As we have reported, on Wednesday 26th April Geoff Bielby represented the Hull City Supporters’ Trust at the newly formed Supporters’ Committee. The minutes produced by Hull City can be found on this link. Here’s our feedback on the evening:
Firstly, we can understand why the new committee was met with scepticism by some supporters who believed this would be nothing more than a box ticking exercise by the club. However, given this was the first opportunity to form meaningful dialogue between fans and senior officials for some years, the Trust decided to embrace it as a positive step forward. HCST do not know how applicants from each stand were selected, but we can confirm there were 167 people who offered to give up their free time to help their club, of which 8 were carefully selected by the club. This ‘lucky’ 8 then joined one representative from the HCST, the Senior Tigers, HCOSC & a representative from the Electric Eels.
The Trust was aware that many people would have wanted specific topics raised, but given the meeting was only scheduled for 90 minutes, we felt going with a long list of questions was not ideal for the first meeting. Everyone is painfully aware of the several main issues needed to be addressed by the club, and consequently this was a common view held by all supporters that attended.
Whilst many issues were discussed which can be read about in the minutes (linked above), HCST believe the club was left in no doubt that the following are the key issues that need addressing promptly:
- Concession ticketing needs reintroducing for children, seniors and disabled supporters in all areas of the ground. HCST has been in contact with the Premier League over this and will be following it up in the coming weeks with both the Premier League and EFL.
- Fans need to stop being moved around without consultation. The closure of the West Upper Stand from the start of next season means that yet more supporters will be unsettled. The West Upper will still be open for matchday sales next season making seat moves harder to take for some, especially considering that individuals’ specific seats will be on sale on a match-by-match basis, meaning there is no guarantee it could be reserved for each match.
- The use of the club’s name in statements, social media, advertisements and all correspondence. HCST are glad to hear that it is not a policy of the club to avoid the use of the term ‘Hull City’. However, we are therefore confused why the last three years has seen the use of our official name almost disappear from nearly every aspect of the club’s corporate and professional existence.
- Linking with the above point, it was brought to the attention of the club that the badge, which many view as a symbol of pride, does not have our name on. It’s reintroduction to the badge would be much welcome and also boost merchandise sales.
In summary, many important points that have been an issue for the last few years were identified to the club’s senior management. How successful this new fan dialogue via the supporters’ committee is depends wholly on the actions the club takes. If they are taking it seriously then we expect simple changes to have been made regarding the above points before the next meeting in three months’ time. Over to you Hull City…