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Premier League – Fans Conference

Fans Conference – Great Connaught Rooms – 29th July 2015

IMG_8135The Premier League’s fans conference took place today and was attended by all Premiership clubs representatives, members of the PL, FSF, Supporters Direct, Kick It Out, Level Playing Field, and the SGSA.

The meeting was to discuss the season just gone and a look into the new 2015/16 campaign, subject included stats, structures of the PL, youth of today, mobile apps and their benefits, home grown players, club initiatives for supporters with TV money, new offside rule update and much more.

Graham Smith, the clubs box office manager / supporters liaison officer and myself were there on behalf of Chelsea FC and the fans forum.

Should minutes become available then they will be posted on here, in the meantime here is a brief synopsis of the days’ events and discussions:

Season 2014/15

Some stats:

  • 8,635 fouls were committed
  • 7,186 dribbles were made
  • 975 goals were scored
  • Average of 2.57 goals per game
  • Average 26 shots per game
  • Ball was in play on average 56 mins per game

Home attendances:

  • 13,741,982 total attendance (this one was a bit ambiguous as some clubs report ticket sales whilst others report turnstyle clicks!)
  • Average of 36K per game
  • Stadium average of 95.9%

Away attendances:

  • 858,793 total away supporters
  • Average of 2,260 per game
  • Stadium ‘away section’ average of 81.5%

Apps:

The ‘away days’ mobile app was discussed and slides were shown giving details of what is coming this season to assist the away supporters with all things matchday football related, increased information on grounds, where to park and eat (and drink) disabled information and much more. There is also the facility to contact ‘away days’ to help them keep up to date with additional information which in turn will help keep the information current.

Youth of today / Britain’s got talent:

A short film of home grown players was shown with a following talk on how technology is helping to improve all aspects of bringing the youngsters on to the next levels.

A screen shot was shown of a the website available to all clubs which monitors all aspects of the young players from playing time to dietary requirements (in my day you just got a slice of orange at half time!) which has been designed to keep individual records of all the players coming up through the ranks, information available to those official club members but a discussion was held to see if the supporters might be interested is seeing ‘some’ of this info, is there enough interest in our young players to want to know how many minutes they have played, or, how many injuries have they had?

This suggestion was put to the members present to ask the question and report back.

Season 2015/16

TV money:

Representatives from Swansea FC gave an overview of their £22 ticket cost for every away game, they also stated that other initiatives would take place following last season’s success of free food vouchers, free scarves and in one case, a free shirt. The general opinion in the room was it should be applauded but each club has the right to decide on where it spends this budget (Swansea actually spent more than the initial budget last season)

TV Schedules:

BT (42 games):

  • 28 x Sat 17:30
  • 14 = 6 x Midweek + 8 x either Sat 12:30 / 15:30 or Sun 12:00

SKY (126 games):

  • 28 x Sat 12:30
  • 28 x Sun 13:30 or 14:15
  • 28 x Sun 16:00 or 16:30
  • 28 x Mon 20:00 or Fri 19:30 or 20:00
  • 14 x Bank Holiday x 8 + Sun x 6 13:30 or 14:15 or 16:00 or 16:30

The ‘Friday’ games have been introduced for those in Europe, with no certain way of knowing who will still be in European competitions when the screenings are announced Sky are using Friday night games as an alternative to Monday Night Football!

The Arsenal rep mentioned that more notice should be given with regards to TV fixture date changes and the PL agrees to push this for the next batch of games, they also stated that some wanted more game changes in one hit even if it meant a later notice of changes, (you can’t please everyone I guess).

The Sunderland rep mention they have a deal now with East Coast Railways where the train company will allow use of tickets if they are bought for one day and the game is moved to the next, it was suggested that this could be used across other networks but will be down to the clubs officials and supporters groups to talk to the other rail companies.

The final discussion was given regarding some rule changes for next season with regards to the offside rule!

  • For the coming season a player will be deemed to be active should he be in an offside position and attempt to touch the ball, even if that player misses the ball he will still be offside, last season he was deemed inactive and no offside would have been given.
  • If a player is obscuring the view between the goalkeeper and the ball, again, he will be deemed active and given offside.
  • A player that is in an offside position but does not press the ball will be deemed to be active if he interferes with the next passage of play (ie a defender tries to clear but is pressed but the said offside player) or, the ball goes in his general direction and the defender waits for the flag, again, last season he was deemed inactive but this season he will be offside.

And if you think that is confusing just wait till it’s implemented! I can hardly wait!

Other possible future rule changes:

The following was given as an idea of what is being suggested for the future but nothing on these will happen, if at all, until future seasons, they are just ideas!:

  • Sin Bin for lesser punishments, thought wouldn’t work as the team penalised would just put ten behind the ball for ten minutes.
  • Changes to professional foul punishments, inside or outside the box, yellow or red.
  • Referees assistant relaying wrong decisions back to the referees, being trialed in Holland lower league but not here yet – Most decision makers are still in favour of the human being human and to leave it as it is.
  • Actual time for games (as in rugby) – thought to be unrealistic due to additional time it would produce.
  • Roll on Roll Off substitutions for lower leagues, help to keep all the group involved not just those playing.

Other discussions took place during the meeting but those shown above just about cover the meeting in brief.

As stated above, if minutes are published I will post them on here.

Posted by Peter Trenter – CSG Co Vice Chair and Fans Forum Rep

CSG_10_Years_2

DISCLAIMER: All articles written for the Chelsea Supporters Group 2005 (CSG) are those of the author and do not represent the views of the CSG. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited in the article. The CSG do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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