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Supporters Meeting (14th Jan)


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fae the Trust:

 

Pittodrie Supporters Meeting:  14th January 2012

 

Club: Chris Gavin, Ian Jack, Peter Roy (Ticket Office)

Discussion on Under 12 ticketing for Family Stand

 

The club was made aware of the problem with Under 12 ticket barcodes not being recognised and the need to buy tickets from the ticket office to enter Merkland Stand. This issue is to be corrected with tickets being marked manually as a concession upon entering the gate. The club will alter the turnstile to make this possible.

 

Printing Tickets Online

 

The club are looking to launch means of printing tickets online from home with a barcode. Fans will not be required to be on the database in order to print the tickets unless it’s for an Old Firm game as is usual practice at present regarding tickets being mailed out. Security is not foreseen as being an issue.

 

Tickets for Ibrox, QOS

 

The club were originally sent 630 which was then raised to 950 all of which have sold out. The club have asked Rangers to move segregation line to try to get additional 100-150 seats. Club does not know as yet if Rangers will accept this. Aberdeen were the only club out-with Celtic to sell out the away section this season.

 

Queen of the South cup tickets are on sale. The Richard Donald Stand upper is closed.

 

The club are seeking new members for the Red Lottery as numbers are falling.

Actions from last meeting

 

New and clear ground rules for the displaying of flags within the ground will be published on the website once they have police approval.

 

The number of visiting fans attending Pittodrie and Aberdeen support at away grounds will be reported but not through official website. A custom google map will be published on the website showing the various nationwide locations and contact details of all the Aberdeen Supporters Clubs.

 

The stadium road shows are on-going having visited Inverurie and Fraserburgh. The road show will visit Ellon on January 23rd and Edinburgh on March 31st (after Hearts game) as well as to London later in the season.

 

Questions from the floor

 

There was general discussion regarding the clubs current financial position. Club has very good relationship with the bank better than many other clubs. There is a degree of flexibility in regards to finances and club have pushed boundaries of player budget. AFC are paying only a percentage of Mark Reynolds’ wage with Sheffield Wednesday paying the rest. The club are making the necessary changes to restructure the debt to take away burden from major shareholders (SMG and AAM) see recent £2.5m loan. The new stadium would allow the club to manage the overall debt in a more controlled manner through a long term mortgage and lessen the reliance on major shareholders.

 

The extension to the closing date for the sale of Pittodrie was requested by interested parties. Nothing has changed in regards to the new stadium deadlines.

 

Questions were asked on falling attendances and what the club may do to address this. There was a suggestion that club should be gathering more info regarding who all their supporters are. There was acceptance that the club hasn’t done enough. Demographics of fans is gathered from Season ticket holders but club are aware this may not tell the whole story as many fans are from areas out with Aberdeen and the NE. Club are aware that a greater proportion of support is older and more needs to be done to attract the “lost” young support. There is a sub team in the Ticket office working on improving customer contact and care with phone calls to lapsed ST holders encouraging subscription or enquiring why they haven’t renewed.

 

There were enquiries as to a means of using large travelling support to apply pressure to other clubs to lower ticket prices, particularly Dundee United. It would be difficult to get other clubs to agree as they would expect to sell out regardless.

 

There was discussion on the clubs position regarding contracts with players, particularly younger ones in line with the Grimmer transfer speculation. Ideally players would not be on 1 year contracts but players and agents are in control. Older players have a shelf life and are less keen to be tied down. Club tries to use the rules as much as they can to retain our talented young players but are restricted by rules as to what they are permitted to offer at different age levels. Rules and regulations are stopping the club from offering long term deals to under 18s. Grimmer was offered longest contract available. Young players are heavily influenced by agents, parents and other players.

 

There is a much more positive attitude in the squad at present with Craig and Archie earning credit for that. When dealing year to year it’s very difficult to plan ahead. Some young players are more mature and others more distracted. Club are aware of rules and regulations regarding compensation for young players and will push for best deal possible for any players moving on.

 

Mark from the Dons Supporters Together board spoke regarding the relaunch of the AFC Trust as Dons Supporters together. He outlined the history of the old shareholders association and how AFC Trust and now Dons Supporters Together operate completely differently and worked to quell some of the myths regarding the Trust as being a closed shop shareholders only organisation which is not the case and has not been for a very long time. The main aims and objectives of the new group were outlined and explained with the DST seeking to harness the power of all the Aberdeen supporters into a collective and more powerful democratic voice.

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