WHUISA and the FSF

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WHUISA and other Premier League Trusts and ISAs met with the FSF recently to discuss ongoing issues and to prepare the agenda for the meeting with Premier League representatives on 11th October.

WHUISA’s notes are here:

WHUISA Minutes - FSF Premier League Fans Group Meeting

Date of Meeting: 27th September 2018

Venue of Meeting: Wesley Hotel London

New FSF/SD organisation structure

An interim board has been set up to carry through the merger of FSF/SD.

Inaugural FSF/SD Conference set for Thursday 22nd November. Procedures to follow by email with electronic e-voting as part of elections. The process will be fair and democratic for electing members. Closing date for standing is 30th October 2018. The successful representatives will serve a two year term.

Away Price Cap

The £30 cap expires at the end of 2018-19 season. It was felt by those at the meeting, that pressure needs to be maintained to keep the current price cap in place. It was seen as successful for the FA and fans generally.

West Ham United were identified as one of the clubs not offering any discounts below £25 for away tickets. There was a discussion around young adult (18-22) pricing cap of £10. Clubs to vote on the price cap.

FA Cup ticket prices

A minimum charge has been set but not a maximum. There were discussions around the possible leverage re the sale of Wembley and pricing.

It was agreed to add FA Cup price tickets to the agenda for the next FA meeting. The sub-group will formulate a campaign re the away price cap and allocation, and report back to the group.

Stand Up for Choice

There was a brief recap on the petition re safe standing and the actions of Parliament. The review will go ahead but is asking for evidence. The SGSA is saying ANY injury in a standing area is due to fans standing. Opinions of fans/fan organisations and the issue of disorder will be considered in safe standing discussion. Safe standing will need to be agreed as Primary Legislation by Parliament if going ahead. Standing is now considered as a customer care issue and not a safety issue.

There is an SGSA replacement who seems more open minded to the idea of safe standing. Cardiff, Huddersfield and Brighton will trial a new system. These clubs will have a reciprocal arrangement to allow for fixed seating areas for the away fans as well as safe standing areas. West Ham United was a 4th option to take part in this trial. It was noted there is a similar campaign re standing at European level.

WHUISA will add questions relating to safe standing to their fan survey.

Publication of Premier League Minutes

FSF will take notes from PL meetings and write them up. It was agreed by those at the meeting that minutes need to be distributed promptly. It was also agreed to distribute terms of reference for meeting before the next meeting and share with those round the table. The notes from the last meeting in April, are now on the FSF website. The next meeting with the PL is 11/10/18.

Flexible Train Tickets

The working group initially met 12 months ago re the flexible rail ticket, ‘Fanfair’. The Labour Party is pushing for this. Rail companies say they are exploring the issues. This to go onto the PL agenda for further discussion.

WHUISA informed the meeting Virgin trains were prepared to discuss cheap fares.

The working party will follow this up with Virgin trains.

La Liga/ Game 39

The current TV deal only covers 38 games until 2022. The Champions League and Europa cup final games could be played in New York in 2021.

The FSF has held regional events and a campaign in the media around Game 39.

Scudamore has indicated the Clubs are keen on game 39.

Those around the table may need to be ready to respond if this goes ahead.

Kick off times working group

WHUISA raised concerns over the issue of 10,000 child season tickets and the number of night games on a school night and how that affects attendance. There was a lengthy discussion around the impact of games getting organised then re-organised for TV. Up to 70%of games will be moved. Some games are moved more than twice. This issue have been raised with the FA.

It was noted Sky, BT sport and the PL didn’t argue with the facts around the impact of re-organisation of games.

The importance of pressure on the FA to hold to the 6 week match confirmation.

The date for confirmation of Xmas games is 12/10/18. The Boxing day games may be shown on Amazon. The working group will follow up on issues raised.

Structured Dialogue

85% of clubs are meeting with their supporters a minimum of twice a year.

Also noted 25% of clubs are not showing suitable levels of communication with supporters.

It was agreed the Premier League best practice document and the Premier League one page document re structured dialogue with supporters, to be sent to all Premier League clubs.

Any other business

It was noted that Burnley supporters were only given 5 days notice to arrange their away travel for the Europa League games. This was felt to be difficult for the supporters.

An Independent Police Safety Group has been set up in conjunction with FSF and the Police.

There was a discussion around football paying for policing. Sajid Javid is in favour of this.

Meeting closed at 8.30pm