Middlesbrough Supporters Forum……Meeting 40

Virtual Meeting via ZOOM.

Members linked on-line:

Chris Joseph – Peter Hodgson – Paddy Cronesberry – Robert Nicholl – John Donovan – Mark Motley – Jill Atkinson – Caroline Walker.

Apologies for non-link on Zoom from: Red Faction, Matthew Gale and Yvonne Ferguson (M.F.C.)

Items for discussion at Mtg 40:

  1. C. Joseph – Virtual Season Ticket Cards – Home & Away versions – and other T.V. beam-back arrangements. Suggestion for “virtual S.T. cards” which would allow for fans who are unable to travel or attend home games by nature of illness or self-isolation to still be able to watch BORO on “live TV” link on their home tv.  It was considered “very unfair” IF this group of fans were marginalised because of the problems linked with the COVID-19 restrictions.  Ask MFC for a discussion on this asap ready for a “quick-start” to next season.   It has been suggested that there may be a meeting at MFC next week when the subject of “early-bird” prices and other ticketing queries will be discussed. Will keep a close eye on this.
  2. C.J. – MSF Sponsorship ( Watch.Learn.Drive.) Chris reported that he has renewed is sponsors package for next season on the same terms as last year.
  3. C.J. – Boro-44 v Derbyshire police… Comments re – Judgement.  “Judgement has been passed down” in this case but is awaiting appeal.  CJ has spoken to Boro-44 member and their Solicitor who has sent us a copy. We sent a copy to our Barrister in London for comments and any advice he believes can help.
  4. C.J. – Season Card refunds?  MFC have been refunding fans for a few weeks. An option to transfer any money onto next season cards is available .
  5. C.J. – Sports Fans Railcard to pursue again. Fans benefit and bring increased business for Travel companies. This is a great idea which can bring huge benefits for every sports fan and travel operator. As soon as “normality” returns we need to connect with the Minister of Sport again.
  6. C.J. – Latest news re- Social media via Facebook & Twitter – new actions for MSF. Mark has begun the introduction of a new Facebook fans discussion page and an MSF members group page.  We believe this will be of great benefit to MSF.      It will raise our profile on local and national football discussion pages and hopefully bring on board fans who need somewhere to go for help and advice about MFC and footie in general.   Mark will also post a link about our on-going support for Middlesbrough Foodbank at this very difficult time to encourage fans to still support the Foodbank direct. The School holidays will be a very difficult time for the foodbanks to be able to provide the needy with food and advice. Contact numbers and links will be on our pages very soon.
  7. P. Hodgson – Jack Charlton tribute. A sad time for all Boro fans who enjoyed the great times with the 1973/74 team.  It was suggested that we send a nice memoriam card and letter to Pat and the Children after the funeral has taken place.  Jack and Pat attended funerals for several Boro Supporters Club fans we lost back in their time with Boro FC.  It was suggested that instead of a floral tribute for Pat that we could maybe investigate purchasing a nice wooden bench for Pat to have in her garden.   PH will get some ideas of costs and contact Pat for approval.
  8. P.H. – Knighthood for Big Jack. Big Jacks 2 brothers discussed in the Sunday Post about a major campaign to “Support a Knighthood for JACK and for a public Campaign to honour ALL remaining members of 1966 World Cup team”.  PH will speak to them for further information.
  9. P.H. – Donation. PH will have a chat with Caroline W to discuss a memorial donation as has been previously discussed.
  10. R. Nicholl – Excessive postal costs for MFC purchases made online. Several fans complained via FMTTM about excessive costs when only being able to buy goods from MFC Retail Shop ONLINE during COVID situation. The complaint was particularly about Boro face masks. One mask retailing at £6 would cost £3 postage but postage steps up to £6 for items over £10 so the cost of two lightweight masks would be £6 in postage. Meaning £18 for two masks. As people are now required to wear masks in all shops and recommended to have more than one mask, this would seem a ludicrous situation. Rob has spoken to Yvonne Ferguson about it and she has forwarded details to Retail Sales Dept.

A.O.B.

       a) Extended membership issues.  MM suggested that we look to invite people / groups to contribute to the MSF. People like the Yarm Reds (who have been around for 30 years or more).  There is also a Derbyshire Reds group that we could contact. Further discussion is needed.

Annual Election of officers of MSF.

       Our constitution allows for an opportunity of re-election of officials after the end of each season which is accepted as 30th June each year. An election will be held in the next meeting after that date.

Chris Joseph was appointed as Honorary President on 6th June,2017 (Mtg.5) but has also occupied the post of Chair for the last 2 seasons. Chris offered to “stand down” to give another candidate the chance to bring some new ideas to the position of Chair.  Mark Motley from Middlesbrough Supporters South – who has represented MSS for most of the time since our formation in 2017, said he’d like to be considered for the post. As Mark was the only candidate there was a short discussion and all members were happy to support Mark’s application to take over the post of Chair.  Rob Nichol duly proposed Mark for Chair of MSF with John Donovan supporting Rob’s proposal. Therefore, Mark was duly elected as the next Chair with all members present in support.  Chris wished Mark well from all members and confirmed he will retain his position as Honorary President and continue to support Mark in his new role and hopefully, still have an active part to play as we go forward into a somewhat challenging and unknown future for everyone in football.

Caroline Walker thanked Chris for all his hard work over the last 3 years and confirmed that she would draft a press release to all the usual outlets to notify them of Mark being elected to take over as Chair forthwith.

Next meeting SHOULD be Tuesday 11th August – but it will be confirmed nearer the date.  An agenda letter will be issued in due course.

There being nothing further to discuss – the Zoom session ended at 8.10pm.