Supporters Liaison Meeting 14 October 2021
Wayne Nash (Head of Operations)
Mona Sabbuba (Head of Ticketing)
Paul Corkrey (Supporters Liaison Officer)
Representatives of :-
Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust
Cardiff City Supporters Club
Disabled Supporters Group
South Wales Police
Away travel coach organisers.
The club will be publishing formal minutes of the meeting but here is a broad overview of the proceedings.
The meeting was run by Paul Corkrey (universally known as Corky) who has replaced Adam Gilliatt as Supporters Liaison Officer. His rôle it is to act as a link between the Club and Supporters Groups.
Wayne Nash outlined the difficulties faced by the club (and Swansea and the WRU) in implementing the requirements of the Welsh Parliament. It was recognised by the club that the process has not been straightforward for the supporter to obtain either a digital or paper copy of the pass. They have provided guidance on their website in respect of acquiring the necessary documentation, however, they are determined to make a difficult situation work. “Outer perimeters” will be set up within the stadium car park through which fans will be funnelled to have their passes checked. The existing body and bag checks that take place immediately before accessing the turnstile will continue. In order to be as helpful as possible, for those who do not have the necessary documentation the club will make available Lateral Flow Tests although they did point out that results would need to be uploaded to the NHS website to complete the process. Yet again, not an easy process but the club is trying to do its best under the circumstances. The pass checking process prior to the game will be kept under constant review and risk assessed accordingly. The home game against Middlesbrough on 23 October will be the first occasion on which the new rules will be implemented. Middlesbrough FC has been made aware of the fact that their travelling supporters will be obliged to comply with Welsh Government requirements which the EFL have reinforced. A positive note was that the club undertook to continue, whenever possible, the socially distanced seating arrangements in the Upper Ninian Stand. The club will be publishing specific details of how the process will be managed in due course.
Supporters Code of Conduct
The requirement for evidence of double vaccination or negative test will mean a significant revision to the document. The club will be publishing version 5 as soon as possible.
Forthcoming Away Fixtures
The club outlined at length the logistical arrangements for away coaches for the Swansea game. This fixture is the only one where City fans have the added complication of the Covid Pass on top of what is already a problematic away fixture. The club also announced ticket allocations and pricing structures for away fixtures at Fulham, Stoke and Preston North End.
Wayne Nash outlined the work the club has carried out to provide safe standing areas at the rear of the Canton Stand and in the away section. He said that the club recognise that some supporters do wish to stand and they have tried to cater for that. Wayne emphasised that providing these areas has been achieved in the context of stringent financial conditions in the club and spending in the order of £75,000 has been made to arrive at the current situation. He also inferred that, if we were to be promoted to the Premier League again, the standing areas in the Canton and away section would be expanded.
Season Ticket/Reward Card
Mona referred to the delays in issuing the season ticket cards which were solely down to activating the reward functionality of the card by an external provider. Whilst the card can be used as a stadium entry card only, she did refer to the fact that many fans had activated the reward aspect of the card and uploaded funds to spend using the card. She reminded everyone that this benefits not only the cardholder but also the club and urged fans to take advantage of this.
Anti Social and Hooligan Behaviour at Games
Police representatives outlined a depressing litany of incidents at various games so far this season. Mostly minor in nature and some avoidable with more informed liaison between respective clubs and Police Forces. The most serious incidents took place at the Millwall home game whereby a steward was knocked down and repeatedly punched on the ground. A total of 10 arrests of Millwall fans during and subsequent to the game have taken place. They will be subject to action in the courts and will be banned for life by Millwall. However, the incidents that will have the biggest impact on the club are the 3 pitch invasions at the Brighton Carabao Cup game which will likely result in a 5 figure fine for the City as well as the reputational damage that goes with it.
Memorial Garden at CCS
After the previous item, the mood of the meeting was lifted when Wayne Nash outlined progress with the development of the Memorial Garden. Its maintenance and development is carried out by local military veterans who volunteer their services as well as other volunteers. Their activity not only enhances the garden but also has a beneficial impact on the volunteers in terms of recuperation. The club keeps a watching eye on activity but leaves planning and managing the work to the volunteers who are planning further planting and the addition of benches. They also raise funds to finance their activities.
The fixture against Huddersfield on 6 November is the nearest to Remembrance Day and the occasion will be marked by a Company of the Welsh Guards who will march at the stadium. Shortly after they are due to be deployed to Iraq.
Unacceptable Chanting at Games
Under “Any Other Business” the issue of the unacceptability of the “Hymns and Arias” chant was raised from the floor. The sentiment was that the chant was unacceptable and totally distasteful and should be stopped. The Police representatives were in complete agreement with this view. Club representatives were also in agreement. This is not an easy situation to resolve but the general consensus was that it should be pursued. The Trust will follow up on this issue with the other supporters’ groups.