Ahead of the recent home match against Bromley, representatives from the Trust board met with members of the club board. A summary of the meeting is below.
Southport FC: Nigel Allen, Liam Watson, Haydn Preece
Trust in Yellow: Martin Robinson, Noel Warham, Howard Birch, Alan Jones
A brief overview was given of the recent changes to the club’s board. The Trust welcomes the changes and the Trust provided details of its own background and recent activities.
The club is aware of the structured dialogue approach which Supporters Direct is looking to implement at all levels of the game as a best practice for clubs to communicate with supporter groups.
The club is keen to engage in structured dialogue and NA, LW and HP will be the three directors who in future meet with the Trust and feed back to the club board.
The Trust has held meetings with the club in the past but these have usually been sporadic. It was agreed that it is important for meetings to be held regularly between both parties.
The club will be looking to engage in regular dialogue with the Trust and meetings will try to be arranged on non-matchdays.
LW is happy to attend Trust members’ meetings to answer questions from supporters.
The club’s immediate priority is results on the pitch to ensure it remains in the National League. The club is keen to make broader improvements which will focus the matchday experience, engagement with fans and the club’s commercial activities.
The club intends to consult the Trust to gauge supporter opinion on possible future changes which affect fans.
The club supports the Trust’s desire to improve the viewing facilities for disabled supporters and will support an application for a grant for a scheme.
The current layout of the ground causes restrictions, meaning there will be an element of compromise to the viewing platform. It was agreed that the paddock at the Blowick side of the Grandstand is the best area available for a new structure.
The Trust’s current plans include capacity for up to four disabled fans based on enquiries made at matches, though the club’s figures show an average attendance of seven disabled fans.
Further enquiries will be made by both the club and the Trust in relation to the number of disabled fans who attend games and the possibility of increasing the capacity of the disabled viewing platform.
It was suggested that the chances of a grant being awarded might be affected if the scheme was for less than the average number of wheelchair users who attend matches.
NA suggested areas where the club could help with the development which HB will look at.
The Trust has been contacted about the lack of disabled parking facilities for fans who attend matches. The club will look into this.
The Trust’s planned programme of events for the season was discussed. The players will attend the Race Night and alternative dates for the Question of Sport quiz will be considered so that LW will be able to have a team in the quiz.
The club supports the Trust’s plans to mark the promotion season of 1966/67.
After the Trust’s next board meeting on October 11, the Trust will contact the club with suggested dates in November for the next meeting.