Minutes of Meeting
20th January 2018
Apologies for absence
Nine committee members attended, One committee member sent apologies. Four members attended.
Attendance record held by Chair and Secretary.
Minutes of last meeting
Minor amendment to be made to minutes of 24/11/17.
With minor amendment minutes of last meeting agreed as accurate reflection of meeting of 24/11/17.
Nomination of Post of WHUISA Chair
Paul Christmas thanked the committee for the work done to date. He briefly outlined the Chair’s role.
George Mann nominated Mark Walker for Chair.
Seconded by Paul Turner.
No other committee member indicated interest in post of Chair.
Vote- unanimous election of Mark Walker to position of Chair. This will be until the Annual General Meeting in August.
Actions Notification of Mark Walker as Chair of WHUISA to be put on website, Twitter account and Facebook page.
Nomination for Post of Vice-Chair of WHUISA
Brief discussion around role of Vice-Chair followed.
George Mann nominated Paul Turner for role of Vice-Chair.
Seconded by Dan Coker.
No other committee member indicated interest in post of Vice-Chair.
Vote- unanimous election of Paul Turner to position of Vice-Chair. This will be until the Annual General Meeting in August.
Actions Notification of Paul Turner as Vice-Chair of WHUISA to be put on website, Twitter account and Facebook page.
It was reported that no other members had indicated a wish to join the committee.
John Ratomski presented his report on policies and processes of Premier league clubs in allocation of away tickets, report included with minutes. From this report it was noted that no ISA is currently happy with the current schemes from their clubs. Their appears to be no current system that works. This is based on the replies received.
Dan Coker expressed that the 10% scheme hadn’t worked and queried if how fans felt about this is part of the issue. There was also a discussion around the re-selling of away tickets and points gained.
Dan Coker commented that for away games if the tickets are ‘read’ at the turnstiles, points could go on that card/ticket on entry.
Manchester United holds a random check of 200 ticket holders at away games, to see if the ticket holder matches the name on the ticket/card. However it was felt this may give more power to the club.
Discussions around allocation of tickets for away games followed. It was felt a full allocation may lessen the issue of 10% scheme. It was also felt the club had ‘sold fans short’ for a while.
Weighting of away games discussed. The balance between London games and Northern games queried. The philosophy regarding points for games queried as not transparent/obvious. The club have a responsibility for points allocated and to promote the club and its membership. It was noted that the £30 away tickets ends in May 2018. It was felt that if prices increase too much this may affect attendance at away games.
Mark Walker commented on current picture from WHUISA survey. To date there have been 1300 responses. It was agreed the survey to run until Wednesday 31st January 2018.
Actions WHUISA to run survey re away tickets until 31/1/18. Mark Walker to prepare analysis of outcomes.
Actions Dan Coker to contact Nicola Keye at the club, re number of season ticket holders and priority points.
Actions Mark Walker to send the code for the away ticket survey to committee.
George Mann informed the meeting that all emails had been updated.
Mark Gower suggested committee needs to be transparent about what members get for joining WHUISA, what is advantage for them? There was a discussion around lapel badges to identify WHUISA members as draws attention. The ‘speech bubble’ design was agreed as the design for possible pin badge.
John Ratomski raised the reduction of membership to £1 from 20/1/18.
Actions Paul Christmas to research cost for 1000 pin badges.
Actions Mark Gower to send ‘speech bubble’ design to Paul Christmas.
Actions James Rutherford to add donation banner to new WHUISA website.
Actions Membership to be reduced to £1 as of 20/1/18 for rest of 2017-2018 season and advertised on website.
Website Updates/Next Steps
James Rutherford was thanked for all his work on the website. Mark Walker suggested a ‘webmaster’ may be an effective way forward.
James Rutherford informed the meeting it is possible to set up an analysis of the website.
Dan Coker commented that the website could be seen as the central ‘go to’ place, where videos and links to other websites could be added.
Paul Turner suggested a ‘you said-we did’ section. Campaigns need to be prominent on the new website.
James Rutherford suggested the website needed to be updated on a regular basis, possibly at an agreed date/time to maintain interest in the website itself from wider membership.
James Rutherford suggested additional artwork for the website. Mark Gower to discuss this with Lily. It was felt info-graphics would add to the website. Lily thanked again for all her hard work on the website.
James Rutherford will look at how payments for membership via paypal, can be processed. Prior to current website, paypal has £500 that needs transferring to WHUISA accounts.
There is £1,778 in the WHUISA bank account with £500 with paypal, awaiting transferring. Outgoings shared with meeting.
Mark Walker would like all WHUISA communication to go via the WHUISA email account. This account is open to all on the committee and all communication to go via this account. It was agreed emails should be responded to. Mailchimp keeps account of number of hits to website.
Actions James Rutherford, George Mann, Dan Coker to work on website.
Actions Mark Gower to collate further updates for website and discuss with Lily. WHUISA to cover any expenses-George Mann (Treasurer)
Actions Mark Walker to send information/log in details to email account to committee.
Actions James Rutherford to look at how payments for membership from paypal, can be processed.
Actions George Mann to liaise with James re payments for membership and monies in paypal.
Actions All email contact from WHUISA to go via website.
There has been some progress on this campaign WHUISA has been working on.
It has been noted, for the last three home games, programme sellers and wheelie rubbish bins, have not been on the Champion Stones.
Mark Walker has contacted all those on the spreadsheet that have contacted WHUISA re Champion Stone issues. Over three quarters of those on the spreadsheet have not been contacted by the club despite Jake Heath informing WHUISA at meeting of 30/11/17, that all will be contacted.
Paul Turner expressed this is evidence of lack of response from the club.
There are new stones for sale and being advertised. The quality of the stones at Arsenal’s ground is better than at West Ham United. It was recognised the ground the stones are on is owed by LLDC, so it was felt this had impact on the when stones can be laid.
Actions WHUISA committee to continue to monitor position of programme sellers/bins.
Actions George Mann to collate feedback from those on spreadsheet. George Mann to contact the club via the information app and inform them of the feedback.
Further contact with West Ham United
Mark Walker suggested WHUISA need to meet the club with ideas on how to improve/deal with fans concerns. WHUISA could also bring up the Champions Stones and ticket survey feedback/analysis. Points and actions agreed from meeting of 30/11/17 could also be addressed.
The last Safety Advisory Board (SAB) met April 2017. The SAB is recognised as having no constitutional basis. A discussion around the purpose of the SAB queried if this is a way of demonstrating fan involvement so enabling entry to UEFA competitions. Mark Walker informed the meeting he had brought up the SAB at the meeting of 30/11/17 with representatives of the club. Minutes of meeting between WHUISA and West Ham United (30/11/17), on WHUISA website.
There was a further discussion around how the SAB could be more than a ‘nodding’ shop with proper fan engagement. The lack of minutes from the SAB on whufc.com, as of 20/1/18, combined with no constitutional basis is a concern.
It was felt if the club would not meet with WHUISA we should publicise the survey results and Champion Stone updates.
Mark Gower shared concerns re disability facilities, access via busy bridges and general access around the stadium. It was agreed WHUISA need a representative on the DSAB.
Actions Mark Gower to represent WHUISA on DSAB
Actions Mark Walker to request a meeting with West Ham United.
Any Other Business
There was agreement from the committee that WHUISA is respectful of The Real West Ham Fans Action Group (RWHFAG) and their aims. It was further agreed that a divide and rule from the club would mean fans are the only losers. There are open channels between WHUISA and RWHFAG and these must be maintained.
The absence of screens in the concourse, in parts of the stadium was brought up, along with the decision to turn some screens off. It was queried as to whether this is a corporate issue? This is an issue in the West Stand in particular. Paul Christmas suggested looking at what screens are placed where and put a report together.
A concern re the upgrading of Junior Tickets was brought to committee’s attention.
Mark Walker informed the meeting WHUISA has been invited to a Metropolitan Police meeting on 25/1/18.
Actions WHUISA to raise screen issue with West Ham United.
Actions WHUISA to raise upgrading of junior tickets with West Ham.
Actions WHUISA to attend meeting of 25/1/18 and publicise outcomes.
Actions John Ratomski to invite Burnley ISA to game against West Ham. Paul Christmas to arrange entry to supporters club.
Date of next meeting
To be confirmed.