Last night, Supporters Group representatives met with the Club around the membership scheme at Carrow Road.
The meeting lasted for approximately two hours and stimulated much debate and opinions within the room. The main points of discussion were as follows:
- The meeting was opened with an apology on behalf of the Club to supporters around the way the membership scheme was communicated and the lack of fan consultation. Moving forward, the membership scheme will evolve following structured fan consultation. Over the next few months, the Club, with fans and supporter groups will communicate appropriately to review loyalty, price point, and tiers to allow the membership scheme to evolve to an acceptable place for when the 2020/21 membership scheme is announced.
- The rationale for the change from a points system to a membership scheme was discussed. The Club is confident that whilst the delivery of the message and the consultation was flawed, the rationale for moving to a commercialised model for memberships is appropriate and the removal of the points system for season ticket holders was required to move forward with a fairer membership scheme. As a self-financed club, we need to find ways to be as competitive on the pitch as possible whilst striving to keep season ticket prices frozen for the last six years.
- Membership schemes from other clubs was raised and when consulting with fans, there was mixed responses of advantages and disadvantages on all which resulted in the discussion of how the membership scheme is subjective and is hard to find a one size fits all solution. However, it was also acknowledged that there is a collective desire to find a more acceptable membership programme for fans next season.
- The discussion around loyalty was brought up and it was openly agreed that some fans will always question where the Club draws the line on priority groups. As part of the consultation this will be one of the key areas that we look at, along with the price point for fans that have taken up the membership to date.
- The number of away members in total sits at 6,000 across all tiers. The operational delivery of the membership scheme will be key and the Club has gone out with a season long plan which has clear and concise on sales dates which was seen as a positive step forward so members can plan for when the matches go on sale.
- The Club reiterated its strong belief in Premier League football being fair and affordable for all regardless of whether you are a home or away supporter. We therefore introduced the price cap of £30 for home and away adults in standard seats and we would hope other Premier League clubs follow suit.
- There was lengthy discussions around what the Club can do to appease supporters that feel let down by the scheme. The debate continued around gestures to specific groups of fans affected however, this was also challenged as to whether this would be fair to all. There was a commitment from the Club to ensure that all members that have signed up to the new scheme, be rewarded fairly as the membership evolves.
The Club will continue to consult with Supporter Groups in relation to the membership scheme for season 2020/21.