Who’d have thought it? One – nil against West Ham! What a fantastic start to the season and to Malky McKay’s tenure at the club. Let’s hope that fighting team spirit stays with us all the way this season. Well done lads!
So the season has started and the Trust has already met the club as the new campaign gets underway. Board members Tracey Marsh and Martin Bale joined me at the Stadium on Tuesday 9 August to put your questions directly to the Chief Executive, Gethin Jenkins, and his team.
Trust members had contacted us during the day to express their dismay at the decision by Arriva Trains Wales to withdraw all services to and from Ninian Park station 3 hours before and 3 hours after matches. This will seriously inconvenience a lot of supporters. The club said that although it had been in discussions with Arriva they too were taken by surprise by the announcement as this was not what had been previously discussed. We are also disappointed that Arriva did not consult with supporters groups before closing the station. Overcrowding on the platform after the match can be an issue but surely people come to Ninian Park halt little by little before the match so the station should be kept open. As a Trust we hope the railway company will review this decision and make changes so that fans can use the most convenient station for the Cardiff City Stadium at match days.
Another issue we discussed was when you can and cannot stand at the Cardiff City Stadium. This is a customer service issue for the club,after all we all pay for a seat in the stadium. All areas are risk assessed and stewarded accordingly. It is for us as supporters to respect the wishes of other people coming to matches. However, some people do want to stand and the club says it will be more tolerant of standing in the Canton stand than in other areas of the ground.
Some people have emailed us saying they fear the price of food and drink will go up this season. The club discusses the prices at the stadium with their provider, Compass. It also benchmarks its prices against other football grounds. There’s no point our comparing the price of a pint with that in a pub in Canton – these will always be stadium prices and there will be a slight increase this season. But it is worth noting that in a BBC survey ‘Price of Football’ Cardiff offered the eighth cheapest day out in the Championship for match ticket, programme, food and drink. (Here is the link to the survey – https://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/14367357.stm )
If you have been accessing Sky Sports live on your iPhone at the Stadium then you are one of the lucky ones. Wi-fi coverage is patchy. The club says that it is available in the conference and banqueting areas but that much as they would like to make it available for everyone, they have looked into it and the cost is simply prohibitive at the moment. But there was good news on the artificial lighting rig which will help the playing surface grow. The club is hoping to have the lights working by October. Work is also due to start on the club’s Memorial Garden near the Ninian gates on the Sloper Road side of the Stadium. This will eventually offer an enclosed restful space with benches and tress sponsored by fans where people can visit to remember their loved ones. It is hoped the garden can be officially opened in November.
We thanked the club for organising the Malky McKay question and answer night in Pontypridd which was a great success. There is the Academy dinner at the Stadium at which Malky will be speaking in September and then two more ‘roadshows’ when the manager will be visiting Blackwood and Maesteg in October and November. It’s good to talk, so please keep the questions coming and let us know if there is anything you need from your Trust or the club.
Finally we were also able to see the “door” to our new office,which is situated near entrance 5 at the stadium. It is hoped that this will be available for us to meet regularly before match from Sunday.
Come on you Blues!