Tuesday, 11 February 2014

SISA General Meeting Minutes Saturday February 8th 2014

1) Introduction: All today’s proposals for action were submitted by members of SISA. The committee have been speaking and meeting with members and non-members from the Fylde and far beyond in order to help focus the fan base on setting achievable goals and working together for the benefit of the club, its supporters and the community. The short term focus is on getting the current owners to invest more of the club’s money into the football side of the business and to pressurise them into acting in a way more consistent with the traditions of our great club. The slogans of the campaign will be “Oystons’ Cash Cow” and “Oystons Must Put Football First”. We are hoping that supporters whether SISA members or not will rally around these ideas.

2) Bloomfield Road as Asset of Community Value: The result of SISA’s application for Bloomfield Road to be listed as an Asset of Community is scheduled to be decided by the Council on Tuesday 11th February. SISA understands that the application has cross-party support and Karl Oyston has also given his public support to the idea. The main consideration now appears to be whether it will satisfy the statutory requirements. The council seemed satisfied with the application when it was submitted to them and there are good reasons to be optimistic about a positive outcome. If it succeeds it will be the first property in Blackpool to receive Asset of Community Value Status. This will mean that should the owners choose to sell the ground, they will have to inform SISA of their intention. The club’s supporters will then have the option to raise money to bid for the ground or to lobby any potential purchasers concerning use of the ground or alternatively, address and publicise any other issues of concern. Action: SISA committee to inform Blackpool supporters of the outcome of the application (110214) 

3) Supporters Trust: SISA have been given the backing of Supporters Direct to establish a Supporters Trust for Blackpool FC. There are many advantages that having a Supporters Trust can provide for Blackpool fans e.g. collectively owning shares, providing a means of transparent and open negotiation between fans and the club as well as potentially enabling fans to have a much bigger say in the way our club is run with more co-operation with the club and accountability from the owners. It will also give greater weight to SISA and the fans it represents as well as helping to more widely publicise the issues that impact our club. There will be a public vote on 5th of April before the Yeovil game to create a Supporters Trust and it was stressed that we need as big a turnout of people as possible on that day. Action: SISA to publicise the Public Vote on the 5th April as well as providing information about what a Supporters Trust is and how it can benefit Blackpool fans. (Ongoing) Blackpool fans to turn up in great numbers at the meeting (5-4-14)

4) Proposals for Action: The proposals had all been agreed in principle with Tony Pinder, the Ground Safety Officer at Blackpool FC. The final details will still need to be agreed with Tony Pinder, the Police and the Local Authority.

a) The 90 Million Pound Note: An A4 size double sided imitation bank note was displayed with examples provide for all present to examine. The leaflet is an imitation of a traditional English bank note (included as an attachment to the minutes). This will be held up on the 19 minutes for a period of 30 seconds to a minute displaying the bank note and on 53 minutes, for 30 seconds or so, displaying the other side which contains the message “Oystons Must Put Football First”. These leaflets will be provided by SISA and distributed outside the ground before kick-off. This proposal was passed by an almost unanimous majority. Action: SISA to finalise the design, co-ordinate with other groups of Blackpool fans to try to ensure the demonstration has the biggest possible impact. (Ongoing)

b) Delayed Entry To The Ground: Fans will delay their entry into the ground until nine minutes after kick off with each minute signifying ten million of the approximately ninety million received from the Premier League money. As with the other agenda items there was lively discussion about this proposal and it was generally felt that supporters wanted to watch the game and that this approach would clearly prevent people from seeing some of the game. Action: This proposal was rejected by a hefty majority and therefore no further action necessary.

c) Post Match Sit In: It was suggested that supporters delay their departure from the ground by a maximum period of 15 minutes and in so doing make public the strength of feeling about many of the strategies the club has been employing over the years in regards to the football side of the business. Members said that there needed to be good numbers for this to have real impact and the planning had to be properly co-ordinated. Action: This was passed by a hefty majority and the Committee were asked to further develop the idea, liaise with as broad a group of supporters as possible and publicise the event properly. The committee should also make the necessary arrangements with the club, the police etc. (ongoing)

d) The Premier League Legacy Funeral March: A coffin draped in tangerine with the legend “Premier League Legacy” would be placed at the front of the march and the supporters would form a procession behind the coffin and march to and around Bloomfield Road. Action: Agreed again almost unanimously, SISA committee to make the necessary arrangements and liaise with the relevant authorities. (220214)

e) Video Montage: Supporters would be filmed explaining the reasons for their disappointment with the club or their unwillingness to renew their season ticket. This would then be edited together and made into a short film that would be posted on YouTube and various other social media. There was a big majority in favour with seven people voting against. Members wanted to see the detail of the proposal firmed up a little. Action:  The committee to arrange for filming and editing to take place, fine tune the proposal and bring back to the members when the filming is ready to take place. Members to volunteer to be filmed and provide their views on the club. (100314)

5) Members questions/issues

a) Gazette advertisement: It was suggested that SISA take out an advert in the Gazette using the design of the 90 million pound note as a background. It would include a message for Blackpool fans concerning the importance of helping to bring about changes to the way our club is run and suggesting ways that these ends might be achieved. The idea was clearly still in its early stages but was passed by a great majority of those present. Action: SISA to investigate the possibility of advertising in the Gazette and attempt to raise funds for the purpose (100314). SISA to fine tune the idea and bring it back to members for approval (100314).  

b) Ad Van billboard: A member offered to provide his Ad-van on match days. He suggested that an Oyston Cash Cow poster should be designed and he would circle the ground on a match day with the posters displayed for all supporters to see. This idea provoked much interest and met with almost unanimous approval. Action: SISA to help raise the necessary money for the posters and other costs associated with the Ad-van plan as well as offering any other help that might be required (220214).

c) Media exposure: A number of supporters felt that it would be useful if the story of Blackpool FC was to receive wider prominence in national media. A number of journalistic contacts were suggested and a local journalist volunteered her services in helping to help promote some of the problems at the club to a wider audience. Action: SISA to continue developing media contacts, particularly with football journalists such as David Conn, Daniel Storey etc (Ongoing).

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