 away cap, NCFC averaged just over 2100 away fans. We only sold out for 4 away games in that season. Last season approx 750 fans went to 10 or more away games (this figure includes the away season ticket holders). In the group 4-9 away games group, we have 4600 fans. Average away attendance last season up to Rotherham away was 1650 and by the end of the season it had averaged out to 1950.
F2C view.…..We will always favour a loyalty based scheme. We see it looking something like this.
Away ticket sale priority.
Away season ticket holders. (235)
Ten or more away games attended last season. (550)
4-9 away games attended last season. (4600)
1-3 away games attended last season and Season ticket holders.
While we accept no scheme will suit everyone, for us the majority of fans should be catered for. Using this system will cover 25-26,000 (approx) fans before going to members. Some will call this a closed shop system. We call it a loyalty-based system.
The 2019-2020 season will throw up some new grounds, Spurs and West Ham which will be very popular regardless of when the games are being played. Most London and a couple of the South coast games will be highly sought after due to their location and calibre of teams. There will no doubt be plenty of tickets available for the likes of Newcastle, Burnley & Palace for example.
Getting rid of the current system isn’t viable. If you don’t reward loyalty, what do you do?