ATAC & SFA meeting – 15 October 2011

Association of Tartan Army Clubs and SFA/SSC

Present:

Jane Thomson SFA Events (JT)
Colin Banks SFA Marketing (CB)
Alison Jack SSC Customer Services (AJ)
Derek Kirkwood SFA Security (DK)
Kathryn Jones Hampden Business and Banqueting Events (KJ)
Siobhan Boyd SSC Customer Services (SB) Jim Brown ATAC/WESTA (JB)
Hamish Husband ATAC/WESTA (HH)
Mike Scales ATAC/LADTA (MS)
John Callaghan ATAC/KoFTA (JC)
Scott Rae ATAC/WEBATA (SR)
Gordon MacLarty ATAC/IWTA (GM)
Louise MacLarty ATAC/IWTA (LM)

Item Description Action By
All General
1.  Catering

ATAC had been requested to deliver feedback re Hampden catering

• JB started by reading out some e-mails from ATAC Members by way of feedback on catering at Hampden. The e-mails were very negative but KJ took them on board and thanked JB for the feedback
• KJ detailed how the catering at Hampden has historically been handled by two suppliers (Scotch and Macaroni pies from one supplier, steak pies from another) but that she was considering her options.
• JB informed KJ that the consensus was that the steak pies were of a far better quality than the others


• Samples of Satty Singh’s curry pies were made available for a taste and were generally well received around the table – JB stated that they would be a welcome addition on matchday
• There was some debate about the organisation and functionality of the food outlets, especially in the North Stand. KJ explained that logistically the North Stand was more difficult to service due to weight of numbers and the requirement to keep the concourse free for general footfall
• The American Model of in-crowd ‘Hawkers’ was discussed and although there was a recognition that the Police may have objections to vendors going up and down the aisles during a game it was felt that there was some merit in considering having a limited number of Hawkers in and around the concourse to handle the more basic orders, i.e. pies or drinks only, and take the pressure off the outlets
• AJ said that she could gauge interest in the Hawker idea via a poll on the SSC website along with a quantative and qualative survey.

AJ

2.  Hampden Events
• JT detailed the options for Hampden hosting Events ( Birthday’s, Burns Suppers etc and stated she was considering offering preferential rates to SSC Members/Clubs
• JB said logistically Hampden’s location was an issue but said ATAC would be happy to help distribute Member Clubs with any supporting information

CT and KJ left the meeting at this point

3.  SSC Statement of Account
• JB followed up on a previous Item and asked for a breakdown of how/where SSC Membership fees are allocated
• CB handed out the 2010 SFA Annual Review plus a sheet showing the breakdown in general terms of the entire £22.6m SFA 2009 turnover, which stated that “SSC Income is part of Commercial Income”. For the record the 2009 turnover sheet showed that Commercial Income formed 20% of the total income for the year.
• The footer on the 2009 turnover sheet said “Overall profit from SSC is re-distributed through Football Development and club payment channels”
• JB pressed for more detail on the income and expenditure directly associated with the SSC Subscriptions stating “afterall the tag line is ‘Your Country, Your Passion, Your Club’ in my Club – WESTA The treasurer has to stand up every month and explain the accounts”. CB stated that he would need to discuss the matter fully with the new Chief Executive and the Financial Director before progressing the matter further. JB advised that he understood and he looked forward to a fuller response in due course on behalf of the ATAC membership

CB

4.  Sweden Ticketing

JB stated that he had information concerning the number of Scottish fan’s in Sweden which alarmed ATAC and would welcome the actual numbers from the SFA
• AJ said Scotland had an allocation of 2,600 but that they had been informed by the Swedish Association that around 2,000 actually turned up for the game in the Scottish section.

• 270-300 were asked to pick-up in Stockholm
 37 late cancellations
 30 didn’t show up at all and will get yellow cards
 3 red cards – 2 repeat offenders and one for impersonating an SSC Member

JB referred to the minutes of the ATAC /SFA meeting in March when ATAC alerted the SFA to the Swedish match ‘being ripe for harvesters’ stating “we take no pleasure in saying we told you so ….but we did……. a potential six hundred harvesters proves that”.

CB & AJ acknowledged that lessons had been learned from Sweden and as a result the ratio of fans being requested to collect tickets will be significantly increased in future.

5.  Lithuania and Prague Ticketing
• Approximately 300 asked to pick up in Kaunas
 39 late cancellations
 24 didn’t show up at all and will get yellow cards
• AJ said they are still sorting through information from Prague but that it had gone far better, with only 6 out of around 300 not collected.
• AJ explained that the Czech’s had not supplied written confirmation of additional tickets until the Monday. AJ & SB went on to state that they would have preferred to have had another 24 hours which would have allowed them to run another ballot for those on three points level, with there being a 300 or so surplus. However the timing and the logistics would have proven overly problematic, hence the message being circulated that members would be welcome to come to distribution points enquiring on any excess or ticket returns/cancellations
• JB stated that despite extremely difficult ticketing conditions in Prague, caused in the main by the Czech FA, the SSC and associated staff had handled things superbly
• DK spoke at length about the Security and Safety issues in Kaunas. DK thanked the Scottish support for their patience and understanding in both entering and leaving the stadium. JC supplied feedback from ATAC re their serious concerns on the stadium in Kaunas and questioning the grant of a safety licence.
• DK explained that the positive reputation of Scottish Supporters allowed a relaxation on away fans entering home sections of the ground in Prague. This came after extensive lobbying by Scottish security managers and Scottish police representatives. DK went on to state that we should not take this as a given and he would not encourage fans to travel without official tickets
• DK praised ATAC for the efficient running of Fans Embassies at recent games and described how the British Ambassador in Prague was gushing in her enthusiasm and pride as she joined ATAC for a pint before the game. DK stated that on a serious note this assists in our positive reputation and aides a welcome in each country we visit.

As a wrap up to recent matches JB advised that he had ran the numbers and that it was clear that there was at least a twenty percent ‘harvesting issue’ and this was unacceptable and indeed unfair to members. CB & AJ acknowledged that there was an issue to be addressed and for this reason a 100% pick up at future matches or at the very least a very high ratio of pick up’s would be considered and/or implemented.

6.  Thomson Sport
• CB and AJ assured JB that the Thomson packages would 100% dovetail in with the SSC Points system, i.e. people booking with Thomson will not get preferential treatment regards obtaining a ticket for a game. For home matches Thomson Sport have an allocation of tickets, similar to other hospitality partners, this does not impact tickets allocated for SSC members. For away fixtures Thomson Sport do not receive an allocation of tickets, however SSC members will, under standard points system terms etc, be asked “do you want a ticket or do you want a ticket and a travel package” members are of course free to travel by whichever method they choose in the same way as they have always been.

7.  Miscellaneous Items
• Celtic Cup ticketing arrangements still being worked out with the competing Nations. CB said it was likely there would be 100% pick-up for the Northern Ireland game and for the double-header in May consideration is being given to either a single pick up for both games but highly likely to be high ratio or 100% pick up’s for each game. It was confirmed that a point would be issued for attendance at each of the games.
• Adidas Merchandise – JB highlighted the sizing anomalies between replica tops and normal leisurewear and CB said Adidas were aware of the issue and are addressing it, it was caused by differing suppliers for each part of the range. CB said new Home top would be out in November 2011 and the new Away top in Spring 2012. JB advised that Greaves should do something about the differing sizes Online. CB stated that Greaves will be introducing specific sizing i.e. 40-42inch etc across the ranges in addition to the generic S,M,L,XL etc to avoid issues.
• Family Section – JB said it was difficult to get a decent allocation when there were high numbers/ratio of adults to kids. AJ said that although she understood these rare case anomalies the ethos behind the Family Section was always to have a high number of kids. It was agreed that the ATAC member Club with this specific issue should contact SB.
• Bus Parking for the Spain game – JB said ATAC Clubs had expressed disappointment that there were no passes. DK explained that it was because SKY covered the game in 3D and this meant they needed more than double the normal amount of space for their equipment. This would only happen again where a game was being shown in 3D
• Facebook – MS explained that the link on the SFA Facebook site to a 2 year old article on defensive footballing formations had been very badly received by most, especially given it was posted the day after the game in Prague. The comment would be passed to the Communication Team.

• SSC Members Ticketing allocation – there was a wide ranging debate about ticketing and public sales. JB stated that attendances had fallen overall since the SSC Membership were limited to one ticket, this was acknowledged by CB. JC described how members and non members were effectively forced to sit in different sections of the ground There was discussion about the merits of allowing SSC Members to apply for 2 tickets for certain games on the understanding that there would be a ballot if over-subscribed. AJ explained about the SSC rationale and ‘fairness approach’ but accepted this topic may be worth further discussion and consideration in future.

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