Official Statement

For all things Barrow AFC. Keep discussions civil and fair, we're all Barrow aren't we!
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Van Der Nipper
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Re: Official Statement

Post by Van Der Nipper » Mon May 21, 2012 9:02 pm

The Cross Bar is free to hire to even non members and we do get a membership booklet with vouchers for money off at numerous places around the town.


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Jonty
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Re: Official Statement

Post by Jonty » Mon May 21, 2012 9:29 pm

To those who question the value of Membership- Please try thinking away from what it's worth to you / incentives etc, because there's no argument against the point you're making- There may be no benefits (vouchers / discounts )that are of any value to you and there would never be enough that would appeal to all fans. But please start looking at it from a perspective of what your membership fee is worth to the club as part of the bigger scheme. If Barrow AFC had 2000 year on year members each paying £20-£70 every June / July then that is worth an awful lot of money to the club before the season kicks off at a time when there's no other income coming in. That is very important to a club like Barrow. Even if you never went to match all season, but you remain a member, then that is valued and important too.

Is that not enough itself to make non members become a members this summer? regardless of anyything else? - kmowing that its a vital income for the club?
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Re: Official Statement

Post by Lancaster Branch » Mon May 21, 2012 9:48 pm

Jonty, no matter how many times you post about how great it would be if we had a gazillion members we must be realistic and realise that if somebody isn't a member now, they probably will need an enticement to join.

It's not enough to say that folk should join because the club needs the money - there's loads of institutions charities etc who could do with the spare money if it is floating around, never mind a football club.

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Re: Official Statement

Post by K-Man » Mon May 21, 2012 9:53 pm

Jonty wrote: If Barrow AFC had 2000 year on year members each paying £20-£70 every June / July then that is worth an awful lot of money to the club before the season kicks off at a time when there's no other income coming in. That is very important to a club like Barrow. Even if you never went to match all season, but you remain a member, then that is valued and important too.
Stop talking crap, it's good that your keen but lets be realistic.

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Re: Official Statement

Post by Jonty » Mon May 21, 2012 10:45 pm

Thanks for that. With that attitude- nothing would ever be achieved. But there's no changing peoples views- if like your own, it is just viewed as unrealistic and a load of crap.
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Re: Official Statement

Post by Matty » Mon May 21, 2012 10:52 pm

KHayman wrote:
Jonty wrote: If Barrow AFC had 2000 year on year members each paying £20-£70 every June / July then that is worth an awful lot of money to the club before the season kicks off at a time when there's no other income coming in. That is very important to a club like Barrow. Even if you never went to match all season, but you remain a member, then that is valued and important too.
Stop talking crap, it's good that your keen but lets be realistic.
Well what's your opinion on this matter then?
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Re: Official Statement

Post by Zak » Tue May 22, 2012 4:40 am

KHayman wrote:
Jonty wrote: If Barrow AFC had 2000 year on year members each paying £20-£70 every June / July then that is worth an awful lot of money to the club before the season kicks off at a time when there's no other income coming in. That is very important to a club like Barrow. Even if you never went to match all season, but you remain a member, then that is valued and important too.
Stop talking crap, it's good that your keen but lets be realistic.
lol
you let your club die...

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Re: Official Statement

Post by K-Man » Tue May 22, 2012 11:21 am

Matty wrote:
KHayman wrote: Stop talking crap, it's good that your keen but lets be realistic.
Well what's your opinion on this matter then?
I don't have an idea, like I said it's good that he's keen but come on 2000 members ? We can barely get 1,000 through the gate. The problem with us and it's evident in the B.O.D's setting the budget on an average of 1,500 were not the most realistic are we, there's nothing wrong with being optimistic.

And the idea of trying to get people who don't even go to a game to part with £70 a year :lol:

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Re: Official Statement

Post by Matty Bassdriver » Tue May 22, 2012 12:32 pm

spongebobsquarepants wrote:
Lancaster Branch wrote:As a 'floater' what would entice you to become a member? You're the sort we'd be looking to sign up so rather than the regulars saying "10% off in the club shop" it's probably more useful to say what would swing it for you.
I haven't put lot of thought into this before people start ripping it to bits but here are few ideas:

How about with your membership you get a few vouchers to be used over the course of the season whereby you get a free drink if you are in the Cross Bar before 1:30-2pm on a match day. It should benefit both parties....I get a free drink but as I am in the Cross Bar earlier than usual I would be likely to spend more money.

Some sort of junior membership scheme would be good where there is a weekly or monthly raffle with the winner getting to go 'behind the scenes' on match day and meet all the players staff etc. A raffle each week/month for adults with the winner getting the chance to sample the corporate facilties with a guest or two.

Reduced entry for a couple of games each season.

Members could get a discount when hiring the Cross Bar for private functions.

Not sure if this could work but the club could try getting some local businesses signed up so when you become a member you get some sort of booklet listing the businesses and giving you money off in those stores on production of your membership card.
Good post. This is exactly the sort of thing that needs to be happening to make membership more appealing for next season. With a bit of nous I'm pretty confident the club could increase annual membership to 1,000 members. In a simiar way I'm sure there's scope for season ticket sales and lottery take-up to be increased.

Unfortunately with Martin Lewis now gone I wonder who at the club is going to take responsibility for running with this? Last year Martin did get some local businesses to put vouchers in the yearbook we received upon renewing membership. Although...in my view subsequent promotion of membership and it's benefits (both to the club and the member) was poor. I had a couple of rants at those in authority at the club suggesting that on matchdays (especially the higher profile matches) membership forms should have been handed out by Directors / volunteers outside the groud / on turnstiles with an accompanying speel about why fans should sign up. It never happened. Also no doubt the local rag would have backed / will back some kind of campaign to increase membership.

I assume in the first instance John MacKay can at least tell us what the BOD intend to do about membership (and season ticket) product development / marketing, if John isn't already charged with co-ordinating the initiative. Any news John?

When a load of us off the Forum sent back info to the club a few months ago about the 'skills' each of us had that we were prepared to offer to the club (on a volultary basis) no doubt a good few of us put ourselves forward to help with this kind of marketing / promotion. Can't say I have ever heard anything back in repsonse to my offers to help - has anyone else? So much for the Keen's ideal (as stated in their NWEM interview) of our club becoming the 'Wimbledon of the north'! John (and other BOD members) we are here to help you - all you have to do is ask... My suggestion would be to call a fans meeting ASAP (why wait?), tell us what we can do to help and set things in motion.

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Re: Official Statement

Post by bafcdirect » Tue May 22, 2012 1:57 pm

Matty

If you read the last paragraph of the official statement you will see that I am calling a meeting of all fans after I get back off my holidays which will not be until late June.

The list of volunteers is with Mike Forsyth and it will be used wherever we can in the future. Unfortunately it isn't as easy as just letting anyone volunteer to do jobs in the ground today as there are health & safety procedures to follow, risk assessments to be done etc etc before anyone goes on site. I appreciate that this may sound daft but we as a club have to follow correct procedure because if we don't and something goes wrong then we are in serious trouble.

The list, together with fans ideas, together with my own will be discussed at this meeting which I hope will be well attended. I'm sorry that I can't give a date until I come back as I have other commitments as well as family to fit in as you can appreciate.

The club is a members club and as such some of our fans need to think not what our club can do for us but what we can do for our club.

With regard to membership incentives people have put forward many ideas some of which could well be worthwhile taking on board while others would cost the club much more than the membership fee and therefore not help the club financially.

I have always looked on my membership fee like my insurance policy for my house/car. I pay it not expecting or wanting anything back as if you claim you know you've had a problem. My £20 has been a small part of my contribution towards keeping Barrow AFC going.

I will be discussing a junior membership scheme at this meeting and if there are enough interested then we can look at introducing one.

In the meantime please be patient, support the club over the next few weeks in whatever way you can as indicated in my statement.

Thank you to all Barrow AFC fans who have and continue to support the club. See you all soon when I get back off my hols.

John Mackay

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Re: Official Statement

Post by Always Ultra » Tue May 22, 2012 5:18 pm

One of the main things that's driving the club into the ground is this short-sighted "if only xMillion people did everything for no reason, we'd win the Champions League" mentality.

The club needs to give people a reason to give a shit - whether that be related to attending matches, buying memberships, wearing replica shirts or whatever. You can't just say "I wish the Wembley fans would come to a meeting at the secret treehouse". You have to actually put something in their line of sight that'll provoke them to get out of the pubs and off their sofas.

AFC Wimbledon and FC United have done that to perfection over recent years. It's a complete myth that their local communities have supported them for no reward.

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Re: Official Statement

Post by Matty Bassdriver » Tue May 22, 2012 6:04 pm

Always Ultra wrote:One of the main things that's driving the club into the ground is this short-sighted "if only xMillion people did everything for no reason, we'd win the Champions League" mentality.

The club needs to give people a reason to give a [SwearFilter] - whether that be related to attending matches, buying memberships, wearing replica shirts or whatever. You can't just say "I wish the Wembley fans would come to a meeting at the secret treehouse". You have to actually put something in their line of sight that'll provoke them to get out of the pubs and off their sofas.

AFC Wimbledon and FC United have done that to perfection over recent years. It's a complete myth that their local communities have supported them for no reward.
Totally agree.

And thanks for your prompt reply John. I did read your statement and it is appreciated that you are heading off on your hols in the near future (hope you have a good time) and obviously had prior commitments before joining the Board. I trust you won't take my stated frustrations personally. You have only just started your role and the gripes of me and others are not aimed at you. We live in hope that your appointment to the BOD will come as a breath of fresh air and move things in the right direction.

It's a shame though that it has seemingly taken your arrival into the BOD to bring about the long-awaited fans meeting and it is also somewhat alarming that it seems there will be little in the way of formulating and implementing a membership / season-ticket promotions and marketing strategy prior to the fans meeting. Just when the club probably needs income the most (without any other income stream) the club will be doing little if anything to positively generate income. Let's hope we can all come together to make up for it in July.

I am aware that the list of volunteers / skills is with Mike Forsyth - where I understand it has been for some months now. As a Chartered Surveyor managing property portfolios in my day job I am well aware of the need to follow H&S procedures before anyone is let lose on any land / buildings! However, with respect, jobs around the ground are just one small facet of the volunteers / skills sheet.

In terms of ground works during the summer though surely the club must already have generic risk assessments from previous close-seasons covering tasks such as painting of barriers? Does the club have a planned maintenance summer jobs action list? Will assembling and co-ordinating a team of volunteers to carry out these tasks also have to wait until after the fans meeting? If any action on the ground can be taken / needs to be taken before your return John perhaps another BOD Member can communicate with the fans through the forum?

Again with respect John, no doubt all posters on this forum (who represent the hardcore fans of the club) appreciate that we are 'a members club and as such some of our fans need to think not what our club can do for us but what we can do for our club' - hence the extensive volunteers / skills list. But, as you state (regarding the H&S red-tape) as members and fans we cannot just go off on a tangent and do many of the things we would like to do to help the club. We need prior authorisation from the BOD and fellow Members.

As for your comment on looking on your 'membership fee like (an) insurance policy...not expecting or wanting anything back' you are preaching to the converted on here my friend. This attitude will perhaps give us the 500(ish) like-minded members we had last year, but as others have stated we need to all work together to come up with a package that doesn't cost the club anything but features local businesses etc offering incentives to entice a greater number of fans who were previously non-members to sign up to membership.

I like the sound of a junior membership scheme. I believe this could be make to work, but no doubt this can be explored further at the fans meeting.

We look forward to receiving details of your fans meeting in due course...

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Re: Official Statement

Post by barrowaberdeen » Tue May 22, 2012 6:50 pm

Good that you are replying regularly John.

My only gripe with that your post is the 'ask not what the club can do for you", as you are preaching to the converted in the main here. There's got to be a bit more than that, whether we like it or not.

I don't see what possible discussion is even necessary about Junior Memberships. Make it a fiver, but they can't vote until over 16/18 in the AGM and paying full price.
Would mean a mimimal change in the admin, and I would imagine folk like myself and Reg would happily put in a fiver for our kids' members cards. Actually, under 10's should just get a membership free, Dads/Grandads love that sort of thing, my grandson got a letter and membership card from Aberdeen welcoming him to the club, then the website has pictures of them in their Aberdeen stuff, which of course has to be bought. I couldn't do any of that for Barrow, and I would have.

You could allow one free ticket accompanying a member too possibly.

On the lottery, I would argue that if you had a 'round' worth over £100 a week to the club, instead of being paid you could choose to be given an ST, or, so you keep at it, comps for games. Easy incentive for those maybe unwaged or skint to promote and collect cash for the club without breaking any laws.

I know that Craig is looking at long term planning of how to promote our games to schools, so it is run systematically. There are some good ideas coming out of the education/community side of the club, it's not all bad news.

I know very little about what is done in corporate, but I do recognise the financial value- it has been a very good model. I hope someone has been given that role, to concentrate on as a matter of urgency, along with attracting sponsors for next season.

Anyway, that's my two bobs.

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Re: Official Statement

Post by Jonty » Tue May 22, 2012 7:00 pm

good stuff in posts above ^^^^^ Yes matchday hospitality has been very popular and Martin was very much involved with helping out hosting all this on matchday. Hopefully someone can come in and do this as well. Hopefully the format will stay the same, informal and a good do.

My last bit on the membership---

John- thankyou for setting out the plans for a fans get together. I think you'll know there's a lot of fans who want to help out in any way. wrt membership and FC United- You can't argue with the success of their membership framework- Maybe there's things in here that we could use for our own membership scheme- Look forward to the get together in summer when fans can get together and hopefully set up a good volunteer group. Worth consideration?... cheaper, junior membership and prize draws. Could be the way to go:

Membership of FC United of Manchester

Own Your Own Club
FC United of Manchester offers you a unique opportunity to own your own football club.

The club is fully owned and democratically run by supporters on a one member one vote basis. Members vote on all major decisions, such as electing the Board.

Every member has an equal share in ownership, so for £12 you could co-own our club.

Not For Profit FC United is run in a profitable way, but is a not for profit organisation.

All money raised is reinvested in running the club, providing services for members and carrying out community work.

The constitution means the club can never be bought by an individual or a company, so no fat-cats can get their hands on our club's money.

Share Our Vision- Most members are committed fans of FC United, but we encourage membership by anyone who believes in our aims and ethos.

By putting supporters and community at the heart of our club, we're showing that fans can have a powerful say in the way football should be run.

The more members we have, the louder our collective voice will be.

Membership Draws

As an added benefit of membership we have a random draw of all registered members four times a season and a prize is presented to the winner:

Draw 1 - VIP passes for two to a home game
Draw 2 - Shirt signed by the squad
Draw 3 - £100 voucher for the club shop
Draw 4 - VIP attendance for two at the end of season presentation night


Every member goes into the draw, so all members have four chances a season.

If The Kids Are United
Young people play an important role in FC United and for only £3, junior members can join and prepare for when they're old enough to become co-owners at age 16.


Many junior activities take place throughout each season and junior members can help to plan these for themselves.

How to Join
Membership is £12 a year for adults or £3 for juniors under 16 and it's easy to pay membership by lots of methods:

Online through the club shop
Post a completed form for each member. Downloadable form here. Send with a cheque payable to FC United to: Membership, FC United of Manchester, Hope Mill, 113 Pollard St., Manchester, M4 7JA.
Contact the FC United Office by phoning 0161 273 8950 to pay by credit/debit card.
Email Membership@fc-utd.co.uk with your details.
Visit the Membership Stall outside the Megacabin at Gigg Lane on matchdays.



some things in there that we could adopt?

also - this "Pitch In" scheme could be something we could do as an extension of the programme match squares.....

http://fc-utd.co.uk/devfund/pitchin/
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Re: Official Statement

Post by TLCW » Tue May 22, 2012 10:27 pm

I don't think a membership level of 2000+ is unrealistic.
To put our current membership level in perspective, it is not much higher than the Engineers Club in Abbey Road that recently nearly went bust. Clearly we don't have enough members if we want to stay in this league much longer.
We could achieve 2000+ by
1] Start a campaign NOW and make membership from now until July 2013.It is unrealistic to expect people to join now and then pay again to renew in July.
2] Use the Evening Mail for publicity with constant updates and member related stories.
3]Make application forms widely available-in pubs and newsagents etc.Not everyone uses or pays on the internet. Put an application in every letterbox in Furness if necessary.
4] Contact former members and National Supporters Club Members current and lapsed inviting them to join/rejoin.
5]Existing members to persuade, cajole and beg friends, family ,work mates and occasional supporters to join
LETS GO

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