DST would like to hear from you for your opinion regarding the ticketing situation for the Dons semi-final at Tynecastle. Please see the document below. Question re SF Dons V The Saints
Here is the letter to SFA board member Neil Doncaster, regarding the changing of fixtures to accommodate television deals. Letter to Neil Doncaster
Brian Irvine receiving his D.O.N.S award from DST, Saturday 9th November 2013.
The fantastic new Gothenburg Greats Print by Dod Dow is now available to buy from www.doddow.com/gothenburg-greats-144-p.asp If you are interested in buying a copy of the print and you are a DST member, you should enter DST in the “Company” field of the online order form when buying and DST will earn commission which shall go towards our youth development fund.
Now available to buy, a fantastic print seen above commemorating one of the Dons finest hours in Gothenburg! For more information, visit the link below.
Just a little reminder that the AFC AGM will be taking place tomorrow, Saturday the 9th of November. The meeting will be held at Pittodrie commencing at 10.15 am.
New AFC season ticket packages are now on offer. Prices start from £150 for adults, and £40 for Under 12′s. For more information, visit the link below.
AFC have announced 20% off all Adult and over 60′s tickets for the Dons next home game on the 4th of November. Students and Under 18′s also pay just £5! So get yourself down to Pittodrie, Red Army and roar on your team!
Notes of the Meeting with AFC Representatives – 1-00pm, Thursday 19th September 2013 at Pittodrie Stadium:
Attendees: George Yule: Ally Prockter: Ian Hay: Greig Ingram
Before the meeting started GY gave us a guided tour of the refurbished lounges within the Main Stand, the Sir Alex Fergusson Lounge, the Gothenburg Lounge, the Black and Gold Lounge and the Willie Miller Room and in the RDS, the Teddy Scott Lounge. Internal corridors within the two stands have also been refurbished and updated displays of photographs and memorabilia put in place. The corridor and tunnel leading from the Changing Rooms to the pitch have been decorated with large images of the current squad.
We also had a look at the superb new playing surface.
Positive Feedback from DST
GI opened the meeting by giving GY very positive feedback on our dealings with some of the key members of staff he has put in place ie. Ally Prockter, Derek Matthews and with the new Catering Manager, Paul Quick. Any communications from DST have been promptly responded to with full, frank and honest answers and information.
- 1. GY provided an update on progress on the 5 Fs
Football – There has been a marked improvement on the park this season. The professional approach of the Management Team and Coaching Staff in preparing the squad for the season has been reflected in good performances on the park to date. A new ethos has been created on and off the pitch.
The aim is continuous improvement
The Energy Cup match versus Stavanger was a great success. The free entry to the match was achieved via subsidy by Aberdeen City Council. The possibility of expanding this competition to involve clubs from other energy related cities is being looked at for future years
Development of the match-day experience is a work in progress.
The Junior Match-day Club has proved to be a huge success and the programme is sold out for the ICT match.
There are a range of community projects which have been put in place to encourage attendance and community attendees are concentrated in the Merkland Stand.
Attendance at corporate hospitality is up on last season.
The Upper RDS has not been closed for the season and will be opened as attendances at matches require. The compacting of the crowd at lower attendance matches has enhanced the atmosphere during games.
The DST reps put forward the idea of encouraging communities in the NE (based on Community Council areas) to be allowed to promote their communities on a match-day e.g. By inviting communities to provide the pre-match and half time entertainment and allowing businesses to set up promotional stalls within the stands. This would benefit the communities by giving them a very public platform and it would benefit AFCs aim of engaging with the community.
It continues to be work in progress for AFC.
An ‘aggressive’ budget has been set for the current season.
Savings and cuts have been made but on the basis of attempting to get better value.
The main aim is to generate greater income by improving the team performance.
A Five Year Fundraising Strategy is being drawn up.
Work is ongoing in developing the Sales & Marketing Department. AFC is trying to reach out to new clients whilst retaining existing clients..
A new Head of Sports Science and Fitness has been appointed. Graham Kirk (formerly St Johnstone FC) took up post on Friday 20 September 2013.
The new Management Team have introduced a range of new approaches relating to sports science and fitness and the Club has backed their approach by making funds available to create this new position.
New Training Facility – The proposed site for the development with one of the Universities has hit a problem as flood prevention costs for the proposed site have proved prohibitive. The search is on for an alternative site.
Meantime the agreements with Albyn School and Balgownie will continue.
The New Stadium – 12 months have been spent looking at alternative sites.
The preferred option now is still Loiriston. AFC is reluctant to have to start the progress all over again and lose out on some of the costs already incurred.
AFC has maintained dialogue with Aberdeen City Council and progress is being made. Another meeting was scheduled for the week beginning 23 Sept 2013. The aim is a mutually beneficial settlement.
Positive discussions had also been held with City Planners on land acquisition.
GY was more positive on a successful outcome being achieved.
- 2. The role of DST in progressing the 5 Fs.
The DST reps reiterated that as the biggest, properly structured fan group, with a website and social media communication with a large number of fans was in a good position to assist GY to get the message on the 5Fs out. GY acknowledged that he has been too busy doing many Club activities and hadn’t done a great deal about letting more people know what was happening. He agreed that DST could help to communicate the
Information and will give further thought re how this could be handled.
DST reps recommended that the club should study the Swansea model where Club, Board and fans are one big family. Season Ticket holders are automatically given membership of the supporters organisation and no-one opts out.
All work together to support and promote the club. There are great financial benefits which are reflected in team performance. GY said he would add this model to the others he is investigating.
- email@example.com system & website progress
The feedback system now has an acknowledgement message.
The negotiations on a new contract for the website provider have been put on hold until evidence of improvements are demonstrated on the website. The Leeds United website, which the current providers are finalising, will be the template for the revamped AFC website.
- 4. Fan issues relating to TV games (esp. Monday night games)
The DST reps related the problem a group of AFC fans from Glasgow had contacted DST about relating to dates being changed to accommodate TV. Advanced booking of train ticket and the resultant savings were not possible if fans were not given sufficient notice of games which were being selected for TV coverage. It was agreed that this was an issue which should be referred to the SPFL since it impacted on all clubs and not just AFC.The issue of looking at ticket pricing for games moved to Monday nights was also raised.
- 5. Match day experience progress.
See above under Update on 5Fs – Fans.
- 6. Hall of Fame & Sir Alex Ferguson tribute.
The Sir Alex Ferguson Lounge is in place. It was hoped that Sir Alex would be able to attend the match v Partick Thistle at Pittodrie in November because he had a speaking engagement in the city over that weekend. The fact that the fixture has now been moved for TV means that his travel arrangement will prevent him attending. Sir Alex is aware that the lounge has been established and he is delighted and honoured that his contribution to the club has been acknowledged in this way. Sir Alex Ferguson may not be available to visit Pittodrie until after Feb. 2014.
AFC Community Trust
Ally Prockter, Head of Community joined the meeting to explain the work and progress being made in creating a stand-alone charitable trust to be known as AFC Community Trust. Ally is currently working his way through the considerable administration procedures required to establish the Community Trust. The Trust will be along the lines that clubs in Germany have developed to become major providers of community programmes in cities & geographical areas. A range of social, educational, health, sport, welfare programmes will ultimately be delivered, by a range of agencies in collaboration with AFC. The aim is to use AFC’s profile and standing in the community as a vehicle to enhance participation and involvement in these programmes. NHS, Police Scotland, the Universities and schools will work with AFC to deliver these programmes. Encouraging participation in a range of sports will be a major part of the work of the Community Trust.
A Board of 8 Trustees will oversee the Community Trust’s activities.
This is a major initiative by AFC and once established it will radically change AFC’s role, standing, and profile in the city and NE. DST reps confirmed that our organisation applauds and supports this exciting initiative which is a major step forward in linking our club to the community & its life blood.
Catering is very much part of the fans “matchday experience “ so DST contacted Sodexo following comments from members regarding catering at the Celtic game last Saturday.
The manager provided a detailed response to the comments as follows
The South Stand is a tough area to operate in with the lack of kiosk facilities and the restrictions to enable us to bring in portable/mobile units and is even more testing when full and needed the area supervisors to be within the kiosk units throughout the ground on Saturday rather than managing the areas.
The stadium is lacking in the kiosk facilities that are available especially in the South Stand and apart from having enough product available for sale (which there was on Saturday), without major capital injection, only some small improvements can be made this season.
He then went on to outline changes that have been made this season, many of which tie in with feedback that DST received from members earlier this season and had been passed on to Sodexo.
- In the RDS concourse there is a separate Kiosk Express Unit that sells Steak Pie & Bovril only. As these are the 2 top selling lines it will speed up the purchase for those wishing to use it. It has now been open for 2 games and was extremely busy and popular at Celtic obviously.
- Merkland Road Family Stand has the main introductions. We have introduced: the range of Walkers Baked Crisps which have 70% less fat and more than half the saturate fats that the normal Walkers Crisps had; Really Light Ribena which has 98% less sugar than standard Ribena!; Cheese Sandwich and Ham Sandwich on Brown Bread; fresh fruit. Some of these products sit alongside the regular kiosk range but we will continue to look at introducing healthier products as time goes on.
- I have reviewed the structure of operating the kiosks on Matchdays and have now identified 4 area supervisors on Matchdays ( RDS,Main Stand, Merkland,South). Their role will be to ensure the units are operating and stock to the expected standards and to actively manage & monitor the queues as best they can.
- Suppliers. All fresh products within the kiosks are locally supplied in Aberdeen with the exception of the burgers, which come up from Glasgow.. All the bakery products are supplied by Chalmers & Doughnuts & Sandwiches by The Sandwich Larder.
- October time should see a ‘speciality’ sausage outlet introduced in the Main Stand and we are currently working on the feasibility of this.
DST are always happy to hear from fans about their experiences of the catering at Pittodrie so that they can provide feedback to Sodexo and fans needs can be met.