Supporters Club update: May 2013

Supporters Club update: May 2013

The Port Vale Supporters Club have kindly provided OVF with an update of their meeting with the Operations Director Mike Aspinall at Vale Park.

A summary of the meeting follows:

Season tickets and ticketing:

  • The deadline for a reduction in season tickets is May 17th and this cannot be moved. The date was put in place to incorporate a mid month (May) and end of month (April) pay day.
  • Existing season ticket holders have until May 31st to re-purchase their seat, but will have to pay the increased amount following the 17th May cut off point.
  • Any season ticket seats not renewed by May 31st can be purchased by other supporters.
  • The club have taken on board the comments regarding the charge for paying in installments  However, in the best interests of the club, the cash needs to be in as soon as possible. For Lorne Street fans who cannot afford to purchase a ticket before May 17th, season tickets will cost £380, with installments this is £399, which means the amount charged for installments is effectively £19. This club is committed to keeping prices as low as possible for fans, but at the same time, the club is a business which needs to generate revenue. They are looking to offer a pre-paid installment option for next year’s season tickets, which is currently being investigated. More information on this as soon as we have it.
  • The club decided, after much deliberation, not to offer a family season ticket option this year. They instead raised the age of the free season ticket to 12 years instead of 9.
  • Details for the new ticketing system will be released imminently. All press releases come to the Supporters’ Club now and will be shared as soon as we are able to do so.
  • We raised the concerns over the waiting times when calling the new 0871 ticket office number. Some fans have experienced up to 40 minutes wait to actually speak to anyone in the ticket office. This has been acknowledged by the club and they are striving to make improvements to this element of customer service.

Ground improvements:

  • The pitch is not being re-laid this season. This is due to the time constraints and the complex technical factors involved. However, a lot of money has been spent on the existing pitch. We plan to speak to Steve Speed for further clarification on exactly what is being done shortly.
  • The Lorne Street Stand will not be altered this season. Instead, the Club is focusing on many other areas as a priority and will return to this when other projects are completed.
  • The Club Shop needs to move first, but this is taking longer than anticipated. This will be completed before the start of next season and is a high priority, so if it can be completed sooner, it will be.
  • The Club are focusing instead on improving the family match day experience and have engaged the services of a Consultant to aid with this (Mark Bradley). We are all keen to see the stand finished, but the focus is on quality, not quantity.
  • We asked about improving the concourse area in the Paddock / Stand to make it more sheltered in the poor weather and also about the possibility of having baby changing facilities installed in the toilets. These will be explored by the club.

Other business:

  • Finally, concerns were raised about the professionalism and inappropriate behaviour of the man who fronted the ’92 grounds tour’. He, along with fourteen others, attended the Northampton game recently, after receiving free tickets from the club. He was treated very well by the club, who gave him a full ground tour and a signed shirt. They denied him permission to collect money on the day, but it has come to light he went against their wishes and collected anyway. There are many discrepancies regarding his declaration of monies raised and the exact charity it is going to. He has also been harassing female fans through social media sites, sending them very inappropriate messages. This caused him to be blocked by the “Wonder of Port Vale” Facebook site yesterday and prompted him to abuse individuals in a most horrendous manner. All this information has been passed on to the club and other professional bodies.

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