1. Lewis Gordon opened the meeting, introduced himself and thanked everyone for the interest and attendance.
2. The aims and direction of the Supporters Club was discussed, especially with regard to tickets and the allocation of tickets. This is a complicated area:
- It is important to come up with a fair and equitable distribution of tickets when there are more applicants than tickets.
- Lewis explained that he did have a system in mind on how to operate this distribution.
- This system still needs to ironed out and once it has it will be made available to all members.
- Lewis explained the background into setting up the club and laid out his vision for how the club will operate on a fair, transparent and equitable basis.
- A lot of clubs operate their tickets on a points based system mirroring exactly the scheme run from MCFC whereby the more points you have the better your chance of getting a ticket.
- Harrogate Blues WILL NOT operate in this fashion. Everybody starts with zero points from a Harrogate Blues perspective, fair, transparent and equitable.
- Lewis explained that hopefully the club will provide transport to as many matches as possible throughout the season and made a request for as many people as possible to support the aims of the club with this whilst fully understanding that there may be occasions when people prefer to travel independently.
3. A progress report was made on Official Supporters Club recognition, membership fees, payment of tickets, club bank account (not yet in existence).
- Lewis explained that the Official Supporters Club take a £4 registration fee from members for insurance and other things.
- Lewis suggested that the membership fee for Harrogate Blues should be in the region of £8-£10 and there was no objection to this heard from the floor.
- At this time we have submitted our request to join and our fate will be decided at the Official Supporters Clubs’ next meeting. (No date known).
- Whatever our fate is at that meeting Harrogate Blues will come into existence whether it is Official or not.
4. Constitution of the Club was briefly explained as really a work in progress. Lewis has a constitution based on another Club but there are a few areas that clash, considerably, with the aims outlined by Lewis in his introduction.
5. Personal details were requested and the floor took this opportunity to fill the cards in and refill their glasses.
- Those that were unable to attend due to work commitments, holidays etc will get the opportunity to fill in their details via email when time permits.
- 43 Current (43 cards filled in on the night, around 15 more to come)
6. Club Communications were explored and the audience were strongly encouraged to use of the mediums available, http://www.harrogateblues.wordpress.com, Facebook and twitter as Lewis explained that he did not have the time to personally contact people via phone,text and email.
- Special mention was made in reference to the work done by Mr Brent Ritter on his outstanding contribution on all those mediums.
- All future club communications will be via those mediums, the website is clear, easy to use and register and forums are excellently laid out, if you have used Bluemoon then you will be familiar with the layout.
- It was mentioned that if somebody did not have access to the internet then Lewis would contact them via other means, no one indicated that they did not access.
7. Charity Shield – August 14 at Villa Park. This game is the curtain raiser to the start of the Premier League, 2012-13 and interest is likely to be high.
- Lewis explained that at this time any allocation of tickets is extremely uncertain and there stands a really good chance that we will not get tickets from
- Manchester City due to the newness of the club and the time frame for being accepted as a member of the Official Supporters Club.
- However if there were enough people with access to tickets then if the demand was sufficient then an effort to provide transport would be made.
8. Election of Office Bearers – Secretary Mr Lewis Gordon, Treasurer Tracey Gordon, Chairperson Chris Young, Social Secretary Nick Wright, Minute Secretary Keith Bracken. Many thanks for those people for volunteering for jobs which sometimes can be very onerous and time consuming.
9. Any other business – Mr Russ Hart suggested an idea of members who have access to games but cannot go, to offer their ticket to another club member who does not have a ticket. This was warmly accepted as a great idea and there will be a section of the website dedicated to this function. Cliff Perry very kindly offered his season ticket for the 1st game of the season as he will be on holiday.
- Bus routes for trips to Manchester were explored with pick up points along the way. This will be ongoing, but it is going to depend on who is going to that particular game. Routes explored were Harrogate, Knaresborough, Wetherby services, Wetherby, Knaresborough, Harrogate, Leeds or a very interesting proposal, Thirsk, Ripon, Harrogate and the Knaresborough route/Wetherby/Knaresborough route.
- There is potentially a large membership from the Thirsk, North Allerton area and Nick Wright offered the hire of an 18 seater coach for at extremely cheap rates (£30 plus diesel) so this offer especially on midweek games is very attractive indeed.
- Meeting ended around 9.30pm whereby the audience dispersed to the bar area and a good time was had by all.
Date of next meeting is Monday June 18th at the same venue. Very many thanks to all who came and took part and thank you for your patience.
Lewis Gordon (Secretary, Harrogate Blues)