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David Beeby Q&A

The Iron’s General Manager David Beeby answers your questions.

Why do stewards continue to harass home fans, while ignoring the same behaviour from away fans? Why are away fans allowed to stand in seated areas , run on the pitch etc when Iron fans are thrown out and banned for similar or even more so called trivial offences? (Alcazar, messageboard)

I don’t believe home fans are treated any differently to away fans and the statistics would suggest the opposite is true. As an average we have around eight times the number of home fans in the stadium compared to away fans yet there have been 24 away fans ejected and only 8 home (six came in one game). There have been six away arrests and no home supporters arrested. It would be great if we didn’t have any problems at the ground because the vast majority of people don’t want to see that but unfortunately some people break the rules.

Why did the club make so much fuss about a small pitch invasion on the last day of last season, yet did nothing at the end of other seasons? (Home game v Swansea, playoffs, title winning season?) (Alcazar, messageboard)

The pitch invasions against Swansea and at the end of the title winning season were celebratory. The pitch invasion by home fans at the Swindon match was during the game and was immediately after Swindon scored to go 1-0 up. The fans ran across the pitch to get to an area which was closer to the away fans. It was in that area that disorder then occurred and large scale disorder then happened outside the stadium at full time.

When can the South East Corner of the Ground be available to Iron fans again? Cliff Byrne, Peter Beagrie and others are on record in saying this end of the ground was a big boost for the team. (Alexander Setterington, messageboard)

People can sit in the Southeast corner of the ground for most matches now. There are cash turnstiles at that end of the Clugston Stand for fans wanting to pay and go into this area.

There was minimal trouble at the Swindon game last year and it was our best atmosphere for some time, we also won the game. Do you think that there will ever be a good atmosphere again at Glanford Park considering many of the people who sang songs are now banned? (John, Email)

I would disagree that there was minimal trouble at the Swindon match. There were a number of problems outside the stadium after the match which meant a large number of extra Police officers were called down to Glanford Park. A Police investigation took place after the match which led to circa 50 individuals arrested and charged. This is the single biggest number of arrests that have taken place after an event at the stadium. In terms of atmosphere we would certainly welcome a better one at the stadium. We would encourage fans to vocally back the team it does help to spur them on.

Are you going to wait on moving to the new ground to overhaul the outdated and complicated ticketing system? (BadApple, messageboard)

I believe the new stadium would be the catalyst for some improvements. I would like to it incorporate access control which would also enable us to open up different methods of selling tickets like printing your own or having a barcode sent to your mobile phone and using that to gain entry. With access control the vast majority of supporters would have a card which would be used to gain access. Those fans buying match by match could have their card activated instead of receiving a paper ticket and do this online or over the phone.

Why do the Club continue in making fans trail down to the Ground to buy tickets? Why don’t they either rent a shop or shop space in town to sell tickets or even sell them through a third party for example a travel agents? (IronLion82, Messageboard)

Renting a shop would be expensive which is prohibitive. What we have tried to do in recent years is invest in things to make it easier. Supporters can purchase tickets online and for the last couple of seasons have had the ability to select a specific seat. We have opened the match day ticket office on the Northeast corner which means fans in the Clugston and Britcon Stands don’t have to walk round to the main ticket office. We have also increased the number of cash turnstiles on match day which means that at a normal match 11 out of 19 take cash and three out of the four stands do.

Can the club set up a way that i can buy a ticket online and recieve an e-ticket,one that can be printed out and handed in at the turnstile or even texted or e-mailed to my phone to be shown at the turnstile in the way i can for a hotel or flight tickets? (IronFrog2, Messageboard)

Not yet but as I mentioned above it is something we’d like to see. What you would print is a barcode which is then scanned on entry and checked by the system to ensure it is valid for that game and hasn’t been used by someone else.

When can we expect to see the booklet that includes plans for the new stadium? (Simon, Email)

We are still in the early stages regarding the new stadium. There are number of things which need to be completed before we could produce a booklet with detailed plans.

Why do we allow Humberside police to mess about with our kick-off times? (Alcazar, Messageboard)

The Police very rarely get involved in changing kick-off times. We haven’t had the Police ask us to change any of our kick-off times since 2010. On the occasions they do it usually relates to reducing potential disorder at the stadium.

Can we have chunky chips in the catering points next season? (BrianIron, Messageboard)

We’re reviewing our options for the stadium catering next year but have yet to finalise what we’ll be offering. This is an area we are keen to make improvements in.

There are several local catering companies who provide food for Premier League teams, are the club going to look at local providers again next season or take it all in house? (Matt, Iron-Bru.net)

As above we’re reviewing our options and no decision has yet been made. The key thing is that we want to deliver the best possible food for the supporters.

Are the front of house staff at Glanford Park given full training on customer service? (Richard, Email)

Yes, we provide NVQ’s in customer service. A lot of the staff have achieved the qualification in previous years but a number of stewards are going through the training this season. 40 of the stewards have completed the course this season with 10 more in the process.

Can you still exchange a unused season ticket, for a match ticket for another game? (Pele, Messageboard)

Yes you can. You can exchange them for any category B matches

Will the club be doing more to attract more fans to Glanford Park? The team are doing it on the pitch but it still doesn’t seem to be bringing many more through the gate. (Eleanor, Email)

The Club are always looking to attract more support. Last season in League 1 the home support was just over 3,000 as an average. Over the course of this season it has been 3,342 and it is closer to 3,600 since Russ Wilcox took over. These numbers are still going up as we’ve have had over 4,000 home fans at two of the last three home Saturday matches. A lot of our work is centred around attracting children to Glanford Park and you can see examples of that with the mini matches at half time. We also do a lot with the local schools.

Who picks the shirt design and has next seasons kit being chosen? If so, why are the fans never consulted? (Nathan, Email)

We have very limited options with regard to the home shirts as they are off the peg shirts produced by Nike. The new shirt is usually chosen by the Board and has been selected for next season. Perhaps in the future we can put a some options for the fans to vote on.

Is the new sponsorship deal with Rainham Steel signed? (Anthony, Email)

We are in discussions with Rainham Steel over an extension of the sponsorship. They have been a great partner over the years and it is now one of the longest running shirt sponsors in the Premier League and Football League. We hope it continues for many more years.

Can we get a scoreboard that shows match action like they have just installed at Grimsby? This could be moved to the new stadium as and when? (Dave, Email)

A new scoreboard that shows video would be good and would certainly add to the match day entertainment. Once we have full plans of the new stadium we will be able to determine what size board it can accommodate and then see if it is possible to get it into Glanford Park earlier.

Are the club still working with the Iron Trust on the museum project? I noticed that there is now a little display outside the executive lounge. (Dave, Email)

Yes we are, We have a meeting setup in the very near future. The display outside the Executive Lounge is something we put up to show off some of the items that have sat around in cupboards.

What is the club’s relationship like with supporters groups, and do you see the Iron Trust having more say in the future? (Daniel, Email)

I believe our relationship with all groups is good. I regularly meet with representatives of the Trust and speak with different members of the various supporters clubs. The Trust already have regular dialogue with the Chairman and myself so have the ability feed in ideas and give feedback. I know the Trust’s main objective is to get a member on the Board but I don’t think that is necessary to have a good dialogue.

Is the club’s official supporters club still running? (Jane, Email)

Yes the supporters club is still running.

Will the club poll the fans about a return to the Unity fist to get a true representation among supporters? (Matt, Iron-Bru.net)

Our logo does divide opinion with some in favour of returning to the Unity fist. The return of the logo was raised at the end of last season but it was decided that it wasn’t an appropriate time to change due to the cost involved. If there is still a strong desire to change then it could be raised again by one of the supporters groups. If the Club were prepared to change then a poll could be carried out to see which logo the majority of fans preferred.

Has the Billy Sharp Q&A sold out and will you be doing more of these with other past players? (Simon, Email)

Yes it has sold out. We do intend doing more of these as it is good to see our former players back at Glanford Park

It is obvious that there is a gulf between the Stadium Manager and the majority of the Iron Fans as alluded to by Mr Swann at a recent meeting, so are the Club embarrassed by this gulf between the Clubs paying customers and the Stadium Manager? (IronLion82, Messageboard)

I don’t believe there is a gulf between the vast majority of supporters and the stadium manager. I think the vast majority of fans come to Glanford Park, watch the football and go home without coming into contact with the stadium manager or our stewards. The stadium manager’s role is to enforce the ground regulations to ensure we comply with our licence and those who breach the regulations then come into contact with the stewards.

The Club, like all clubs have regular meetings with its Safety Advisory Group. In our case that consists of North Lincolnshire Council, Sports Grounds Safety Authority, Humberside Police, East Midland Ambulance Service and Humberside Fire & Rescue Service. It’s the SAG’s role to make sure the stadium is a safe place for people to come and they have the power to reduce the stadium capacity or close areas if the Club are not operating them safely.

Was the pyrotechnic user at Mansfield given a ban? Also was the Sheffield United that let a flare off during a cup game earlier this season given a banning order? (Steve, Email)

The Scunthorpe fan who set off the pyrotechnic at Mansfield wasn’t identified. The Sheffield United supporter who set off of the flare at Glanford Park was arrested by Police on the night and has since appeared in court and received a 3 year ban. Supporters should be aware that they are not just breaking ground regulations by bringing flares in, it is actually against the law and those who do risk arrest and prosecution.

Why don’t the club put a few big signs up advertising forthcoming matches in strategic places around the town , for example entrance to steelworks? (IronLion82, Messageboard)

The Club have had talks with the council over some proposed sites to display advertising. These are sites which have a high volume of passing traffic and we are waiting to hear back on whether that is possible.

Why when the Club are supposed to be actively going out to attract new fans was half the turnstiles closed at the Donny Rd end vs Portsmouth causing long queues at those that were open? (IronLion82) One fan who had not been for a while said to me that this really annoyed him and he would have not returned if it wasn’t for the excellent display on the pitch.

Unfortunately on Saturday we had some staffing problems which reduced the number of gates we could open. We are expecting to be back at our normal level for the Bristol Rovers game.

Iron-Bru.net would like to thank David for taking the time to answer questions submitted by our readers. 

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Written by Matt Blanchard

Part of the team since 2007, before becoming editor in 2013. Undertaken the role of match summariser during Scunthorpe United live match commentaries for BBC Radio Humberside. Seasonal contributor to football titles FourFourTwo and When Saturday Comes and a finalist at the Football Blogging Awards in 2014.

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