Issue No. 08
Welcome to the February edition of our 2013/14 eNewsletter. The purpose is to keep SA members informed on matters related to the Association.
2013/14 SA Membership
SA membership for 2013/14 is now closed, and will re-open once any possible changes to benefits or subscriptions have been resolved. The final membership figure for the 2013/14 season is 865, a drop of 40 from the previous season.
Thank you to those SA members who responded to the recent Questionnaire mailed out on behalf of the Club. Around 24% of members responded, and all of the comments were discussed with Barry Webber, the Club’s new CEO. A brief summary of the responses are as follows:-
Quest 1 (Value & Benefits) – The majority of members felt that the current benefits of being an SA member were very good value. The most beneficial areas were Ticket Priority, followed closely by SA Travel and Club Shop discounts.
Quest 2 (Additional Benefits) – A high percentage of members felt that there should be some sort of discount to members on ticket prices. A number indicated that they would welcome more benefits, and some requested closer contact with the players.
Quest 3 (How Much Would You pay?) – Around 50% indicated that they wouldn’t want to pay more for their membership. The remainder of members stated that they would be prepared to pay between £20 – £50 for SA membership with additional benefits.
Quest 4 (Will You Renew?) – Over 90% confirmed that they planned to renew their SA membership for 2014/15, dependant on the cost.
Quest 5 (Why to Quest 4) – Around 60% stated it was due to good value and current benefits. The remainder indicated that it showed their support for the Club.
Quest 6 (Are You a ST Holder) – 42% of those who responded advised that they were Season Ticket holders.
Quest 7 (No. of Home Games) – Almost 70% of those who responded attend almost every home game.
SA Meeting with Club
The responses to the Questionnaire were discussed and reviewed with the Club, and as a result the SA were offered some additional benefits, although it would result in an increase in subscription rates. Members have now had the details of the proposed new scheme, with additional benefits and costs, and have been asked to vote in a Referendum. To date under 20% have responded, and the closing date is this Friday 28th February. If there’s a clear majority in favour, the SA will need to hold an EGM to ratify the increases in subscriptions. Please Make Your Vote Count, and return the Referendum Sheet before 6pm on Friday.
Junior Match Day Vouchers
All Junior Members and 6yr old Baby Members, are now receiving a Match Day Voucher booklet with their birthday card, and feedback has been very positive. The vouchers provide them with tickets for themselves and a friend, a one off 15% discount in the Club Shop and a £3 voucher to spend at Boro Tea Bar.
News from the Football Supporters Federation (FSF)
Bristol City FC are the first club in the Football League to install safe standing/seating arrangement in a section of their Ashton Gate stadium. This initiative subscribes to the popular campaign being orchestrated by the FSF.
This comes on the back of an announcement that the Football League have agreed to lobby the government to relax the regulations in order to allow safe standing at football stadia.
Away fans FA Cup allocation:
FA Cup rules (Section 21a) state that away clubs “have the right to claim for up to 15% of all accommodation at the stadium they are visiting”. This would have equated to around 9,000 tickets at the Emirates Stadium for Arsenal’s recent FA Cup ties with Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. In the event, each club only received 5,186 tickets each.
This flies in the face of the FSF’s recent “Away Fans Matter” campaign.
Arsenal are defending their stance on the grounds of Health & Safety.
The FSF are challenging the authorities at the Emirates on the following points:
· The Arsenal stadium is virtually brand new and state-of-the-art. If it’s not deemed safe for away supports in nominated sections, then how can it be safe for home fans?
· Coventry City recently played at the Emirates, but were allocated 8686 tickets. Why was it ok for that club, but not Spurs or Liverpool?
· If it’s not safe for some supporters, (but ok for others), how has it been issued with a Safety Certificate?
Watch this space…!
Supporters Liaison Officers (SLO):
Doncaster Rovers’ reputation for providing successful consultation with its supporters has continued to attract further interest for other Football League clubs.
Lee Croft and Mark Hughesman were appointed SLOs at Doncaster Rovers last summer. Both are actual fans of the club (not employees), and they gave a presentation at the away fixture to Bolton Wanderers. Lee said: “We were invited by Bolton’s SLO to a focus group meeting which was attended by over 20 people, including some of the club’s senior management and supporters. They were very interested in our approach and how it has been implemented at Doncaster Rovers.”
Shaun Lockwood, the Communications Manager at Doncaster, added: “We want to build a culture where the club and the supporters are together as one. The SLOs provide information and guidance to supporters and the club’s management allowing a conduit of communication between the two.”
A UEFA directive has made SLOs mandatory for all clubs to be created and act as a bridge between the fans and the club to improve dialogue between the two.
Stevenage FC – SLO
The Club have confirmed that the new SLO, who replaces Adam Cockfield, is the Club Secretary Chris Clark. Please continue to send issues and ideas via the SA and we will co-ordinate a response via Chris.
Death of A Member
The SA regret to announce the death of long time SA member and Stevenage supporter Harry Coffin. Harry was an SA member for past 20 years, and in the mid 1960’s he served on the Committee of the Stevenage Town Supporters Club. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
L1 Prediction Competition
The latest League Table for our L1 Prediction table can be found in the Competition Section on this site.
SA Fans Football Team News
Poor weather has prevented the fans team from playing its last two fixtures against Crawley and Wolves. However, they did manage to play our old rivals Barnet loosing
4-2 on Sat 25th Jan with goals from Matt Pickett & Tim Chesworth. However, they managed an impressive 3-1 win over Peterborough last Saturday with goals from Mark Gentleman, Jeorge Wedge and Tim Chesworth,
The next scheduled fixture is at home to MK Dons on 22nd March.
The Mitchell Cole tournament will be happening again this season at the Lamex, and will take place on Saturday 10th May. More details in the next issue.
The Fans team will also be playing a Charity 20/20 cricket match against Aston CC at Aston Green, on Friday 30th May starting at 6pm and all are welcome.
John Carroll has organised away match coach travel as follows:-
1st Mar Bradford Depart 11.00am – Members £20
4th Mar Crawley Depart 4.30pm – Members £15
15th Mar Carlisle Depart 8.30am – Members £30 (Only run if 25+ book)
26th Mar Coventry Depart 5.00pm – Members £15
5th Apr Shrewsbury Depart 9.00am – Members £25
To book your seat see John at the SA Point or telephone him after 6pm. For full details visit the Travel section on our web-site.
Thanks to a recent donation, the SA now have more programmes covering away Conference fixtures, in particular covering the seasons for 2001 – 2005. The programmes are available to purchase a just £2 each incl. Postage. To request a catalogue in Excel format, please email Mervyn@sfcsa.co.uk
Social Activity Update
Last Saturday the SA organised a Quiz Night in the Broadhall Suite, and it proved to be
a fantastic success. Our host Dean Thompson delivered a fun quiz that included and challenged everyone.
15 teams entered, with 76 people taking part in the quiz. The SA managed to raise over £300
The winners after a tie break were Thrupney bits (a team of 3 Boro fans), closely followed by The West Stand team ‘Searching for Rachel’.
The event was also part of the Lamex Challenge. The West Stand scored 55 in the quiz and are in the lead, and the SA Supporters football team and the Boro girls are in joint second place after the first round, both scoring 44 points in the quiz.
The current Lamex Supporters Challenge League Table
West Stand 10 points, Boro Girls and SA Football Team both on 9 points.
SA Player of the Year
Voting for this season’s SA Player of the Year will open on Sat 29th March when we entertain Port Vale, and will close at 6pm on 12th April after the Colchester fixture. More details in the March Newsletter.
Junior Loyal Supporter Scheme
Updates to the Loyal Supporter Table appear on our web-site after each home game in the Junior Boro Section.
We still need a few more featured SA fans for the remaining games this season. If you are interested then, please email me in a max of 50 words the following:-
How long you’ve supported the Boro?
What was your first ever Boro game?
What is your most memorable game?
Who’s your favourite Boro player? (past/present)
We will also need a photo of you as a jpeg, or we may be able to use the photo that’s stored for your membership card. You will be advised what programme you’ll be featured in, just in case you want to buy a dozen or more copies!
The next edition of the SA eNewsletter is due to be published by the end of Match. Thanks for reading, and we do hope that you find our updates useful. If you would like to make a contribution to a future issue or provide any feedback, please contact us.