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Supporter liaison updates

SUPPORTER LIAISON OFFICER: 18th October

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Supporter liaison officer Liz Finney gives an autumn update of fan matters at Vitality Stadium.

Cherries Ticketing

We have had two supporters arrested in two recent games and it has come to light that those arrested were not the person named on the ticket and neither had any booking history with us.

Such behaviour brings the club into disrepute and affects the reputation of our supporters and as such it is something we will check and deal with firmly. Both the arrested people are on club bans while the account of the original owner of the home ticket has been suspended for a set period, so losing the related Cherries Points.

While the club’s guidelines allow season tickets to be used by a family member or close friend, please remember that you are in effect held responsible for the behaviour of that person.

Also disappointing is the apparent misuse of concession tickets, and more especially free tickets, by supporters. A recent case in point is a dishonest representation of disability status and selling on of concession and free personal assistant tickets. This particular instance has been dealt with by the club and going forward we will monitor potential misuse and continue to issue club bans and suspend accounts where such irregularities occur.

On a cheerier note, I am pleased to advise that we have promoted three members of the ticketing team, Jazmine, John and Joeh, to senior ticketing assistants. Each of them has an additional specified focus within the delivery of our ticketing service and the change is very much deserved by them all. I think this strengthens what has become a strong ticketing team and as ever we will all work to continue to bring improvements to our service.

Also good news is the positive upwards trend in our travelling support. We issued maximum tickets at Saints and our trip to Emirates Stadium saw over 2,000 Cherries attend.

Junior Cherries

One of the key benefits as described by our members is the access to live Premier League games at Vitality Stadium. Our Junior Cherries ticket ballot continues to help achieve this for a growing number of young fans who attend with an accompanying parent/guardian.

To date, several thousand tickets to Premier League matches have been issued under the scheme. The majority of these tickets are now issued in the family stand so young Cherries fans can soak up the exciting matchday atmosphere in a family environment.

Junior Cherries tickets are just £6 in these areas and of course you have access to the excellent value Junior Cherries meal deal for just £2.50.

Having gained that all-important first Cherries Home Point, our young fans have access to the 11am online on-sale of return tickets each Friday before a home Premier League match and can increase their points tally from there.

There are many great benefits to being a Junior Cherries member and the matchday experience offered is probably top of the list so please do take advantage of this aspect of being a member or, if you have children who are not yet members it really does make sense to join them up. For further details on membership please click here.

We have a focus on continuing to grow our Junior Cherries membership while making sure we deliver a good membership experience to our young supporters. To find out what more about what being a Junior Cherries means and what we can do to deliver worthwhile engagement, we will carry out some surveys to specific groups of our Junior Cherries members.

One of the areas we would like to change is the representation of girls within the membership as this currently stands at approximately 20% so understanding any barriers to girls joining and remaining as Junior Cherries, is key. If you are a Junior Cherry can you please look out for these surveys and complete – we will try to not make them too onerous – as they really do assist us with our planning. In the meantime, we are always open to ideas from Junior Cherries and their families so please do email us with any feedback.

In the meantime, we have two good events lined up for Junior Cherries. The first is our Beach Clean during half-term, hosted by Hot Rocks at Bournemouth Pier. This will once again see a team of Junior Cherries tackle the problem of beach litter and the harm such items, especially plastic, can do to our ocean life.

Assisted by BU students, the Community Sports Trust team, BCP Council and Dorset Devils, our young supporters will take part in an educational piece, then set out to collect litter before being rewarded with pizza and drinks supplied by Junior Cherries sponsor, Hot Rocks. There will also be an appearance by a player to thank these young fans for their efforts.

The other event is the first in a series of Junior Cherries Masterclasses. Aimed at our older Junior Cherries, these events will aim to introduce young supporters to different aspects of football and maybe inspire them to consider a future involvement or career in sport or associated disciplines.

The first of these also brings with it a bona fide certificate as we are offering to deliver the FA Sports Leaders Course to 24 Junior Cherries aged between 12 and 16 years. Usually charged at £20, this will be free to this group and the 6 hour course will be held at Vitality Stadium with a mix of classroom and practical activities.

In addition to our Community Sports Trust coaches, members of our first team and women’s team coaching staff and players will join the practical part of the course to assist and will be on hand for a Q & A at the end of the day.

Both these events have been very popular, judging by the number of applications and we will hopefully be able to run them again in the New Year. If your membership has lapsed or you are not yet a Junior Cherries, click here to join.

Everyone, Together

We have recently released the fourth video in our equality campaign, Everyone, Together. Ethan has been part of the campaign since its inception and his story highlights the impact discrimination at football can have on a young fan. It also portrays I think the joy that Ethan gets from attending games with his mum and it really is worth viewing if you have not already seen it click here.

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Everyone, Together

We Are Exciting | Everyone, Together

No Room for Racism

Our game against Norwich City on Saturday is our designated No Room For Racism and in the aftermath of the England national team’s experience in Bulgaria it is important that we as a club reinforce this message absolutely and without exception.

Please lend your support to the initiative and don’t let pass any incidences of racism, or any other discriminatory behaviour, Speak to a steward or text the confidential reporting number 07968 980580. Report it, because it is the right thing to do.

Remembrance Match

Our game against Manchester United on 2nd November (kick-off 12.30pm) is our designated Remembrance match and we will take this opportunity as a club to remember and offer our respect to those who have served, lost their lives and those currently serving. We are arranging a military guard of honour and flagbearers as well as a bugler to play the Last Post.

Our shirt sponsors M88 have kindly given a complimentary table for five in our Champions Restaurant for the Manchester United game and we would like to offer this to men and women who have served or are serving in the armed forces and who are Cherries supporters. Matchdays in Champions are always very convivial and we thought it would be a nice opportunity for a group of fans to share the occasion as well as memories and experiences.

If you are eligible to apply please email enquiries by Tuesday 22nd October with a short background and your supporter number.

Cherries Trust

There has been recent discussion around the recruitment of board members and the potential mothballing of Cherries Trust if this is not achieved.

This would be a huge shame and not something the club would want to see happen. We have worked with the Trust since their launch and hope to continue to carry on a good relationship with a re-formed board.

Our most recent discussion centred on a supporter group to look at ground atmosphere on a matchday as this is something we have been discussing internally while the Trust have mooted to members also. We will formalise this and go out to supporters to gain interest in being involved.

As ever, if you have any feedback or ideas would you like to put forward, please do get in contact: [email protected]

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