Fans Forum Round Up

home bring you live coverage from the first of Scunthorpe United’s fans forums. We are live at Glanford Park, where chairman Peter Swann and CEO Jim Rodwell are answering the fans questions.

Max Bell January 21, 20164:03 pm

Hi folks – Max here, I’ll be leading the live-blogging from inside the Forum.

Do get involved with us on Twitter and the Messageboard!
Max Bell January 21, 20166:27 pm

To anyone who’s thinking of heading up to GP for the Fans Forum tonight…

Don’t forget that it starts at 7PM, in the Sir Ian Botham Executive Bar.
Do say hello if you see us there – furiously typing updates!
Max Bell January 21, 20166:47 pm

The room is starting to fill up nicely ahead of the expected start – especially the queue to the bar.

Nice to see all the old faces – you know who you are!
Max Bell January 21, 20166:52 pm

It’s also worth noting the club have security on downstairs!

Any predictions on what the club are expecting? The ghost of Mark Robins perhaps?
Max Bell January 21, 20167:00 pm

Swann and Rodwell already sat at the top table – ready and primed for this evening’s entertainment.

Let’s just hope this doesn’t last as long as the AGM!
Max Bell January 21, 20167:01 pm

More than 3 hours in case anyone’s wondering…

No sign of anyone else joining them on the top table yet…
Max Bell January 21, 20167:03 pm

The club are filming the operation – expect footage / highlights tomorrow…

Just about to start.
Max Bell January 21, 20167:04 pm

Swanny starts – trying to crack a few jokes.

Standing room only here in the Exec Lounge.
Max Bell January 21, 20167:05 pm

First question – What criteria will the club be using when picking the next manager?

Max Bell January 21, 20167:07 pm

Long answer from Swann – focuses on knitting team together and relationship with fans.

Says it’s a very difficult decision, and their potential style of football may sway him.
Max Bell January 21, 20167:09 pm

Swann says that the next manager may well b someone the club approach.

But says that he can’t make that decision until he’s gone through the CVs 1st.
Max Bell January 21, 20167:11 pm

Rodwell then says the club received applications 3 MINUTES after they sacked MR.

He then adds the club have received 100 “serious” applications.
Max Bell January 21, 20167:12 pm

Don’t expect a quick decision re: the management decision.

Rodwell also adds he thinks the players let down Robins.
Max Bell January 21, 20167:15 pm

They add that they hope the current caretaker team give them a “headache”.

If Dawson & Daws can find winning football, they might yet stay…
Max Bell January 21, 20167:18 pm

Swann admits that he got on well with Robins – and that the act of sacking him was hard.

Next question asks if he spoke to the players before pulling the trigger.
Max Bell January 21, 20167:19 pm

Swann says he speaks very regularly with the players, and that there were no “issues”.

Rodwell stresses there’s no “us and them” mentality.
Max Bell January 21, 20167:21 pm

Graeme Godson is on the loose – thanks The Chairman for sacking Robins.

Then asks why we’ve got such a big squad – but he’s happy to have been corrected that we apparently don’t.
Max Bell January 21, 20167:24 pm

The repeated promise that attacking football will be part of the new regime is worth taking away.

Let’s just hope this is taken forwards for this season’s last 20 games.
Max Bell January 21, 20167:28 pm

How did we go from the Chelsea to Blackpool performances with the same side?

Nobody in the room seems to have an answer, but admit that it cost Robins his job.
Max Bell January 21, 20167:30 pm

We already have people reminiscing about Beagrie.

A familiar gripe with folks – that we don’t have true wingers or pace. Swann admits it’s been a struggle.
Max Bell January 21, 20167:34 pm

Luke Thornhill asks how much was raised from the saveoursteel day and if it has been donated yet.

Max Bell January 21, 20167:36 pm

Leanne from Accounts says that the club aren’t sure, and the club have promised to put up the information on the website.

Max Bell January 21, 20167:37 pm

Swann adds that they are talking with Tata / Greybull over using British Steel in the new ground.

Those talks are understandably delayed due to the imminent take-over.
Max Bell January 21, 20167:38 pm

Rodwell is hopeful of signing Rowe in the January transfer window – but that we are waiting on Wolves.

Max Bell January 21, 20167:40 pm

Marketing Director Rob Noble says that the decision to prevent the previous Season Ticket Holders is unlikely to be changed.

Max Bell January 21, 20167:41 pm

That’s regarding the ticket exchange system, which is now no longer in place.

Max Bell January 21, 20167:42 pm

Interesting question asking why 12th Man Members could only have 1 ticket per person for Chelsea…

Rodwell defends the decision and says that not many fans who wanted to go, couldn’t go.
Max Bell January 21, 20167:44 pm

Fans dispute this, and ask why we didn’t ask for more tickets.

Examples brought up of us having taken 6,000 to Chelsea last time, and 8,000 to Man City.
Max Bell January 21, 20167:47 pm

Yours truly enquired about the ticket office’s internal systems, noting numerous high-profile system crashes.

Rodwell notes that the contract is up in March, and it’s under consideration.
Max Bell January 21, 20167:49 pm

John Needham asks if the club would be interested in reciprocal arrangements with clubs regarding £20 entry for away fans.

Peter Swann says it’s on the agenda for the new ground.
Max Bell January 21, 20167:50 pm

John Staff asks for a return to the old prize structure for the Half-Time draw tickets.

This is greeted warmly, and could be acted on.
Max Bell January 21, 20167:52 pm

Staffy then follows up with asking what we’re doing to attract younger fans.

Rodwell lists all the things the club already do, then asks the room for ideas.
Max Bell January 21, 20167:53 pm

The club are also asking for questions via Twitter – so if you have any, do send them in!

Max Bell January 21, 20167:57 pm

Complaint raised about the ill-treatment of disabled supporters on Away Travel, particularly with being dropped off miles away from the ground.

The club promise to act on this front.
Max Bell January 21, 20168:00 pm

The club have established a feedback e-mail address, so contact them if you have any issues.

Supporters Club say they have had similar problems re: disabled supporters.
Max Bell January 21, 20168:03 pm

Graeme Godson is back on the rampage – enquiringly about the new kit supplier.

Rodwell says that the retail operation is being brought back in-house.
Max Bell January 21, 20168:03 pm

REPEAT – The club shop is being brought in-house at the end of this season.

Max Bell January 21, 20168:08 pm

Martin Ellis the Commercial Director goes into detail regarding all the new kit commercial contracts.

Rodwell also contemplates bringing back the Summer ‘Open Days’, potentially to launch next season’s new kit.
Max Bell January 21, 20168:09 pm

This is expected to include 2 new kit sponsors, and a new kit creator.

The new season’s kits were ordered today and will be announced in due course.
Max Bell January 21, 20168:11 pm

10-Minute comfort brake taken by all – the customary rush to the bar and toilets is well under way!

Max Bell January 21, 20168:28 pm

And we’re back for the 2nd half folks…

The AGM went on till 10:15, we might yet beat that!
Max Bell January 21, 20168:29 pm

Rumours round the room that this might last as a Labour Party Shadow Cabinet reshuffle….

Let’s hope we’re still not here in 3 days!
Max Bell January 21, 20168:31 pm

Question from Twitter about the stadium funding…

Swann says funding is in place, but that commercial leases / ventures can’t be fully sorted until we own the land.
Max Bell January 21, 20168:32 pm

He further promises that the football-orientates operation will be fully built before we move in.

The offices et al may be unfinished, but we will know more come April / May.
Max Bell January 21, 20168:33 pm

The room asks if there is a Plan B, lest the stadium project fall through…

Swann says that is staying at Glanford Park – although he’d obviously prefer to move.
Max Bell January 21, 20168:35 pm

The Chairman further expands by saying there may be some loans / funding in place re: the new ground.

But as long as any loans were covered by income, he is totally comfortable with this.
Max Bell January 21, 20168:36 pm

If we got promoted this season / whilst at Glanford Park (we live in hope!)…

The club would have to apply to The Home Office regarding keeping the terracing.
Max Bell January 21, 20168:37 pm

Swann clarifies and says Robins was only on a 12-month rolling contract, even if it was a 3 year “project”.

Max Bell January 21, 20168:39 pm

Rodwell notes the difference between length of contract and severance pay.

This is a noted sticking point between any new manager negotiations…
Max Bell January 21, 20168:41 pm

Swann aspires for a new model for the stadium.

Also declares that all of the Stadium Hygeine certificates are 5*.
We can confidently eat our Hot-Dogs now!
Max Bell January 21, 20168:42 pm

Swanny promises the club’s food, restaurant et al, will only get better…

Max Bell January 21, 20168:44 pm

Are there enough staff in The Iron Bar on a Saturday?

Of course not… There’s a minimum of 4 people behind the bar every game apparently!
Max Bell January 21, 20168:46 pm

Rodwell says in the new stadium, the queues in The Iron Bar will be non-existent.

Now THERE’s a real reason to move!
Max Bell January 21, 20168:49 pm

Rodwell asks for suggestions re: new managers, then says there’s been no discussion with Mark Cooper although he doesn’t deny being very good friends with him.

Max Bell January 21, 20168:50 pm

Warnock, Holloway, Cotterill also mentioned.

Cotterill may expect to see his future at a higher level than ourselves – in Rodwell’s very diplomatic words.
Max Bell January 21, 20168:53 pm

Swann says we need to move on from Blackpool – easier to say if you haven’t shelled out for the away end…

Then describes the players’ lack of confidence in themselves may have cost Robins his job.
Max Bell January 21, 20168:55 pm

Swann pledges to look into potentially having a manager and players also present at future fan forums.

Max Bell January 21, 20168:56 pm

Rodwell says the club are open-minded about choosing between experience and youth for a potential manager…

Max Bell January 21, 20168:58 pm

Fans thanked the club for subsidising the coaches to Chelsea.

Jerry Mahony gets a round of applause for how he ran the buses – I’ve seen everything!
Max Bell January 21, 20169:05 pm

We’re in no rush to appoint a permanent manager – and expect to sift through CVs in the next 2/3 weeks.

Daws & Dawson may earn the chance if no other candidate “jumps off the page”.
Max Bell January 21, 20169:05 pm

Those are the words of Chairman Swann, in the hope we can immediately turn a corner – starting with beating Colchester on Saturday!

Max Bell January 21, 20169:07 pm

A certain Geordie bloke who stands behind yours truly wonders if the players were hurt by Saturday’s defeat?

Your author certainly hopes so!
Max Bell January 21, 20169:09 pm

If the players play to the best of their ability, then we should beat Colchester.

Quite right Mr Swann, quite right…
Max Bell January 21, 20169:10 pm

It’s also noted that we have the 6th / 7th largest budget in the division.

Nobody doubts the players are under-performing. But are they the solution or the problem?
Max Bell January 21, 20169:11 pm

And we’re on to refereeing decisions!

This meeting has gone on for more than 2 hours – and my phone is nearly dying….
No intimation as to how long we may have left yet.
Max Bell January 21, 20169:13 pm

Rodwell sits on both the Football League board, and FA Council.

He justifiably lambasts the lack of video technology throughout football, especially at FIFA.
Max Bell January 21, 20169:14 pm

Swann supports the greater use of Technology.

Keep sending in your questions to @SUFCOfficial via Twitter!
Max Bell January 21, 20169:17 pm

A genuine motion from the floor. The room near-unanimously votes in favour of supporting goal-line technology!

Who says democracy doesn’t matter eh?
Max Bell January 21, 20169:18 pm

When asked about the academy – Swann said the quality of players and facilities must improve.

He defends the coaches, then says the new ground will be key to the academy’s fortunes.
Max Bell January 21, 20169:19 pm

Rodwell waves lyrical about the club’s relationship with St Lawrence’s Academy.

Half the room are forgetting it’s what used to be High Ridge!
Max Bell January 21, 20169:21 pm

The Swann family spent £20,000 on kits and match-wear etc for Youth Team players this Summer.

Rodwell says that this burden has been taken away from the families, after they used to have to buy their own kit!
Max Bell January 21, 20169:23 pm

The Youth Academy has a (recently increased) Scouting Budget for the 1st time ever.

Tony Daws was due to attend tonight, but couldn’t make it for “one reason or another”.
Max Bell January 21, 20169:24 pm

Winding up to the last couple of questions – Hallelujah.

Max Bell January 21, 20169:26 pm

A call for Women’s Football teams in Scunthorpe comes from the football.

Rodwell notes growing participation, may be an option for the new ground. Is there a lack of facilities currently?
Max Bell January 21, 20169:27 pm

He then asks for someone to get in touch with the club to drive any potential project forward.

The Community Trust describe what they do, but admit they want to do more.
Max Bell January 21, 20169:29 pm

The room is still full 2 an a half hours later, pretty impressive.

Goes to show that these Fan Forums should continue – the interest is definitely here!
Max Bell January 21, 20169:31 pm

Representatives from The Supporters Trust offer to meet the club at any time – whilst it’s asked why the adult ladies team is no more.

The club promise to address this.
Max Bell January 21, 20169:32 pm

The club with Dave Syers luck at Rochdale, noting he needed match-time free his recent injury nightmares.

Max Bell January 21, 20169:34 pm

What is the chairman’s target for the rest of the season?

He sets nothing specific, just wants an improvement in the players performances and attacking football for the fans.
If we win half of the games, he’ll be happy. No pressure!
Max Bell January 21, 20169:35 pm

No reason we can’t get on a roll, like when we won 6/7 games in October.

Swann also promises greater transport links to the new stadium.
Max Bell January 21, 20169:37 pm

The new roundabout is a key requirement to any development – but the Lincolnshire Lakea development is key to any post-Steelworks development.

Deep economic theory from Mr Chairman here folks!
Max Bell January 21, 20169:39 pm

I’m having to “borrow’ the club’s electricity, the updates have been draining!

We should be winding up here shortly…
Max Bell January 21, 20169:41 pm

And that we have it, that’s your lot folks.

I’ve never seen a room empty so quixkly!
Max Bell January 21, 20169:44 pm

That should be quickly, of course.

But I’ll wrap it up here folks. It was certainly a lot friendlier than it would have been were Robins still in charge.
Feel free to keep up the discussion on the Messageboard and Twitter… Up The Iron!

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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