There is always something cruel about this time of year. As the sun begins to produce enough warmth on its own to make leaving the house enjoyable, our beloved outdoors pastime comes to an abrupt end. Those cold and distant winter nights in Scunthorpe, Eastleigh and Nottingham are a distant memory and suddenly you have to force yourself to actively think about how you want to spend your Saturdays.
There is certainly a feeling amongst fans that the the club is in the process of emerging from its own winter period and this football season has epitomised that. Dean Brennan has done a fantastic job not only recruiting talented players but also instilling a mindset of wanting to play for the club. Expectations in the stands of a just above mid-table finish appeared to be widely accepted as a solid measure of progression after multiple campaigns of struggle. The fact the team smashed those expectations by finishing 5th is perhaps a sign of how much further that mentality and togetherness can take you.
Personally it was another enjoyable campaign with close friends, this time having migrated to Block C. Special thanks to Claire and James for being good company and always sharing their outstanding homemade half-time treats. Seeing old faces like Richard whose toddler is now just old enough that he can start attending games again has been great and using my spare season ticket to bring along various newcomers has been an unexpected bonus. I had never expected my Italian grandmother to attend so many games this season either nor be so engrossed in the outcome. I haven’t yet floated the idea of a Youtube channel…
More recently I have begun focussing on some other interests and side projects and have therefore decided to step down from the Supporters’ Association committee ahead of the upcoming elections. Having been part of the reformed BFCSA since day one, it is incredible to see how far it has come and the valuable relationship that has been created with the club. For example, getting coaches running originally felt like a far fetched, almost impossible dream but this season became a reality. Not least thanks to the other committee members who put in considerable time and effort to get it off the ground. Believe me when I say the association is in good hands with these folks and I trust they will only continue to do amazing things.
So on that note, I hope you all enjoy the summer. It has only just begun!
To reach the play-offs and the semi-final of the FA Trophy for me equals a brilliant season considering where
we have been over the last 24 months.
I stand by what I said to Dean Brennan, John Dreyer and Trevor Knell back in July last
year. I’d have bitten their hands off for 65 points and a 12th place or above finish. It would be a huge step forward,
anything more was a bonus.
With the constant stresses of being a business owner and family man, 29 games was a small
achievement for me this year. Being on the Supporters’ Association for a second year was another achievement and
something I really wanted to leave a mark on.
The moment I feel like myself or the group are not
making a difference, I’ll be the first to step down and let someone else have a good go.
However, the work this amazing group do is incredible. Each individual pulls their weight and gives
up copious amounts of their time, some good bonds have been made too. This is well supported
by people like Tony Kleanthous and Kirk Rayment who have both, along with a very selfless man in Mark
Green, agreed to co-fund and support projects we want to pursue such as supporters’ coaches
and tickets for some fans.
Further to this being led and guided by our chairman Mark Whitelegg and the legend himself Keith
Doe, we are in good hands. Then it’s pretty much five friends having fun and making things happen at
our club with Carla, James, Mike, Greeny and myself.
Having got to know Dean and a few of the management team on a personal level, literally being
neighbours with our manager, I thought their work in the off season was incredible and a little bit
surprising. I remember not really being excited by anyone bar Laurie Walker who I’ve
known since his kettering days back in 2011. I’d of course known and seen the likes of Moussa Diarra,
Jerome Okimo and Harry Pritchard play but there was no real marquee signing. My first game was a pre-season against
Peterborough where a very insightful Aaron McLean made a statement that Barnet would be a dark
horse and could sneak into the play-offs. Little did I know how serious this comment would turn out to be.
Across the season we experienced many ups and some downs as a club with some varying results
like the York City home loss. As James Harpin said in his piece, that was a humbling evening with Dean where he felt things had turned and some fans had too but the belief was to continue to ‘trust the
process’ and you have to say, he’s a hard man not to trust.
There were some fabulous results to follow. Eastleigh at home, Bromley away, Oldham away and Altrincham away to pick out a few. I can’t not mention the double we wanted and got, four goals scored and none
conceded. Quiet times down the road.
The season off the field was just as entertaining. We didn’t have a caterer for the first six weeks. We
tried the crepes and then we found the magic man in Rob the Roadside Chef. Credit to him and his
team who have improved the catering at The Hive. Anyone that does a Balti pie and
Bovril is a winner for me, I’m sure many like Lee Crocker would also agree.
I was pleased to sponsor Harry Pritchard, what a player by the way, with lifelong friends Trevor and Lee.
Me and Trevor also sponsored Dean, getting the privilege to attend training sessions and gain further
insights beyond what we see as fans.
Engaging with Tony Kleanthous in meetings and seeing the passion for Barnet through his and his family’s eyes has
been refreshing and reassuring. One thing I believe and will stand by is that Barnet as a club will forever
remain in safe hands.
I hope to remain on the Supporters’ Association for at least another season to continue to drive forward our ideas and
keep making a difference, gaining the trust of the fan base to help bridge the gap and bring
the club, fans and community closer together.
I eagerly await the new recruits that Dean and the management team bring in, seeing how far we can go
next year. My early prediction is that we can compete and finish with 75 points and
in the top seven.
I wish all you Bees fans a happy and peaceful summer. See you in the bar in six weeks time.
So, the 2022/23 season has drawn to an abrupt close. I wanted to take a few days to digest Tuesday’s game and reflect on what I would describe as both heartening and reassuring.
The word ‘stability’ has been used a lot throughout the season and whilst we have 100% achieved this, I believe we are further ahead than simply being ‘stable’. My expectation and aim before the start of pre-season was as boring of a season as possible, not threatened with relegation and most likely not challenge for promotion in any shape or form. When I turned up to a friendly against Dunstable, I just had this feeling that things might go our way this season. I spoke with the gaffer and he talked me through the recruitment he had made already, the plans to add more quality and his aims for the season. I have never been more captivated by a footballing person and felt a huge uplift in my own positivity. Several more pre-season fixtures followed, winning away at Bedford, Hemel Hempstead and Wingate and Finchley, before we faced St Albans in our final friendly. We lost and to be quite frank, we were awful. The optimism in me slightly faded but I remembered the conversation I had with Dean prior to the Dunstable game and the words ‘there will be ups and downs but we just have to stick together’ reminisced around my mind.
This brings us to the season itself. I am proud to say I attended 47 games in total this season only missing 3 away games and a couple of FA Trophy games. I had no plans to do that many games but I just felt a sudden connection with this squad and the staff and boy am I happy that I did. Sitting top of the league after the first month or so, scoring two late goals to beat Yeovil away after Laurie Walker had kept us in it in the first half, is a game that will live long in the memory. Then we had the mammoth task of Chesterfield away on a Friday night, one of the favourites for promotion. Yes they beat us, rather convincingly in the end, but we didn’t get hammered and at times in the game we were more than a match for them. This is a complete contrast to previous seasons where we would concede 5, 6 or 7 in those type of games. So, despite losing, I believed we were onto something.
However, we hit a bump in the road after that. Poor defeats away at Aldershot and Dagenham with a defeat at home to Dorking and a draw away at Solihull in between left us thinking that the first month was just false hope. We then had a home game against York to put things right. I was confident we would change our fortunes but oh how I was wrong. Two goals and a man down at half-time and then a second half collapse creating a 0-5 final score gave me memories of prior years and left us in lower mid-table. Dean invited Nick Patel and I into his office straight after this game. There were calls on social media for change of staff, change of players etc but as I remembered and repeated to him, ‘there will be ups and downs, but we just have to stick together’. I won’t go into too much detail, but he was worried about his job. His love for the club and connection he had developed over the 12 months prior to that moment were there for me to see. He was not going to give in that’s for sure.
We then beat Maidstone 4-3 on the Tuesday night, not very convincingly, but enough to get us back on track before a daunting trip to Wrexham. Yes we lost but we scored five goals. Any team that scored five goals away at the eventual champions must be a decent side, right? All we had to do was fix the other end of the pitch and we would be unbeatable. And that’s when we went on a run of losing just two games in 22, one to a League One side (a game we deserved a result out of) and one to Southend when they were the most in-form team in the league. This winter run left us in a position where play-offs were pretty much a certainty come mid-February. Another sticky run of results did make a few fans worry but I was always confident we would get over the line.
So we reached the play-offs, just the task of Borehamwood at home to get through. Or not. This is still raw and emotions are still pretty high but we just didn’t do enough on the day. I think we lacked the play-off experience that Wood have at their disposal and that is what got them through the game. At full time, I am not going to lie, my eyes became a little watery as I sat in my seat for at least 15 minutes after the players dispersed from the pitch. Weirdly, or not so weirdly, the game felt more to me than any other previous ‘big’ games. Having got to know Dean, Nicke, Laurie, Pritch, Danny and Gormo on a personal level, it felt like I was cheering on my mates and a family rather than just the team I support. I was gutted for them.
But sitting here a couple of days on I feel immense pride. These lads were written off from day dot, some tipping us for relegation, fans of some of the lad’s previous clubs telling us how bad and useless they are. But here we are ten months later inches away from taking a play-off game to extra time. Were we ready to be a League Two side? I don’t think so. Do I think next season is the one? You bet I do. Dean has plans in place already to strengthen the squad and although we may lose one or two key players, we will replace them and we will come again.
Off the pitch things have undoubtably improved. From better catering to better interaction with fans as well as bringing back a supporters’ coach for big games this season, we as a supporters association are trying so hard to assist the club with making your experience at The Hive and beyond 10/10. The guys on the pitch are doing their job and we believe that off the pitch things are also looking up. The future of the supporter base is also starting to look brighter. The Amber Battalion have been a credit to the club so far and yes, there may be a few issues but they are young and they will learn that Twist and Shout is only to be sung once we have definitely won the game. We need more though. Attendances were up 25% this year at The Hive. The market has not been fully exploited yet but with plans to increase the student affiliation programme, I have full faith that we will see another up-turn next season.
I have managed to go from supporting a football club to obtaining a family of mates that I go to games with and a family that conduct the proceedings on the pitch. I cannot thank the supporters that I have got to know properly this season enough. Spending hours with them on the Percy Bus, on trains, in my car, in pubs, on supporters’ coaches (woop!) and in Max Weinberg’s case, a tiny room in Torquay. Memories that will stick with me for a lifetime have been created. As I now embark on the daunting task of seven months travelling around Asia with the Mrs, I will be following Barnet from afar for the first part of the season. One thing from this season that will stick with me is Dean’s words, ‘there will be ups and downs but we have to stick together’.
After what can only be described as a bit of a rollercoaster couple of years, going into this season the one word I kept on saying when discussing my expectations was ‘consistency’. It’s fair to say we’ve achieved that and more this season, which has been an absolute delight.
We started pre-season with some very warm and some VERY long games (four 30 minutes halves at Wingate and Finchley I’m looking at you!) It seemed we were building a good side and we have only been proved right; Nicke Kabamba is a machine in front of goal, Laurie Walker deserves the same title for his efforts in goal, Jerome Okimo has been Mr Consistent whilst Harry Prichard has been a key link in the midfield. I could go on about the brilliance in our squad and there are so many genuinely lovely characters in the dressing room but…back to the start of the season.
We started in very good form, unbeaten in our first four games and it looked as though we could definitely achieve that solid finish I’d hoped for. In September we had a tough spell as we conceded 20 goals in five games which was a worry but we soon rectified this and from the away game at Altrincham in November, we went unbeaten in the league until February.
A number of games stand out for me as favourites. Wins away at Yeovil, Oldham and Southend as well as our home win against Chesterfield were complete performances, whilst our away win at Bromley where we won 3-1 despite being 1-0 down in the 84th minute showed us we had a team with fight.
To reach the semi-final of the FA Trophy and be 90 minutes away from Wembley was amazing and what a weekend we had in Newcastle as we went up for the game against Gateshead. That was probably the most disappointing moment of the season for me. To make it 3-3 in the 90+12th minute only to lose on penalties minutes later was a reminder of just how cruel football can be.
After spending this weekend in Leeds, we drove past Nottingham on the way back to London today which was another harsh reminder. I was disappointed to lose last Tuesday and unfortunately I thought we played the game wrong, playing into their hands. For now the dream of a trip to Wembley continues but we will only learn from these occasions.
I have always been lucky that Barnet is something I do with my parents and I love that this is still the case and we spend our Saturdays together every week. We have also been lucky at Barnet to have a club with a community feel. Despite growing up in Leeds and spending my teenage years driving 400 mile round trips for home games, I was still able to form close bonds with many Barnet fans, which speaks volumes about the kind of people we have amongst our fan base.
Since moving down to London for University in 2018 these relationships have only got stronger and this season I have enjoyed some brilliant days out with some of my closest friends (Oldham stands out as a highlight if I had to pick one!) What’s more, I now have friends ranging from people my age up to people a few decades older and I feel genuinely lucky to have them all in my life. We get each other through the lows and celebrate the highs together.
As soon as I was asked to be part of the reforming Barnet Supporters’ Association in summer 2021, it was an immediate yes.
I’ve gained a bit of a reputation as being the ‘Positive One’ over the years but that is exactly what I wanted to bring to this role. My aim is to represent the views of our supporters and hold the club to account whilst also communicating the positive things we are doing for one another to create a happy environment at The Hive.
This season we have been able to do some bigger things for the fans such as putting on supporters’ coaches which were well supported by both the club and the fans. The Player of the Year awards at the end of the season showed the improved relationship between all at the club too. I’m so grateful for the willingness of those at the club including Tony Kleanthous to have a consistent and open dialogue with us, allowing us into his office regularly to share thoughts and ideas. The want to improve the relationship is there on both sides.
Going forward I’m keen to be representative of the female voice at the club as well as making sure we are accessible to young people who can be enticed the same way I was. Of course match days are important too, so I’m keen to make sure we always have the best options available for our supporters.
I already can’t wait for next season both on and off the pitch. Let’s all give this a real positive push. COYB!
In my review of the season, I am just going focus on three items.
My colleagues have already effectively covered a broad range of matters related to this season. Firstly stability, a boring word but one I think we were all hankering for after the last few seasons turmoil. Just a ‘steady as she goes’ boring mid-table finish. The fact that we’ve all probably ended the season slightly disappointed after getting so close to Wembley and a return to League Two shows how far we’ve exceeded expectations.
The main reason for this is that we now have had the same manager for more than a few months. I have had the good fortune to meet Dean Brennan and his staff on a number of occasions and I can’t help but be impressed. I do believe I posted on the OnlyBarnet message board right at the start of the season that we should be prepared for something special. For once, I was right. This doesn’t often happen in relation to football, just take my previous feeble attempts at the prediction competition.
In my former career, I gained considerable experience in the creation and development of effective teams. While this was in a completely different industry, I recognise many of the traits of successful leadership and team building in what Dean Brennan does. Clarity of purpose is one of the most important skills I see in Dean. He knows exactly what he wants to do and communicates that to the players. This is not to say everything always goes according to plan, it never does. But the overall objective and the approach does not change.
It is clear this season that the players are motivated and have bought into the ‘plan’. In addition, he involves others in his approach to build a wider team with a common purpose such as us, the supporters, non-playing staff and most importantly our chairman. As Dean said, the chairman bought into the ‘plan’ by backing him financially this season.
For me it is vitally important that all three main stakeholders; the playing staff, supporters and management work effectively together. We will be much, much stronger as a result. As a relatively small club battling clubs with much bigger resources, we cannot afford divisions. It also helps that Dean is a very enthusiastic, engaging and proactive person, there’s always an air of positivity around him. While no one can ever predict precisely what will happen, I hope Dean will be around for some considerable time as I feel we really could be going places again.
My next subject is the emergence of the ‘Amber Battalion’. Everyone who has been to the Hive will be aware of them, they are impossible to ignore. Starting from just a few supporters banging the old drum in block C, to a sizeable contingent of younger supporters who have brought a much-needed lift to the Hive’s atmosphere, as well as away matches. This bodes well for when we finally get a new south stand, a natural home for them behind the goal.
Most of these supporters are in the younger age range and the Supporters’ Association have put in some proposals to ensure that these younger supporters are encouraged by affordable ticket prices to encourage long term support. We hope the club take note as I know the club are pleased with this development. Whatever you think of the move to the Hive, it is vital for any club to continue to develop its local fan base as well as keep us old timers happy.
Finally, I’d like to address the matchday experience. There is still much to be done, but it’s great to have catering and a bar that appear to be delivering much more of what we, the supporters, want. We have recently had a very nice bottled beer in the bar, who knew? Also chicken balti pies (my favourite) in the tea hut, again, who knew? Previously, we’d hear regular complaints about queues and quality. We hear far fewer now but we need better communication, good beer including alcohol free, chips and maybe meal deals, among other suggestions we’ve made. We hope that the same caterers are retained and can build on the good start. We have provided feedback to the club and catering company around improvements we’d like to see, based on feedback from our members.
Like many of you, I can’t wait for new season’s fixtures, new players and pre-season fixtures. If you’ve given the Hive a ‘swerve’ recently, we need you all back. Next season can’t come soon enough! Have a great summer, see you in August
Football fans can be very fickle!
I woke up with a heavy heart after Tuesday night’s defeat in the play-offs. I knew I'd have to relive it numerous times when I got to work (why do people only show an interest when you lose?)
But then I reminded myself that this season we're the fifth best team in the division! Behind probably the four biggest hitters financially. Quite an improvement on last season. If you'd had offered me that along with an FA Trophy semi-final last August I'd have bitten your hand off! With such a vast recruitment drive before the start of the season I really would have been happy with a top half finish.
Influenced by the thoughts of others around the signings but proved oh so wrong:
Laurie Walker only played National League South standard.
Dale Gorman not really fancied by Yeovil supporters.
Nicke Kabamba had a poor goal scoring record.
Danny Collinge was relegated in a poor Dover side....
I could go on.
Superb business by Dean Brennan.
But this season both on and off the pitch has been a breath of fresh air! Tony Kleanthous supporting Dean Brennan with signings when needed.
To not lose in the league to the top 8 at home and an FA Trophy semi-final defeat on penalties were beyond expectations.
Crowds increasing and the emergence of the Amber Battalion getting the vibe going in Legends.
More highs than lows and more ups than downs....huge steps both on and off the field.
I’ve not really felt this way since the early Mad dog days.
I’ve loved spending the season sitting in the Hive Stand with my Old Man.
Personally it's been a pleasure to be on the committee of the BFCSA1926. From arranging coach travel to the superb Player of the Year Awards (togetherness right there) to the BFCSA members Whatsapp group to easier get the opinions and ideas of the heartbeat of this club. Us the fans.
Making small but significant steps. The team, club and fans.
The season ended less than 24 hours ago and with a heavy heart and mind, I reflect back on a season that was drowning in positives and highs with a few lows chucked in for good measure.
At the start of the season I was hoping for a top half finish, maybe still being in with a sniff of the play-offs with a handful of games to go. After the pre-season friendly away at St Albans, I feared for our attacking line, where were the goals going to come from as Nicke Kabamba reminded me of some the past strikers that show all the endeavour but with no final product. How wrong was I?
For the first time in many years, we seemed to have a group of players that you could actually like. They seemed to care, be a unit and work hard. We had a manager that would do all he could to create closer links between the players, the club and the fans, and the results and togetherness all came our way.
Off the pitch this season has been personally very enjoyable. My boys are now of an age where they can come to games and actually want to be there, this therefore makes them slightly less annoying for everyone around them! But watching their love grow for the club that I love is amazing, watching them meet the players and know who they are, watching them in the garden pretending to be Laurie Walker and Nicke Kabamba, wanting to wear their Barnet shirts at every opportunity, wanting to go to every game – it goes to show how much this season has engaged many different people in many different ways.
This season has also seen the return of some mates that previously struggled to find the bug to be at Barnet, mainly due to the relocation, but the quality of football and some of the off-pitch happenings kept them away too. This year they decided to give it all another go and have loved it, but I have loved seeing them and many other old faces return to watch their team play. The club is nothing without the supporters and the supporters are nothing without each other.
The Supporters’ Association has been integral in many improvements off the pitch this year and it is fantastic that the club has been so engaged with us. The club has made itself available to the SA whenever we have required them, they were fully supportive when it came to organising coaches and happily subsidised them. The catering improved significantly, the service in Legends Bar improved massively and the club has supported and encouraged the Amber Battalion. All these small improvements make going to games slightly more enjoyable and easier. I’m not going to pretend that it is all perfect, of course it isn’t, but it is much, much better.
On the pitch it really was a case of the hope that kills. Gateshead away…how, just how? 3 down, playing some of the worst football I’ve seen from us this season, then we made it 3-3 in the 12th minute of injury time, only to lose on penalties. Then the play-offs, Boreham Wood at home…what could go wrong…well…everything it appears. Gutted is an understatement. No Wembley trip for another year, will it ever happen? We are getting closer…but that just makes it harder to accept the disappointment.
I also saw two games where we were so unlike “Barnet like”. Chesterfield at home and Oldham away. 2 performances that stand out for me as really good performances, fantastic results and we played like winners. I understand that Southend away was similar, but sadly I was unable to make that game.
Then we have the players. Harry Smith coming in halfway through the season, fitting straight in and scoring goals. His ruffle of Wrexham’s Callum McFadzean head when got sent off, the header against Solihull Moors. An asset to any team but an individual that contributed so much to our season.
Laurie Walker has been constantly outstanding all season. Using the dark arts wherever possible, winding up opponents, throwing drinks bottles in the crowd, getting under the skin of any ill-informed idiot on Twitter but ultimately, he has been the best keeper at Barnet for many years. Watching him play this season has been a real highlight.
Nicke Kabamba, top scorer and top bloke. If anyone symbolises the quality of personality that Dean Brennan has brought into the club, Nicke does. An outstanding player on and off the pitch. I look forward to seeing him score many more goals for Barnet in the seasons to come.
You could say similar things about the entire squad. This is a squad that I am proud to support, it’s been a long time since I’ve felt like that.
It’s fair to say that this season has exceeded my expectations in many ways. It feels like a “Local” (obviously not geographically) club again, everyone working together for the same goal. I can’t wait for the pre-seasons to start; warm Saturday afternoons around Hertfordshire’s finest lower league clubs, seeing the faces you have missed over the previous couple of months, my boys getting excited by seeing the new kit, the anticipation for the season ticket prices, which players stay and go and who and where we will be playing in the first game of the season.
Barnet FC isn’t perfect, but we are very lucky to have it. I am excited for the future. Seeing the engagement and excitement in the Chairman when he sees the big crowds at the ground, wetting the appetite for more success? more investment? and a really big push for the Champions spot next season? Who knows?
What I do know is that I can’t wait for next season to start!
Dear Fellow Bees,
Before the home game on Saturday, three of us had our first meeting with Tony Kleanthous (TK). With me were Carla Devine and Mike Riddle. Tony was joined by Dean Brennan (DB) and Daniel Martin (DM - Head of the Hive Foundation).
There are clearly many issues and questions that you all have. Please be patient, without any supporters’ representation for several years, it will take a long time to repair and strengthen both ourselves as an effective group and the relationship with the club. Our club is too small for the supporters and the club not to be working together for the benefit of everyone who loves Barnet Football Club. I know there are many deep-seated views on things like returning to Barnet.
I too, would love to see the club back in Barnet, but the only way I see that happening is when we're strong and successful and when the right opportunity comes up. For now, we all need to devote our energy to making our club successful again, Myself, Tony Kleanthous, you the Bee army and all the team at the Hive. We will never agree with everything the club does or says, but we believe we have much common ground and optimism that we can grow and improve together. We will be a strong voice for our supporters but also work as collaboratively as possible with the club. One other thing I must mention.
I know people have been frustrated with things like bars, tea huts etc but there is absolutely no excuse for any abuse of any staff at the Hive and we will support the club on any occasion where this is found to be the case. Genuine complaints are fine and we may be able to help resolve them. We all have a responsibility make the Hive a welcoming and enjoyable place to watch football.
Now on to what was covered in the meeting.
TK started by explaining the circumstances around Harry Kewell's dismissal. We thought that DB spoke very eloquently and showed why he was Head of Football, he was trying to build an overall culture and playing strategy which went beyond just picking the first team, mentioned the approaches used by managers like Klopp. To us, he sounded like he had he knew what he was doing. He gave us confidence of a long-term approach.
The most interesting update came from DM, he explained that Covid had given them an opportunity to re-evaluate how they worked with the community. Much more about building long term relationships with schools and other organisations than simply giving out free tickets. It sounded exactly like what we'd talked about was missing. Twelve local schools already onboarded, very early days. He came across very well and he will be our main contact. Hopefully this will translate into many new supporters.
South Stand. It's ready to be re-located to the new pitches behind the North stand and commence building the new stand, subject to the council approving the move which is currently delaying it. We have asked for clarity on the facilities that will be included, potential pricing structure etc? Also whether 'safe standing' had been considered. We also had some ideas about making the stand more Barnet-fied like naming it.
TK suggested making the Legends stand our 'supporters hub'. We agreed that would be a great idea and definitely something to develop the detail about how that might work.
Car parking charges will remain 'as is' due to council considerations and investment in access control. May be able to review once membership situation is confirmed? e.g. discounts for members?
Hive membership. A new free Hive membership is coming out, aimed at general users of the Hive, but we'd like to see a return to the 'old' Hive football membership. TK agreed to take this away and make it a priority to look at options to get something similar back.
Free drinks before 2pm for season ticket holders in the Legends bar. We all agreed it needed better publicising. It was also mentioned that they are trying to encourage people to use the Legends bar rather than the Hive cafe bar as the Hive bar was used by many different sets of people including players, visitors and other users of the Hive.
TK confirmed that there was no problem with having a supporters association presence in the Legends Bar/stand, we'll hopefully be able to make some progress on that soon.
It was agreed that we can have a page in the programme too, Carla Devine will manage that.
We raised the issue of the effective increase in 'entry' level pricing with terrace option being removed. We believe that the club is going to reflect on the decision, how it was communicated and what can be done to reduce that price point in the future.
We also asked about what the current strategy/plan is for infrastructure and pricing. Is terracing going to be re-introduced on East side? Is there going to be a replacement 'Bumble's family zone'? Once South stand is up, will directors box move to Legends stand? If so when and what happens to supporters with seats there? Any thoughts about use of 'safe standing'? We'll let you know what comes back.
Overall, we all thought it was a very positive meeting with some good ideas exchanged. We will be meeting regularly with the club and hope we can start to see some changes that will benefit us supporters.
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