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Weekly Briefing

July 9, 2019



Dear <<First Name>>



Membership Year End - July 31

The time is fast approaching when memberships have to be renewed. Our membership year end falls on July 31. There is no change to the membership fee which remains at £10 for adults and families, and £5 for Under 18s and OAPs. Valuable benefits come with membership - a £1 share in CUOSC which is the second largest shareholder in CUFC Holdings and a vote at our annual general meeting (see below), plus club shop discount and priority for cup ties and other big games in the coming season.

To renew via PayPal or download the membership form, please visit http://www.cuosc.org.uk/howdoijoin.shtml

Thanks to all those who have renewed so far. Your support is so important to us, and allows us to maintain our sponsorship of the club. Those of you who have taken out standing orders will see your membership automatically renew on July 31. If there is any problem with taking your payment, we will advise individually.

If you want to know if your membership needs to be renewed please reply to this email and we will advise.

Important: Your current membership card is designed to be permanent. We will not supply a new membership card when you renew. Please keep your membership card in a safe place. We will soon start to charge a fee to replace any cards that have been thrown away.



AGM - July 21

Our AGM for 2019 is coming up later this month. We sent out our AGM information on Sunday so if you have yet to vote (you can do this online, by mail or in person), please do so. The AGM starts at 11am in Foxy's Restaurant. We will be holding our usual Q&A session after completion of the formal business and we will also be holding a raffle.


Season Ticket collection

This year the Club are making season tickets available for collection from the ticket office in the Pioneer Stand. CUOSC volunteers last week packed all 1800 or so tickets into envelopes. They will be available to collect until July 22 when they will be mailed out.


CUSG Meeting Summary - July

East Stand Offices, 01.07.19

Attendance - Simon Clarkson (Chair, London Branch), Geoff Weston (Supporters' Liaison Officer), John Kukuc, Alastair Woodcock (CUOSC),  Terry McCarthy (London Branch), Dan McLennan (TheCumbrians.net), Barry Carter, Barbara Abbott (Disabled Group), Andy Hall, Nigel Clibbens (CUFC)

Apologies – Jim Mitchell (CUOSC), Keith Elliott (CUSAT), John Ireland (West Cumbria Travel), Keith Ward (Scottish Supporter), Matt Spooner (TheCumbrians.net), Amy Nixon (CUFC)

The minutes of the last meeting were accepted. 

Action List
All outstanding items to be covered in agenda.

CUFC Updates

Club Charter – Copies of this had been circulated prior to the meeting. Nigel explained there was an EFL requirement to publish this annually. The Club had committed to discussing it with supporters groups. Simon noted a change to the telephone number would be needed. Barry was happy with parts pertaining to disabled supporters. It would be published on the Club's website.

Season tickets – After a slow start to sales, numbers now were approaching those achieved last season. 

Kit launch – Had been very well received. Excellent sales had been totted up. The mint green away kit was particularly popular. There had been just one quality issue (badge peeling) up to now and the offending shirts should be returned to the Club to resolve any problems.

Ground maintenance – the pitch had been 'skimmed' and re-seeded. The Hibs friendly would be the first test of the new surface, with the recent weather conditions helpful. Some work had also been done on the training pitch.

The SAG structural survey had been completed. The Club were now working through a list of items to address. Exterior painting was being carried out. Programme of works under way for rest of ground – this would be ongoing (right up to the start of the season and beyond). Stadium cleaning supported by an external contractor to be carried out before Hibs match.

The capacity of the ground has been set following review as per Green Guide recommendations. The Club will continue to accommodate 4.7 spectators per square metre in the Waterworks and Warwick Road End. There would be a reduction to 4 spectators per sq metre in the Paddock (in line with SGSA guidance). As a result of this change total capacity would thus be approximately 17k – representing a small total reduction.

Electronic screen/scoreboard – Following a survey of ground conditions, costs had gone up significantly. The ground under the Waterworks was a mixture of cinders and concrete – a legacy of the original Waterworks terrace. Thus a long supporting column would need to be sunk. The Club were looking into the possibility of siting the screen on the side of the Neil Centre. This would mean having to use a smaller screen which would reduce advertising revenue and impact commercial viability. A meeting this week had been arranged to discuss a way forward.

EFL – John Nixon had been re-elected unopposed by League 2 clubs as their representative. A deal to stream Bank Holiday fixtures had been struck. CUFC had voted against this. Home clubs retained an option to veto BH fixtures from being streamed. An internal governance review was being carried out following criticism from some Championship clubs about the new TV deal. The EFL Trophy (previously sponsored by Checkatrade) was still unsponsored for the coming season. Additional Premier League clubs were now taking part. A 'launch' for the new EFL season was taking place at the City Ground in Nottingham on July 30. CUFC were asking for a volunteer to attend from the fanbase to represent the Club. London Branch to see if they could find an attendee from members living local to Nottingham.

EFL survey – the Club had been advised by the EFL they had not enough respondents from amongst CUFC fanbase to get representative feedback. 

Programme – Andy said a full programme was coming back for next season, at 48 pages and costing £3. Last season's 'fold-out' format made a small profit - the first profit for many seasons. 

Events – actual attendance so far during volunteer week was disappointing. Geoff had been hoping for a larger turnout based on promises to take part, and was still hopeful of increased attendance later in the week.

Fun Day – A series of attractions had been booked for the Fun Day on July 20. Laser quest, police vehicles, fire engine, Pirelli Formula 1 simulator, Reay's team coach and a 'books for kids' promotion would all feature alongside the inflatable 'Carlisle Challenge' that CUSG volunteers would look after, as well as running a raffle. A player signing session would take place and the event would be housed alongside the training pitch. 

Simon said he was seeking out individuals to run 'CUFC themed' events in the coming year. 

A manager's forum was being planned before the start of the season but was dependent on availability of Steven Pressley. Date and details to be confirmed next week.  Likely to be in first week of August.

Finances – £1,564.28 in the Bank account. No current liabilities.

Jimmy Glass badges – All 500 had been sold. Profit made was £568. There had been no time to source more before the end of the season. Ideas to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the 94-95 season would be discussed. One idea was to produce badges featuring both home and away shirt colours from that season.

Memorabilia – Club still trying to source torsos to display shirts. Would continue to enquire over availability. The CUSG wishes to acknowledge other items of memorabilia that had been donated. For the time being there wasn't enough finance available for professional displays of these items.

Disabled Group latest – Barry had met with Mark Waller, stadium assistant. Alarms had been tested and lights fixed including disabled toilets in the Pioneer Stand. Plans for a disabled facility in the Warwick had been progressed by the group. The group would do a presentation to the Club to outline these. It would take a fortnight or so to prepare this. The disabled group committee had done a walk around the ground to check sight lines. It was noted that Barbara Abbott was attending this meeting as a representative of the DSG. The plan was to apply for an EFL grant to cover the cost of the planned facility.

Naming of bars – The Fun Day would be used to take ideas from supporters. Dan offered to source a 'long list' of potential names in time for the Fun Day.
Nigel said there was no firm commitment yet to repeat the '8kforMK' style match promotion in the coming season, but the Club was keen to do it, if the right circumstances came about.

Group updates

SLO – Geoff reiterated his efforts to promote volunteer week which would be ongoing. Meeter and Greeters would attend the home friendly games. He would begin dialogue with clubs who would be playing CUFC in the opening league fixtures soon. He had five volunteers to help him out this season, and more flag wavers would be needed, although he had one potential volunteer for that role. Key objectives for the coming season were to get more regular SLO representation at away games and more awareness of SLO with fans (Club to establish SLO page on website). In addition, the visibility of the SLO jacket would be looked into.

London Branch – were happy to turn over their regular prediction competition to CUSG. Terry would make enquiries about this and progress it.

CUOSC – Volunteers organised by CUOSC had begun the season ticket packing task today and completed more than half of it. Six volunteers had taken part. Several more days had been set aside, but likely all tickets would be enveloped by tomorrow. For the AGM on July 21, three existing board members would need to stand down by rotation. Two had decided to stand again with a third yet to confirm. 

John Kukuc explained that an email sent by Jim Mitchell, the 1921 Board rep, to a member had not apparently arrived in his inbox. The issue had been exaggerated and there was no technical problem at CUOSC's end. 

CUSAT – were acknowledged for again sponsoring the fixture cards which were going out with season tickets. CUSAT had committed to running a bus to Ross County although it was not yet fully booked. This bus would leave initially from Penrith.

TheCumbrians.net – Dan reported that the usual early summer downturn in traffic on the messageboard hadn’t occurred, this was likely due to the steady stream of news so far. There was a plan to revive a regular podcast for the coming campaign.

Any Other Business

Dan had a further batch of old programmes which he had catalogued, to drop off with the Club.

Next meeting – August 12 at 6pm.


Questions for CUOSC from TheCumbrians.net messageboard users:

Do you consider it positive or negative to answer questions?

ANSWER: Positive. We will always attempt to answer provided they are not abusive.

Why has your web-site not been updated?

ANSWER: Our focus has been on our weekly email briefing and on social media for updates. We are looking for help to launch a new web-site. Any volunteers out there?

Why no response to questions on Twitter/Facebook?

ANSWER: We have a presence on Facebook/Twitter. But it is not round the clock. We try to respond to to what we see - again provided it not abusive.

Why does the Trust feel the need to compare the club to failing clubs?

ANSWER: As far as our members are concerned 'There is only one United'. But you cannot fail to notice what has happened to the likes of Bury and Bolton.

Who writes the supporters briefings?

ANSWER: Our members get a weekly briefing usually written by our secretary.

What does financial sobriety mean?

ANSWER: A realistic outlook on the club's financial situation.

What do CUOSC bring to the board?

ANSWER: The aim is to give supporters a voice in the boardroom. We hope it gives us an opportunity to work with current and future owners for the good of the club and most importantly to challenge them.

Have the Trust seeked to dilute shares?

ANSWER: We have always been clear we would be prepared to dilute in the interests of the well-being of the club.

Why can't you raise funds?

ANSWER: It has been difficult for CUOSC to get financial backing from local businesses in recent times  because of  succession of ownership issues. Obviously, the more members we have the more money we can raise.

Someone on the message board recently complained about not receiving a reply from Jim. He was then told there was some technical problems with emails from Jim going to spam folders, but he checked his spam bulk mail folder and confirmed he had still not received the email. If the Trust maintain that they sent it, but he maintains he did not receive it, are you saying that messageboarder is lying?

ANSWER: As our Chair John Kukuc previously stated on the Messageboard – we don’t.  

If no to the above question, how do you explain why he didn't receive a reply?

ANSWER: We can’t. However the most likely explanation is that the receiving ISP, in this case BT, blocked the message due to it being from a suspected spam source.

Technical problems do happen from time to time and if that's all it was then fair enough. But in the current climate of fans feeling they are being ignored, people are going to wonder if this was just another excuse to avoid answering questions.

ANSWER: One of our members asked for Jim’s comments which he provided, promptly, in his response. He wasn’t answering a question.

If you aren't accusing the messageboarder of lying but you insist you did send him a reply then only remaining explanation is that there must be some unresolved technical problem. Will you look into this along with whoever provides your email hosting, and provide us with a proper detailed explanation of exactly what the problem is?

ANSWER: This is not necessarily Jim’s IT problem. Jim doesn’t generally experience any problems regarding receipt of his outgoing emails. See above answer for most likely explanation for this extremely rare event.

Does the Trust have a data protection policy? The person on the messageboard mentioned that Jim sent them a reply from his personal email account. If data is being moved between official trust email accounts and personal email accounts what safeguards are taken to adequately protect that data?

ANSWER: CUOSC has uploaded its data protection policy to its website. Link: http://www.cuosc.org.uk/downloads/privacy/policy.pdf
Emails sent to our board rep Jim are forwarded automatically by our domain hosting service to Jim's personal email, from where he replies. CUOSC does not share members' emails with non board members, unless they have permission from the member concerned.



Close season update

With the first friendly of the pre-season period taking place tonight against Hibernian, United added another player last week in defender Nathaniel Knight-Percival, who brings extensive experience in the lower leagues with clubs such as Wrexham and Bradford City. Another trialist has arrived in the shape of winger Isaac Buckley-Ricketts, who has played for England at under-20 level. 

Squad so far for next season (players under contract):

Adam Collin
Louis Gray
Jack Iredale
Jon Mellish
Christie Elliott
Byron Webster
Nathaniel Knight-Percival
Keighran Kerr
Kelvin Etuhu
Mike Jones
Jack Bridge
Harry McKirdy
Stefan Scougall
Hallam Hope
Josh Dixon
Jarrod Branthwaite


Pre-season friendlies:

Hibernian (h) 09.07
Penrith (a) 13.07
Chester (a) 16.07
Fleetwood (h) 20.07
Tranmere (h) 23.07
Ross County (a) 27.07

The Cumbrians will kick off the new campaign at home to Crawley Town on August 3. They follow this game with a visit to Swindon Town a week later with Salford City, newcomers to the EFL, visiting Brunton Park on August 24. Boxing Day sees a home game with Bradford City. Full fixtures can be found HERE.

  
CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES ON THE CUFC BOARDS

To contact Jim Mitchell, please drop him an email via boardrep@cuosc.org.uk - you can raise any issue with him. Some things may not be relevant at board meeting level but Jim has regular contact with various people at the football club and your issue will be raised with the appropriate personnel, should it require an answer from the club. As an attendee at meetings of Carlisle United Supporters Groups he has the opportunity to raise concerns, queries and issues in that forum as well. You can also raise internal CUOSC issues with Jim. If Jim isn't available, we will pass on your query to his deputy, Billy Atkinson. Billy is also your representative on the board of CUFC Holdings

Next CUOSC Board Meeting - 17.07.19
Next CUSG Meeting - 12.08.19


Quiz Time


Mystery CUFC personality
Over the next few weeks we are running a new series of picture posers. Every personality featured has an association with Carlisle United, either as a player, coach or manager. However the photos show them many years before or after their time at Brunton Park. Can you identify them?


Answer next week. 
First person to email through the correct answer gets a mention in next week's briefing!

Last week's answer : PAUL FITZPATRICK (correctly answered first by Joanne Merrie)



Spot the Club
Identify the club from the team line-up and season :

Category: MODERATE
Season: 1983-84
Line-up: Munaron, De Greef, Grun, Olsen, De Groote, Hofkens, Vandereycken, Scifo, Brylle, Vandenbergh, Czerniatynski

Last week's answer: DYNAMO MOSCOW (correctly answered first by Joanne Merrie)

Answers in next week's briefing



Introducing the Football Supporters' Association
http://www.fsf.org.uk/latest-news/view/the-football-supporters-association




Acknowledgements
Weekly Briefing editor: Alastair Woodcock
News & Star column: Malcolm Nugent

If you have any items you'd like to include in this briefing, please reply to this message.

Don't forget to let us know if your email address changes.

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