The following are an agreed record of the meeting
From the Club: Phil Beard (Chief Executive Officer), Mark Donnelly (Chief Operating Officer) Andy Rees (Supporters Liaison Officer)
From supporters groups: Paul Moore (Disabled Supporters Association), Paul Finney (IndyRs) Bill Cox (Loyal Supporters Association) Stephen Dedridge (QPR1st Supporters Trust)
Each represented group was entitled to raise one topic for discussion:
QPR1st-Training ground and Stadium proposals
QPR1st has been asked by the local council to comment on regeneration proposals for the Old Oak Common which would include the building of a sports stadium and the possible involvement of a major educational, health, leisure, entertainment or sports provider. The Club were able to confirm that it was aware of the proposals and what they might mean for QPR, but stressed that there are still a number of possible sites being looked at. The Club was keen to emphasis that the plans to build a new stadium are still at a very early stage and no decisions had been made. It reassured the group that fans would be consulted as progress was made. From the fans perspective the key issue was that the stadium was designed to create maximum atmosphere.
The Club was able to confirm it was continuing to work closely with Ealing Council regarding the Warren Farm Training Ground and both the Club and the Council continued to be strongly committed to the project. It regretted the legal action taken by a residents group over the Warren Farm sports facility but remained confident that the project would still go ahead.
LSA – Ticket booking fee
Both the LSA and QPR1st have petitioned the Club regarding the payment surcharge of £3.50 which fans have to pay for telephone and internet transactions . The Consumer Rights (Payment Surcharges) Regulations 2012 say that traders mustn’t charge more than it costs them to process the payment.
The Club pointed out the transaction fee covered the costs incurred by the club including postage, administration, ticketing charges and credit card fees. The club stated that it was standard business practice carried out by most football clubs and was common practice for any ticket purchase. It was argued that if the payment surcharge was not made then the costs would have to be incurred by the club and considerations given as to how to offset these with higher ticket prices being an option. The Club felt that it had placed its efforts on keeping the initial cost of tickets as low as it could and pointed out that only one charge was made for a transition regardless of the number of tickets sold.
IndyR’s- Are there long term plans to remember Alan McDonald?
The club is in continual close contact with Alan’s wife and immediate family, and it is the Club’s understanding that the tributes made to Alan last year were considered appropriate and enough, and the family requested that the club not pursue any further tributes.
There will be tribute articles about Alan McDonald in the Swindon Programme and also in the Inside’R’ Magazine.
DSA- ‘Soccersight’ headphones
Soccersight headphones which are made available to season ticket holders who are Blind or partially sighted have been superb so far this season. It would be extremely helpful if they could be dropped off at the stand where the fan is sitting at the end of the match. So far the Club has been unable to identify how this could be practically managed on a match day but agreed to continue to work on finding a solution.
This is now the third of these meetings and they have proved to be a successful means by which the Club can consult with representative fans groups. There was some discussion about how the format could be developed further to ensure the meetings are as efficient and effective as possible and can offer transparency and active engagement to the wider fan base.
‘The Story of QPR’ film was discussed. QPR1st intend to enter into a partnership agreement with QPR Trust regarding this important project which will provide a lasting oral history of the fans experience. QPR1st is proposing to help fund the project to the sum of £10,000 from the Hoops Fund. Serena Williamson from the Octavia Foundation who will be making the film hopes to attend the next meeting of this group to explain more about the project.