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Follow up meeting with Rick Parry

Members of the Liverpool Supporters Union-Spirit of Shankly, Management Committee met with Rick Parry to follow up previous questions and raise new issues on Thursday 2nd October 2008. Also present at the meeting were Ged Poynton and Bryce Morrison. Please see below for detailsof the meeting.

 

 

1. Request for assistance re. hospitality for proposed visit of Ray Kennedy to a Liverpool home game.  

 

 We raised the possibility that SOS could try and get him and his son in an executive box for a game at Anfield, RP said that wasn't necessary and that the club would take care of everything necessary to enable Ray's visit to Anfield. This follows on from the club's generosity with the Ray of Hope Appeal fundraiser at Anfield last season.  SoS thanked the club on behalf of all Liverpool fans and the Ray of Hope Appeal in particular.

 

 

2. Thomas Cook.

        * Numerous complaints over pricing of trips    

        * Thomas Cook warning travel agents from doing business with S.O.S.

        * Discrimination against disabled supporters wishing to travel to Madrid.    

        * Effects of their 'home game packages' on local hotels and other local businesses.

 

  BM and RP aware of the disabled issue and BM is to contact Thomas Cook expressing the club's concern over the possibility illegality of any discrimination and will try and resolve the issue. The Thomas Cook deal was a deal done by the club's commercial department, outside of the scope of the normal day-to-day operations run out of Anfield. It is a 3 year deal.  Under the deal, Thomas Cook are entitled to 50% of Euro away tickets, as of yet they have not taken up this amount. We expressed our concern as to what would happen should the club reach next year's final.  We reminded the club of the FA & England getting rid of Thomas Cook as official travel supplier, due to their alleged incompetence. RP said he was aware of this and had spoken to other clubs who were involved with TC before we signed the deal; all clubs he spoke to had raised doubts about TC. At the moment Thomas Cook are asking for 500 tickets for each away European tie. The club are insisting that all tickets sold are only to those who meet the loyalty criteria, and it will be the club, not Thomas Cook, who deal with things like 'proof of travel' and 'proof of loyalty' etc. RP was made aware of the effect on local businesses in Liverpool of Thomas Cook's use of hotels outside of the city, and their preference to only organising short (1 night) stays. RP & BM also said TC are given no tickets for domestic away games, when questioned about why away tickets are selling out at such high credits. The club said this is definitely nothing to do with TC. When told that there are many people who were easily getting the tickets in past years and are now struggling for them, BM suggested it may be that in past years the people with higher credits may not have taken up the option on these particular tickets, whereas they now are. BM will investigate and SOS will chase this up with him.

 

3. Belong!

        * Where are the tickets coming from? S.T.s in the scheme or out of the general sale? Are tickets for away games being diverted into this or similar  schemes. Several aways now selling out at high level of credits.  

 

BM to look at the credits required and the percentage of those eligible who took them up and compare with last season. RP and BM also aware that fancard 'scams' may exist with touts and even travel agencies holding fancards. They said the club do investigate anything suspicious and do revoke fancards on a regular basis. Anyone buying tickets from a suspicious source is asked to copy the stubs so the club can investigate who the ticket was originally issued to. The SOS said they would co-operate with this and urge anyone who does buy from an external operator to help them help the club to investigate where the tickets are coming from. The club insist that they do take this seriously RP and BM said that tickets for away games are not being diverted into Belong! or any corporate schemes Although an arbitrary 500 tickets went into the Belong scheme for the Middlesbrough game

 

4.   Ticketing: Manchester City and Arsenal both recently charged £10 for game, with £5 for children. Even for the Crew Alex. League Cup game Liverpool failed to do anything like this. It is imperative that the club price these less attractive fixtures to allow younger fans, and those on limited incomes, to attend. 

 

RP admitted they 'got it wrong’. The club do try and be competitive, they said, and compared the pricing to last season's comparable tie (Cardiff) to determine pricing. On the principle of matching pricing at Arsenal R.P. said they will "consider it next time". and "take each game on its merits". They do have a more flexible adult and child deal for this type of game whereby and adult can take 2 kids. RP pointed out that there goal is to "fill the ground", there is no real limit on adult and child tickets so more could be sold if demand warranted it, it’s just the fact that they are never fully taken up. BM said the next round will be no cheaper as he believed that Tottenham will be charging £37. 

 

 

5. The 1892 Block ticket sales. Promises made by the T.O. not carried through re. phone selling, window sales; the pre season note to be sent to all S.T. holders in the section also failed to materialise. 

 

BM apologised about the Ticket Office being overloaded at the start of the season. They didn't do what they said they would - however all outlets for tickets (CC line, TO windows etc) have had written instructions regarding the 'caveatsregarding the 1892 section. RP expressed his unhappiness with the issue of the note not going out to ST holders in 1892 as promised; he was disappointed it didn't happen. Will make sure it does happen next year if it is required *

 

6. Club's reluctance to take a stand against Sky and the P.L. with regards to rearranging kick off times and days to suit the demands of the TV audience.   Lack of a clear spokesman for the club, someone to defend the club publicly and make a stand against the P.L., other clubs, Sky etc. the rescheduling of YNWA for instance seems to have been accepted without any complaint. (Even if the move has been for the better, the principle still remains).

 

RP said that there is no point in arguing with Sky. When he was Chief Executive of the PL he realised how difficult it is to organise the live fixtures, and all clubs tend to complain. But nothing can be done, they are contractually bound to accept the fixtures and any changes the PL wish to make especially for live games in order to satisfy the foreign TV audiences

 

7. Ticketing issues - a separate dossier to be handed to the club with some criticisms and complaints.  

 

Dossier handed to BMSOS to follow up with Bryce.  The issue of TO window sales was brought up - the club explained the operational difficulties of possibly having several thousand people turn up at the windows. The police have raised objections to this. RP said they were still trying to find a way for cash sales to happen. The phone line for CC sales is NOT a premium rate line as has been suggested, said BM, and the CC line is run by an outside organisation and not LFC. We expressed our concerns about the 'customer experience' of the CC line and the dissatisfaction it often brought. With no paper tickets now being issued to fancard holders for cup games, the club is to scrap the 50p charge they made for posting them out. It was too late to do this for PSV - it was a genuine oversight we were assured - but for all future games, the charge for the ticket will not include this 50p. 

 

8. Current Ground expansion. R.P. previously hinted it had, at one point, been re-examined. Any progress?  * No change *

 

9. Ownership situation. Update.  * Nothing to report. RP not aware of any progress *

 

10. Any feedback from George Gillett and R.P. re. the recent meeting.  

* Not as such. But GG did suggest a 2nd meeting and RP to suggest to GG some dates/fixtures that he can attend and meet with us again. Depending on if members wish to meet him again.*

 

11. Michael Shields' bucket collection - thanks.  

 

* We expressed our thanks to RP, and GP and his stewards for their co-operation and generosity. It was appreciated.  Also told RP to personally pass on our gratitude to the people working in the cash office, we explained the situation where we were left to count the money with the help of the cash office staff. RP said that was not the agreed plan and he would see what went wrong and the reasons why it was not securicor counting. 

 

12. Recognition of the Liverpool FC Supporters Club in Anfield. Oldest SC in the world.  

 

RP to liaise with SOS to make this happen.

 

 

13. Playing on April 15th 2009.

 

RP reiterated his earlier protestations to UEFA. It’s too early to follow this up, and he is loathe to make a public issue whilst we are still in the group stages. But he has said he will take this up directly with Platini if the issue becomes pressing. Rest assured the club will do all it can to ensure that LFC never play on April 15th.

 

14. Atletico Madrid away game.

The SOS discussed the trouble at the Atletico-Marseilles game; along with previous incidents with Bolton etc. LFC had representatives at the Marseilles game who had reported back to the club. RP and GP had then travelled out to Madrid to meet with representatives from Atletico and the Madrid police, along with the British Consul. The club were impressed with the seriousness of the Consul with regards to the fans safety. They presented the Madrid authorities with a list of actions that they felt would minimise the repetition of these previous incidents, and have discussed with Atletico ways to make access to the stadium less fraught and less liable to confrontations arising than it has been previously. LFC will have many stewards available on the night, and the club are not expecting there to be any trouble during our visit.

 

SOS has said it would be passing on any further news and advice to all Liverpool fans attending the game.



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