AFC Bournemouth's general manager and supporter liaison officer Liz Finney gives a summer update on fan matters at Vitality Stadium.
Sophie Cook and Pride
Many of you will know or know of Sophie Cook, our previous club photographer, who became the first transgender woman to work in the Premier League. Sophie’s story is a fascinating one and she is setting out her journey in a book called “Not Today – How I Chose Life”.
If you would like to find out more, please click here.
While Sophie has moved on to other things, such as becoming a radio presenter and running for Parliament, she is still associated with the club that she has supported for many years as part of our Equality Partnerships Group, as a patron of Proud Cherries and as an ambassador for Kick It Out.
Sophie also supports Bourne Free, the town’s Pride Festival and you can find out more about the club’s involvement and support for the event by following this link. Do go along to support if you are able to as it promises to be a really fun event and one that the club is proud to support.
Celebrating Diversity Conference
This year AFC Bournemouth will be holding its second annual Celebrating Diversity Conference, on Thursday 26th July from 2pm to 5pm at Vitality Stadium. The event, which will be hosted at Vitality Stadium, aims to bring together young people with disabilities and organisations who offer opportunities and experiences to them to showcase their work around the area and encourage young people to be more involved in community activities.
The day will include a marketplace of organisations to speak with, drop in work shop sessions with financial advisors Nationwide, employability advisors and SWRAC as well as panel discussions with the council, police and local sporting services.
Throughout the day AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust coaches will be offering tours of Vitality Stadium to attendees.
Equality Supporter Focus Group
If helping us to make AFC Bournemouth as welcoming and free from discrimination as possible appeals to you, we are offering supporters the chance to be part of the club’s Equality Focus Group.
Our Equality Partnership Group supports and guides the club in achieving our equality plans and is made up of partners who have skills and experience of working with groups from across the local community.
As a club we want to have a supporting group of fans who can assist us in removing any barriers there may be in engaging with the club. As our equality plan states, our club motto is Together, Anything is Possible and there can be no possible reason or benefit to exclude anyone from AFC Bournemouth’s interpretation of together.
If you would like to be part of this supporter focus group and help us to embed equality in everything we do, please email me on [email protected] by Monday 30th July.
The ticketing team has had a busy close season so far, working to get everything in place for the new campaign. Tickets for our first home game against Cardiff City went on sale on Sunday 8th July at 10am, while our pre-season games are already available to purchase, so we are already back in matchday mode.
Season ticket holders should receive their cards for the new season around the middle of July, with Junior Cherries membership cards arriving close to that time too.
Points holders will have been emailed to notify that new points totals have been updated on our system. If you have any queries on your points tally, please contact the ticketing team so that they can assist.
The on-sale dates for tickets for home and away games has been published and supporters will have noted that we have raised the points required for the first sales period by four points to 16.
This is to give those who have attended most or all of our league games the first opportunity to buy tickets. The number of points drops remain the same as last season and this modification is based on both supporter feedback and the analysis of the spread of points across our supporter base.
Dan Clarke, our ticket office manager, has been looking at various season ticket buy back options and has identified our preferred partner, so work will now begin on integrating this option into our systems. We are working towards introducing the scheme in the first half of the coming season and will give fans more detail in due course.
We introduced a club class coach for away travel last season and this has proved to be really popular with travelling fans. Coach supplier Bluebird have further improved this experience by adding USB charging points to all seats in response to feedback from supporters and we are appreciative of the company’s support in this.
As our travelling fans will know, we also introduced last season pick up points between Weymouth and the stadium to make it easier for those going to away trips and the take up has been good. This makes us think that there might be the potential to run a coach along this route for home games.
The suggested stops would be:
- Weymouth esplanade
- Dorchester Tesco fountain
- Poole train station
- Branksome bus stop outside John Lewis
- Arrive Vitality Stadium
I would be keen to hear supporters’ views on this so as to gauge how popular a service it might be.
Some of you still have not collected your free, re-usable Junior Cherries water bottle. Just come along to the club Superstore at Vitality Stadium with your membership card and pick up one to take away.