Premier League / FSF update.

Dear WHUISA members,

George attended the FSF meeting at the Premier League HQ on 24th April. This was for all official Premier League affiliates if the FSF (of which WHUISA is the West Ham one). Apologies for the late report, have only just arrive, you can read them here.

http://www.whuisa.org/uncategorized/premier-league-fsf-meeting-25042107/

This is a bit of commentary on what George took away from the meeting that may be of most interest to WHUISA members and interesting debating points.

We met with various Premier League executives including Richard Scudamore and Bill Bush. We were warmly welcome by the other PL FSF reps. There was lots of valuable advice and support from PL FSF reps and the PL itself for WHUISA to keep pushing for a proper fan engagement programme.  In order to be an affiliate of the FSF you have to be a democratic, representative organisation. If you want know more the FSF you can find it here http://www.fsf.org.uk/about-us/

In terms of the future engagement between FSF affiliates and PL clubs the PL said this “The Premier League will consider issuing a guidance note after reviewing PL club practice from this season, plus the impact of the approach taken by EFL and its clubs.”

FIXTURES TV etc 

We had a presentation by Mark Annett, Head of Football Operations on Fixtures which basically said there was not much room for manoeuvre. UEFA taking extra weeks for champions League has stuffed everything so we will end up with some daft midweek/holiday fixtures.  BT/Sky have their say as do the clubs, police and “other stakeholders”. (ie Westfield)

One of the most interesting things was that the clubs Supporters Liaison Officers have a schedule of when TV matches are going to be announced and should share this with the fans so that we know when to book tickets etc. It means we can avoid the situation where hotels/planes/trains are booked before TV dates are announced. Many were left out of pocket by the move by the move of the Spurs & Liverpool fixtures.  We have asked Jake Heath, West Ham’s Head SLO about this but we are yet to receive a reply.  

AWAY TRAVEL

Several clubs provide subsidised travel for difficult away trips. Arsenal put on coaches at a tenner a go on for their Easter Monday night game at Boro. Steve Parrish did something similar for Palace at Everton on a Friday night. Chelsea & Spurs offer very cheap train tickets back to London if there not reasonable public transport back to London. £10 return Leicester was mentioned. I don’t think West Ham take part in anything like this? Is there a demand? Would you want us to ask about this?

In other news, Away fans will hopefully have at least one block pitchside at all away grounds next year. (Hello Newcastle!)

DISABILITY ACCESS

There’s a big debate about disability access at all grounds. The Premier League will send a report to Equalities and Human Rights Commission later in 2017. There was particular concern over how non wheelchair using disabled fans are treated. If you need to contact the West Ham disability access officer she’s called Julie Pigeon and she can be reached on accessibility@westhamunited.co.uk

SAFE STANDING/GROUND CAPACITY

The Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) are looking to push a small amount of safe standing through but the Premier League think the other side of that is that they will push much stricter enforcement of seating in other areas. There will be a PL report on safe standing next year. How this affects the London Stadium is unknown.

Safety Advisory Groups (SAGs) are getting a lot more aggressive when pushing the boundaries of what constitutes “safety” when it comes to imposing conditions on kick off times, alcohol bans etc. This will involve taking a view on language, abuse etc. It may have an impact on the capacity at the OS (and all grounds tbf).

BRIGHTON

Di Cunningham from “Pride in Football” spoke about concerns over Brighton’s promotion next year. They will be playing a lot of clubs for the first time next season and want to reduce the risk of any unfortunate incidents. WHUISA has contacted “Pride of Irons” and suggested we ask the club to get a message out there about homophobic bullying and engage with fans. We do it for anti-Semitism when we play Spurs. We should do it for homophobia when we play Brighton.  This is going to be a big deal next year, landscape has changed since we last played we should make sure we’re on the right side of this. We will approach the club about this after chatting to PoI.

These FSF/PL meetings are very useful, you can find out what other clubs are doing the current thinking on fans issues from the horse mouth at the Premier League.

We hope to be back there in October

Regards

WHUISA Interim Committee.

WHUISA meeting minutes 14/05/2017.

WHUISA MEETING

Held with permission at White Post, Hackney Wick

14/05/2017 at 11.30am 

Attending 4 committee members,12 members and 0 invited speakers. 

  1. INTRODUCTION & UPDATE from Interim Chair. With no objections received Paul accepted the notes from previous meeting held on 8th April 17 as fair and accurate. He went on to explain that: the PayPal account had been transferred to a new bank account and members would be advised at future meetings of balance and expenditure; following the recent SAB meeting it is anticipated that WHUISA will become increasing influential in representing the interests of the fans to the club; association meeting with club is planned for next Wednesday 24th May.
  2. CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES.  112 replies had been received on proposed changes to the constitution. The revised constitutional changes as circulated were ratified by a show of hands with no objections.
  3. WHUISA TWITTER/ PREMIER LEAGUE MEETING

      George Explained that the Twitter account had been changed for technical reasons.  It has 330 members and all new joiners welcome so please put the word around.  Premier League update: all prem clubs are expected to have a disability rep; we are the only  London prem club not currently helping fans with away fixtures involving tricky travel;  The committee will ask the club whether it has any plans to help with away travel from next season; club is given advance notice of fixtures affected by TV switching; (from the floor) it has been noted that facilities available for those catching coaches from the ground for away matches are poor; safe standing pilot is being discussed attendant to its intro is expectation  that stricter enforcement of no standing in other areas of the ground is probable;  Amanda Jacks (FSF – see previous notes) is looking into safety in grounds and issues arising will be reported back as these become available; the Brighton fixture will attract close scrutiny regarding homophobic chants – this is a sensitive issue and Pride of Iron fans Group will be involved in discussions with the club; body worn cameras with voice recorders carried by some of the supervisors in and around the ground. The committee is aware of       a specific issue resulting from use of this equipment and is considering the matter and its wider Implications.

  1. ELECTIONS TO WHUISA COMMITTEE

      We will be seeking a new committee with broader representation and more bodies.  It is expected that elections, possibly electronically delivered, will happen early next season. Re iob from previous meeting current memberships will be extended by 1 year.

  1. HAMMERS SUPPORTERS CLUB

      Paul attended the recent AGM and following this an emergency EGM. Money at the club would expire in next week. However a new committee has been formed and Paul is on it together with   several other fans which now makes majority on committee, season ticket holders. It is hoped that we will hold our Hammer of Year award at the club during pre-season. Watch this space. 

  1. AOBa. Q from floor: does the club make a profit from fees charged for travel on away coaches. Committee will ask Association pin badges. Procurement will be looked at again after the committee elections.Thanks given to Mike Gunn for all his help with the membership records At request from floor question will be asked as to whether a family enclosure/ area exists Floor asked what membership number is it hoped will improve leverage in influencing club and help get a better deal for the fans. Maybe 2000 for starters and recruitment drive is on.
  1. DATE OF NEXT MEETING.

           To be advised and will be held at HSC.  

 

Meeting Closes at 1215

 

COYI

WHUISA / SAB Meeting minutes 24/05/2017.

SAB MEETING 24/05/2017.

WHUISA attended the recent SAB meeting that was held at the London stadium, in attendance were various club employees from ticketing to media to marketing and also a member of LS185 the stadium controllers. The meeting was basically a review of the season performance and broken up into different Subjects. SAB moving forward. Disabled SAB Update, Stewarding, Stadium & IAAF Meeting

SAB MOVING FORWARD.

The format will change next season in that instead of fans representing specific age groups and areas they sit in the stadium they want it to be broader fan representative groups, I.E Supporter groups like WHUISA, Pride of Irons, Social media site runners including website and those with large Facebook pages, and other supporter groups that can represent a body of West Ham fans, Corporate rep and possibly a family group representative. The main body of the SAB will meet a minimum of 3 times per season, and there may be separate smaller meetings that concentrate on dedicated subjects, for example Disability, LGBT. The club will announce the new format on their website and then look to take nominations, WHUISA will be asked to participate, so we look forward to continuing to work with the club in representing fans views in this forum.

DISABILITY SAB UPDATE

15 members met in the first DSAB, they highlighted difficulties in getting from Stratford Station to the stadium, Jake the West Ham supporter liaison officer recently accompanied one person with difficulty in walking the route, and it took 40 minutes. The club with the other land stakeholders have managed to put in further rest points on that route to allow those that need to, seats to rest on. A request was put in to Westfield to perhaps allow those with difficulty walking to go the shorter route through their property but we await their response. The club are recruiting 2 further DLO’s (Disability liaison officers) to expand the current department. In discussions after the meeting with one of the DSAB representative’s attending who said the club were improving their service to them. Hopefully that will continue. Shuttle bus will run from Pudding Mill lane station to the ground, can be picked up from car park opposite the station. The club have 18 shuttle buses now running from the pick-up point below the club shop. They will look at running to Stratford International as well. Generally the road to allow the buses to leave is now open no more than 20 minutes after final whistle. A ticket system for the buses operates to enable those using the buses to not have to stand in line outside if they don’t want to.

STEWARDING/STADIUM.

All Stewards should have an identifying number which if you feel you need to complain about an individual steward, just make note of their number so they can easily be identified. There now should be a steward at each exit gate when they are opened to allow exiting of the stadium. Apparently they are trialling a “different way of stewarding” over the summer events so hopefully the success or failure will be apparent come September when we start our home games. Some of those banned through the season have had their bans ended and will be allowed to renew their season tickets, No person has been banned for swearing alone, the club understand that at times language can be choice, those banned have been caught consistently and with other factors taken in. The do issue Acceptable Behaviour Contracts now known as ABC’s, which can stop any ban from happening as long as the offender agrees to the contents and signs it. Everyone will receive new Season ticket cards for the coming season, they should specify which turnstile to use and will only work on that turnstile, this hopefully will reduce pressure on some of the more congested turnstiles. Exit routes from stadium are designated by the stadium safety officer, and he can change routes on a game by game basis taking in consideration high profile opposition. These are highlighted in the Match day guide that is emailed to fans and on the website before every home game. The club are still in the process of installing shelving but have to abide by Health & Safety rules in conjunction with etc stadium operators, they have a say in whether the shelving being proposed is not dangerous such as  can children hit their head on the shelving. More SLO’s for match days will be hired; apparently these have been welcomed by fans that have used them. Flags will still be able to be sited next to the big screens, due to the stadium sponsor difficulties, but around the middle tier ledge this will not be possible as it will obstruct the LED display that will be in place. Sky sports news or even the game on TV screens around the concourse is under consideration but no promise. This is because the want fans to watch the game live rather than drinking in the concourse. Though the seating does not retract in the way the club expected to do, all seats are in exactly the correct position they were designed to be in. The fact the seats don’t retract as was hoped that is a problem for the stadium managers not for WHUFC. One club senior staff member claimed the seating in the stadium was excellent for football, i pointed out that is their personal opinion and many wouldn’t agree, and perhaps the club should of pointed this out to the fans better than they did.

TICKETING.

60,000 is still a hope for next season, but no application has been made yet for the extra seating. Relocations will take place between 1/6 to 16/6, all requests subject to availability, also club confident of hitting 80% renewal rate which is industry level, 20% though would be 10,000 fans not renewing, would be good to know how many of those that don’t renew were long time Season ticket holders from the Boleyn. Age bands may be looked at, currently U16, 16-21 then adult. Another member of SAB pointed out that his son is 21 so has to pay more this season but is still at Uni for another year. club acknowledged this could be looked at. I then pointed out that if they did this then they need to change the U16 to U 18 as you have to stay on at school until you are 18 now. In the T&Cs now is anyone attending 7 games or less faces the possibility of losing their season ticket. This will not though be done without the club speaking to the affected ticket holder for their reasons, they expect this to be minimal. Confirmed no game at home until probably after the September international break, but should be this year only. No Boxing day game this season, the club are adamant this is not permanent and they can request a home Boxing day game, final decision is with the Premier league.

Due to time constraints it wasn’t really a Q&A meeting but more advisory, time was taken to highlight some of the info gained from the Survey and on the stewarding where it was pointed out that many comments were critical of the stewarding but agreed that it had improved from the start of the season and ticketing with a brief overview of comments.

Nigel Kahn – WHUISA Interim Committee. 

WHUISA at FSF / Premier League meeting.

George attended the FSF meeting at the Premier League HQ on 24th April. This was for all official Premier League affiliates if the FSF (of which WHUISA is the West Ham one). Apologies for the late report, minutes only recently arrived.

This is a bit of commentary on what George took away from the meeting that may be of most interest to WHUISA members.  Interesting debating points.

We met with various Premier League executives including Richard Scudamore and Bill Bush. We were warmly welcome by the other PL FSF reps. There was lots of valuable advice and support from PL FSF reps and the PL itself for WHUISA to keep pushing for a proper fan engagement programme.  In order to be an affiliate of the FSF you have to be a democratic, representative organisation. If you want know more the FSF you can find it here http://www.fsf.org.uk/about-us/

FIXTURES TV etc. In terms of the future engagement between FSF affiliates and PL clubs the PL said this “The Premier League will consider issuing a guidance note after reviewing PL club practice from this season, plus the impact of the approach taken by EFL and its clubs.”

We had a presentation by Mark Annett, Head of Football Operations on Fixtures which basically said there was not much room for manoeuvre. UEFA taking extra weeks for champions League has stuffed everything so we will end up with some daft midweek/holiday fixtures.  BT/Sky have their say as do the clubs, police and “other stakeholders”. (ie Westfield)

One of the most interesting things was that the clubs Supporters Liaison Officers have a schedule of when TV matches are going to be announced and should share this with the fans so that we know when to book tickets etc. It means we can avoid the situation where hotels/planes/trains are booked before TV dates are announced. Many were left out of pocket by the move by the move of the Spurs & Liverpool fixtures.  We should prod the club over this.

AWAY TRAVEL

Several clubs provide subsidised travel for difficult away trips. Arsenal put on coaches at a tenner a go on for their Easter Monday night game at Boro. Steve Parrish did something similar for Palace at Everton on a Friday night. Chelsea & Spurs offer very cheap train tickets back to London if there not reasonable public transport back to London. £10 return Leicester was mentioned. I don’t think West Ham take part in anything like this? Is there a demand?

Away fans will hopefully have at least one block pitch-side at all away grounds next year. (Hello Newcastle!)

DISABILITY ACCESS

There’s a big debate about disability access at all grounds. The Premier League will send a report to Equalities and Human Rights Commission later in 2017. There was particular concern over how non wheelchair using disabled fans are treated. If you need to contact the West Ham disability access officer she’s called Julie Pigeon and she can be reached on accessibility@westhamunited.co.uk

SAFE STANDING/GROUND CAPACITY

The Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) are looking to push a small amount of safe standing through but the Premier League think the other side of that is that they will push much stricter enforcement of seating in other areas. There will be a PL report on safe standing next year. How this affects the London Stadium is unknown.

Safety Advisory Groups (SAGs) are getting a lot more aggressive when pushing the boundaries of what constitutes “safety” when it comes to imposing conditions on kick off times, alcohol bans etc. This will involve taking a view on language, abuse etc. It may have an impact on the capacity at the OS (and all grounds tbf).

BRIGHTON

Di Cunningham from “Pride in Football” spoke about concerns over Brighton’s promotion next year. They will be playing a lot of clubs for the first time next season and want to reduce the risk of any unfortunate incidents. WHUISA has contacted “Pride of Irons” and suggested we ask the club to get a message out there about homophobic bullying and engage with fans. We do it for anti-Semitism when we play Spurs. We should do it for homophobia when we play Brighton.  This is going to be a big deal next year, landscape has changed since we last played we should make sure we’re on the right side of this.

WHUISA Interim Committee. 

SAB meeting Wednesday 24th May 2017 at London Stadium.

Dear member,
WHUISA have been invited to attend this meeting and we have accepted.
Please can you send your thoughts / experiences / conclusions on your first season at London Stadium (LS) both positive and negative and if you have any solutions to your issues please send them in also.
The following subjects are worth your consideration but of course are not limited to…
1. Stewarding
2. Migration / relocation process
3. Away fans – West Ham’s.
4. Match day experience.
5. Transport to / from LS.
6. Food / drink in LS.
Please respond by 6pm Tuesday 23rd and your points will be raised.
Thanks you for your support and i look forward to hearing from you.
Always West Ham
WHUISA Interim Committee.

Meeting with West Ham 17/05/17, SAB meeting 24/05/17 and Twitter.

Dear WHUISA-ers,

Paul and George went to meet the club for a get to know you session with the club on Wednesday afternoon. This meeting was originally scheduled for 01/03 and then 26/04 but events conspired against both parties for these dates. It was relaxed and friendly, lasted for 90 minutes and there was a lot we agreed on but a few things we didn’t.

It was all very informal, no minutes were taken. They wanted to know what we were about and we wanted to see how they felt about us.

Interim Joint Chair Paul and Committee member George were there from the WHUISA side. West Ham had Tara Warren (Marketing Director), Jake Heath (Supporter Liaison Officer), Max Fitzgerald (‎Head of Media Relations) & Dan Francis (Senior Copywriter).

They welcome our involvement and we are developing contacts at all levels at the club. While they say the all supporters are welcome to contact Jake directly, it’s clear that our involvement will help with getting issues resolved. We’re looking to see how that pans out over the summer.

We’ve been involved with a few cases now including the Club Cash debacle, some ticketing and banning issues. We’re also closely aligned with the National Football Supporters Federation (FSF) who are able to provide brilliant support if things get really difficult / legal.

The club still see the SAB as the primary forum for supporter feedback. They will only give us one representative on the board which we think is disappointing considering we have over 700 members.  The next SAB meeting will be on Wednesday 24th May.

Lots of people have problems with the SAB and we think it is far from perfect but we feel we have to be involved if asked. If you have any issues you would like us to raise at the meeting next Wednesday get in touch. If you are a WHUISA member and are attending as an SAB member or know someone who is, do let us know.

This is the time, after our first season at the new stadium, for you to send us specific points about the stadium, stewarding, transport and the match day experience. The key is not just to raise your point but give your alternative / resolution. They have promised to listen to the SAB so this is the chance to put that to the test.

The club acknowledged the current make up is less than perfect but say next season will be more representative and include various other large supporter groups. They talked about disability, corporate and LGBT groups, beyond that, we’ll see. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this.

We feel a review of the SAB is necessary with more focussed representatives as well as more regular meetings and feedback given. The minutes of the SAB in January and one follow up post on the clubs official website in March with only 2 meetings a season, one of them in the close season, is too infrequent.

We have asked to be involved with police meetings before high profile games like Spurs. It means that we can give our input but also feedback to our members. We were very well received in November last year at the Chelsea EFL post-match FSF led meeting with the Met, West Ham and stadium operators. The club are saying that they will choose people to represent fans from the SAB. We don’t think that’s great from a true representation of the fans view and are pushing on several levels to be specifically included in the future.

Supporters with disabilities

We know we have a few members with disabilities and you may find this interesting. The club says that it has a disabled SAB (DSAB) and that it represents both people who use wheelchairs and ambulant disabled supporters. This was new information to us. Is anyone on here a member or know anyone who is? A google search has come up with this, did anyone join?

https://www.whufc.com/news/articles/2017/march/30-march/apply-now-new-disabled-supporters-advisory-board

Has anyone been consulted by this group or been contacted by the club with regards to this ? We made the point that many people consider themselves to have disability but haven’t registered with the club. At the Boleyn they just got on with it. If you have any disability we’d really like to hear from you on how you feel the London Stadium has worked out this season as well as what can be improved upon.  

Twitter & WHUISA membership

Just a reminder that @WHUISA2017 will be the only twitter account soon. Please follow if you want to keep updated with WHUISA news. Social media followers are important for all sorts of reasons

Also, if you know anyone who would is a Hammer but not a member of WHUISA, give them a nudge, the more members we have, the more the club will listen to us. http://www.whuisa.org/join-whuisa/

Always West Ham 

WHUISA interim committee.

WHUISA Updates – Twitter / Hammer of the Year / Meeting.

Dear member.

@WHUISA2017 or twitter.com/WHUISA2017. 

We are now tweeting from a new account because of a technical issue with our previous account – please follow on the above to keep up with all the latest WHUISA news and campaigns. 

WHUISA  are pleased to announce that Michail Antonio has been voted our player of the year. Taking 45% of the vote he beat our match winner against Spurs, Manu Lanzini, into 2nd place who polled 34% of the respondents. In 3rd was Winston Reid with 9% of your votes.  Thanks to all who voted. 

Well done Michail a worthy winner ! Plans are in progress to hold a presentation evening to which the winner and other current West Ham players will be invited to. We are also aiming to get a few players from the 1975 and 1980 FA cup winning teams to come along as well. 

West Ham Supporters Club have offered to host the evening and the player will receive the original Hammer of the Year trophy which is now celebrating its 70th year.  Details will be published once confirmed. 

WHUISA will hold an open meeting on Sunday 14th May at the White Post Cafe & Bar, Schwartz Wharf (Building 4), 92 White Post Lane, London E9 5EN.  The White Post will serve alcohol and food all day whilst the stadium is only a few minutes walk away. Hopefully this gives a lot of our members the chance to come along before the Liverpool match. 

We shall start at 11.30am in the atrium. All welcome with the place opening from 10am. 

Let’s hope the team can repeat the performance and result ( i don’t ask for much do i ?) against Liverpool !!!!!!

Always West Ham

Paul Joint Chair WHUISA  Interim Committee. 

 

 

Hammer of the Year / Update

Dear member
Hope you are well. if you have voted for the WHUISA Hammer of the Year
thank you. To date just under half the membership have responded.
IF YOU HAVE NOT THEN PLEASE DO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
There are plans to hold a presentation evening before the end of the
season with players from the FA Cup winning teams of 1975 and 1980 being
present to help the evening be a rip roaring success.
Please vote by Sunday 7th May to give us a chance to get things organised.
WHUISA will now meet with the club on Wednesday 17th May. There is also a
scheduled meeting of the SAB on Wednesday 24th May. We will be in
attendance.
A number of members have forwarded issues to us to be raised. If you have
anything to say both positive and negative on the first season since
leaving the Boleyn / Upton Park please inform.
There will be an open meeting of WHUISA on Sunday 14th May at 11.30am in
Stratford to ratify the constitution, announce the election process and
update you on any other business.
The venue will be announced this weekend once we have had a chance to find
a place over there. We thought this would make it more convenient then the
Supporters Club.
Always West Ham
Paul joint chair on behalf of the interim committee WHUISA.

WHUISA meeting with West Ham United on 26/04/2017.

A meeting was planned for 26/04/17 at 3pm at the London Stadium between the Interim Committee of WHUISA and at least Tara Warren and Jake Heath of West Ham United. 

Due to the early morning call from HMRC the club called me around 10am to cancel and apologised for this.

A new date for a meeting would be proposed by the club in due course. 

WHUISA look forward to this. 

Always West Ham

Paul – Joint Chair WHUISA. 

We are the independent democratic voice of West Ham supporters