Dunfermline Athletic

United Pars Meeting

Wednesday, 22nd Feb 2012

Report from fans meeting on Tuesday 21st February 2012

East End Park

The United Pars Meeting on Tuesday 21st February saw top table of Tracey Martin, Marketing Director, Kenny Arnott, Stadium Manager, PC Andy Smith, Andy Kelly, G4S,(worked 22yrs with Security firm and predominately Head Steward at East End Park) and Chief Inspector Bob Baker (Match Commander at some games and works alongside G4S and Kenny)

First question of the night was about the Disabled Gate at Norrie Stand. Gate will be open after end of game if North Stand is not used for fans (ie. Rangers, Celtic etc) but will be closed for 5 - 10 minutes after game in case there is any potential trouble that would jeopardise safety of disabled persons leaving that area. A lot of discussion about this..

Plain clothes police sitting in beside fans was the next matter raised. This was as a result of a number of complaints regarding racial abuse and had to be investigated to prove/disprove. It was also commented that more arrests have been made in the away end rather than with home fans this season. Police were responding to complaints made by fans.

Discussion progressed to the arrests at Parkhead. Kenny had not been happy with Match Commander there regarding this situation. It was also commented that if the case has not been to court then they should be advised to seek legal advice. Also commented that if fans were unhappy with the conduct of a steward/police officer they all had numbers that were easily identifiable.

Club want to promote families coming to Club and want to create a family atmosphere. Section A in Norrie is supposed to be Family Section and this will be instigated more next season. As a result of a SPL family initiative, also had a representative from Cardiff City speaking there who told them what Cardiff were doing to encourage families to games. Club have brightened up Norrie stand with new mural there and also putting pens/paper there for kids to use. Have also done facepainting and balloons.  This will be done for a few games during the season as there is a cost involved in the initiative. 

Standing issue was raised again. DAFC Director Rodney Shearer attended an SPL roadshow. Rail seats could be preferred option but now needs to look at technical issues regarding this. It would cost in the region of 100 euro per seat not including installation costs. To do this in an area would be alright in the Norrie and East because of the depth of step but would not be possible in the North Stand as depth of steps not suitable. More investigation and costings would need to be required but not this is not cheap exercise. Main issue with standing areas is the costs involved. 

Comment was also made regarding pricing of football. Dunfermline are the cheapest in the SPL and kept their pricing on a par with St Mirren, Hamilton and Kilmarnock for this season. Purposely did not increase their prices too much. Clubs biggest costs are/were for Stewarding, and the First team. Cash problems with not having alternate home/away games. Issues can arise when only 1 home game in a month and could be at end of that month. Particular problems as a result of how our fixtures were this season with first game on a Monday night, then another 2 televised games - all affected the crowd/hospitality.

It was reported that TV money is paid to clubs at the start and end of season. As for Rangers ticket money this has not come in yet, but Club have been in touch with administrators at Rangers. Inverness representatives had been in touch with administrators and were advised they would get their money but probably not when it was due.

Comment was also made on the number of complimentary tickets given out by Club. It  was advised that the home team and away team get 50 comps each for matchday. Also tickets are given to community kids on occasion and also visiting managers, scouts etc..

Condition of pitch - Kenny Arnott described it as "knackered".  The pitch down Main Stand side will be re-done during close season. Training on it has not helped but Pitreavie is also not good. Pitreavie should get new artificial pitch starting in June this year. Details of any other improvements to Pitreavie were not able to be given. 

A question was raised regarding the lack of live streaming and highlights this season.  Chris Kane from Dunfermline Media Centre is speaking with people this week about provision of this service and looking at a new system. When asked why the Club could not have carried on with the same service as last season. The Club were told that the people concerned did not want to continue doing it.

After a question regarding having the Open Day at the end of the season rather than the beginning. The response was that they couldn't do things on the pitch at beginning of the season, but can do so at end of season. The Club are also considering doing something this year at start of the new season as well as the Open Day at the end of this season. Another sponsored walk may be considered but with more planning going into this one.

In response to a question about the high number of Charity collections at East End Park probably taking money away from the Club in regards to 50/50 tickets/programmes.  The Club advised that they felt it was a link with the community, but will relook at this subject for the new season as there are already bookings in place for the remainder of this season. 

When asked if low attendances were a concern for the Club.  Tracey responded that they were and this was an issue for a lot of Clubs. She has asked that  that this be up for discussion at the next SPL Marketing group.

It was proposed that the next United Pars meeting be held towards the end of the season.

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