Email update – 23 December 2020

1st Jan 2021

This email was sent to members on 23 December 2020

Hi everyone

Following on from our appeal for feedback on the ticketing systems in place we wanted to thank everyone for taking the time to email in. We know it is an emotive topic for many but the answers on the whole were concise, calm and reasoned. We went through every email sent in and talked through the issues raised. Trevor from our committee then did a very impressive job condensing those into a report that we then sent to the club.

We met with Niall McWilliams and David Garth from the club on Tuesday evening before the Northampton game and discussed the report at length. The club were open to what we had to say and understood that some fans had been very upset. They were appreciative of the effort that had gone into the report both from fans and from OxVox. They stressed that many of the ticketing options suggested by fans had been discussed but had proved impossible to implement.

With regards to the most commonly mentioned topics they stressed that the ideas implemented were short term and designed to see how the system would cope with them. They also went into the process having agreed to put in the hours to make sure tickets that couldn’t be used were reallocated to fans who had missed out. The three game section offered a little flexibility with this and they had hoped to allow fans to plan ahead a little with it. They did however appreciate the Boxing Day fixture could have been made a separate ballot as for many of us, it is one of the most important of the year.

With regards to the 1893 club getting guaranteed tickets they accepted that many fans had felt let down by the decision, and were determined to build that trust back up again. We did go through the numbers with them and it was explained that outside of those with a box or in the directors’ box, this was a very small number. By our very rough calculations with under 150 lounge members and many shielding or unable to attend, probably no more than 50 ‘excess’ tickets were involved, compared with the numbers if lounge members had been in the ballot. We reiterated our view that however small the numbers, the principle still remained and the club understood that completely.

We finished that part of the discussion by urging the club to communicate this back to fans directly so they had a better understanding of the process involved.

The conversation then went on to the formation of a system to provide fan representation at the club. It is something both we and the club are keen to move forward and while at an early stage, we are confident the will is there to move it forward. We will keep members posted.

The rest of the meeting was taken up with the stadium issue. It was our strongly expressed opinion that firm action needed to be taken to prevent the club being left with no option but to renew the stadium license on the current basis. It has long been our opinion that letting this happen would consign the club to another period of financial uncertainty where the club have no control over revenue created at the stadium. The club assured us they were working hard on all options, including relocation. Frustratingly, there was little detail they could pass on, but they stressed they were confident that they were making progress. After a frank discussion on what could be done and the critical time factor in the process, the club committed to report back to OxVox with detailed plans for how they intended to move forward by, at the latest, March 31 2021. While frustrations remain with the lack of information available for members and fans we remain committed to pushing this process forward and we will be looking for evidence of progress well before the end of March.

OxVox continue to investigate options including community ownership but agreed not to progress with any direct action on this until the meeting has been conducted in March.

Finally we’d like to thank members and fans for all their support this year. Without your generosity and input we could not continue function effectively. Thank you from all of us and we wish you a happy and healthy Christmas and of course as always…..COYY !

Paul Peros