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Leyton Orient Fans' Forum report - 24/10/13

Below is the report of the latest meeting of the Leyton Orient Fans' Forum, which took place yesterday. The forum is a way for the club to regularly discuss issues of importance with supporters, and is made up of the club CEO Matthew Porter (who also currently acts as Supporter Liaison Officer for the club) and representatives from LOFT, the Supporters Club and fanzines.

Present: Matt Porter (LOFC), Tony Roome & Keren Harrison (Supporters Club), Doug Harper & James Cassidy (LOFT). Apologies from absent Fanzine Reps.
Regarding increasing the number of forum reps, Tony reported back on his research of fans representatives elsewhere via his FSF contacts. It seems that elections are not the way to go and the best option is to invite volunteers as Stand Reps. These should be put on employment contracts for insurance etc and paid a nominal fee (£5 per game) to make them employees, rather than volunteers. They should be given a proper JD and access to pre-match information/briefings etc.
The best title for them is FLOs (Fans' Liaison Officers) and they, along with the supporters group representatives, will form the Fans' Forum.
The only specific areas where another individual is needed are Away Fans (Doug suggested a regular traveller and will pass on his details) and Disabled Supporters (Matt to ask Lindsey Martin to think of someone who may be interested).
Matt will come up with a brief description of what would be required from people in each role and we can advertise accordingly.

Other points raised:

  1. Overseas supporters: Keren will co-ordinate this along with Martin Smith and Paul Roberts. Keren will oversee all communications sent externally and try to co-ordinate the group over the next few months with a view to an International Fans' Day later in this season and then potentially during the winter break 2014/15.
  2. General questions raised: PA system – club acknowledges deficiencies, esp. in South Stand, but expensive to fix; National Accident Helpline email – no fans’ details passed on to any third party, only one e-mail sent out by the Club on their behalf with no follow up.

Other issues:

Issue: Use message board for club Q&A sessions?
Response: No. The club will concentrate on other social media such as Twitter & YouTube

Issue: Has the club considered buying a Game Ready physio rehab machine for Lisbie?
Response: Purchased.

Issue: Youth season ticket take-up.
Response: Barry Hearn will detail this in his Rotherham game programme notes, but the club is relatively satisfied with average 400 per game attendees through the scheme.

Issue: Why not make it easier for free youth season ticket holders to swap vouchers for tickets on East turnstiles?
Response: This is the actual procedure in place.

Issue: Larger away fans' allocations this season?
Response: So far, only the Wolves game will definitely see the whole East Stand given over to away fans, but this could change dependent on circumstances and/or police advice.

issue: Can microwave chips be served in outlets?
Response: No. Catering outlets are licensed only as serveries, not kitchens. So no cooking - only reheating is permitted.

Issue: Was a recent fans' survey (noted in The Birkbeck) official?
Response: Yes. The survey was conducted on behalf of Matt Porter, who has just received the results.

Issue: Queries re East Stand demolition costs and other construction issues.
Response: Matt requested that the fan who raised these technical issues contact him directly to discuss further if he can advise in a professional capacity.

Issue: Too short Orient Player/YouTube highlights.
Response: Club doesn't have the resources to prepare/publish longer excerpts on a regular basis. Additionally noted was the often poor audio commentary service provided centrally by the Football League's provider (Perform Group).

Issue: Olympic Stadium update .
Response: The club is still re-evaluating potential next steps. Fans will be informed when any concrete decisions are made.

Follow up to previous meeting: New hand dryers and rails for Gallery steps – quotes being obtained; Phone queuing system – upgrade ordered; Club books for shop – details passed to JustSport to place orders; Laurie Cunningham Day – enjoyed by all; Lawyers’ Report on impact of WHU moving in to Olympic Stadium – Matt to follow up.

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