The Yorkshire Carnegie Fans Forums came together for the first meeting of 2017 which took place on Wednesday 22nd February. The below minutes are in a condensed format and include all feedback which has come in from either Forum members directly or via fansforum@leedsrugby.com. The responses to all feedback are also included so if you send in emails prior to these meetings, the minutes include the replies from the Club.

If you have any feedback that you would like to be discussed at one of the Fans Forum meetings then please email fansforum@leedsrugby.com and this will be discussed at the meetings and published in the minutes shortly after the meeting has taken place. The next meetings will begin in February 2017 and we will publish feedback requests ahead of the meeting. In the meantime you can still send feedback to this email address and we will be in touch.

Fans Forum Meeting Wednesday 22nd February

Fans Forum Members:

Attendees: Andrea Green, Susie Woffinden, Angela Rimmington Brown, Malcolm Robinson, Ian Waterhouse.

Apologies: Keith Huggins

Activity for the Evening:

Leeds Beckett Focus Group Research.

Leeds Rhinos Fans Forum Members joined the Yorkshire Carnegie Fans Forum Members for the Focus Group which was to assist Leeds Beckett University students with their University project which was based around loyalty schemes.

Feedback from Susie Woffinden – Fans Forum Member:

  • Thanks for your help sorting the acknowledgement from the players to the fans at the end of matches. It’s been much improved 

Sian: Thank you for the feedback – glad to hear it!

  • The player and team statistics section on the website is set out really well and is very informative.

Sian: Thank you – that’s great!

  • From David Wilkinson: Is the Primary School scheme (Carnegie Captains) still running, I was liaising with Lisa but it appears to have gone quiet. 

Sian: I spoke to Lisa who is sorting out the scheme and she chased David back in January and didn’t receive a response. She will send another email.

Feedback from Angela Rimmington Brown – Fans Forum Member:

  • Why do the dancers stay in front of North Stand and don’t come over to the South Stand side of the ground?

Sian: For Yorkshire Carnegie matches we utilise the in-house speakers and music system which are situated within the stands. This is acceptable to use based on crowd size. They need to be as close as they can to a sound system so they can hear the music and unfortunately, the sound quality doesn’t carry well from the South Stand onto the pitch which would therefore mean if they dance over that side, they wouldn’t be able to hear the music properly therefore affecting their performance.

I will put forward a suggestion for them to face the South Stand and come as far across as they can so they can still hear the music.

For Leeds Rhinos matches, due to crowd size, we bring in additional speakers which allow flexibility around the pitch however this isn’t a requirement for Yorkshire Carnegie.

  • Quality of news stories – wrong scores, can’t hear questions in videos, name of scorer/score showing before score made, academy highlights longer than first XV – Rotherham match particularly poor given high score. 

Sian: Thanks for the feedback. Highlights videos are put together to demonstrate a snapshot of the game. The Academy highlights are sometimes slightly longer as it provides a little more insight into the match to promote the Academy as it is less likely that people will have seen this match live. The First team highlights focus on the best plays of the game so normally focuses on the points scored. Our Performance Analysis Team put these together from the match footage for both the First Team and Academy – we believe that what we offer for both more than meets the objective of providing highlights from their fixtures.

I will pass on the feedback about wrong scores which I believe happened once, on this occasion the site was pulling through stats from the Cornish Pirates game in error and this was corrected, being unable to hear the questions and the name of scorer and score on the highlights.

  • Request for Chris Gibson to come to the forum to explain his role. (Feedback from Carnegie Fan)

Sian: I will put in a request to see if Chris can either attend the next meeting in June for Yorkshire Carnegie.

  • Please post the minutes re the meeting for disabled supporters about new stand facilities. Some couldn’t make the meeting and have not seen them posted.

Sian: The meeting for disabled supporters which took place in January, wasn’t focused on the new stand facilities. It was more of a catch up meeting surrounding Leeds Rhinos match days. There weren’t any minutes taken just a few suggestions as to how to improve the match day experience on Rhinos game days – we have implemented these suggestions. We will host a meeting re: the new stand facilities once we have confirmation that the development is definitely going ahead.

Website Comments:

·         I’m less inclined to use the official site since they revamped it recently. Notwithstanding the fact that it’s supposedly been optimised for mobile users, it’s truly awful. The layout and navigability are terrible on a PC web browser. 

·         It does work far better on mobile devices than the old one did and, apart from outdated information (which was always an issue anyway) the only problems I can see with the desktop version is that the homepage layout is a mess and the link to the store needs to be more prominent. And both of those are easily fixed.

·         Looking for B&I Cup dates – finally got the official site to load properly. It’s a nightmare since they changed the format

Sian: Please note all the feedback with regards to the new Carnegie Website has been collated and is at the end of the minutes.

Feedback from Malcolm Robinson – Fans Forum Member:

  • We must listen to our Carnegie Fan base. It was proved right regarding no fixtures should be played on a Saturday. Yesterday the attendance was 1300 against the fifth placed team. This would have been 2000 on a Sunday. As already discussed a lot of our supporters are involved with Saturday rugby with local teams. A number of supporters I spoke to could not see the logic of this Saturday fixture. We have lost possibly 700 peoples revenue both in entrance fees/refreshments.

Sian: The fixture was put in for the Saturday because the Rugby Department requested an additional day for preparation ahead of the Jersey away match which was on Friday 24th February. At the time, we weren’t able to schedule a Friday night fixture for the Cornish Pirates game as we have to leave the day vacant for potential Leeds Rhinos fixtures should SKY request them therefore we had to schedule it for the Saturday.

Also, I would like to make a comment regarding on the ” On the Road ” B & I home fixtures.
I can see two points to this: –

  • To spread the gospel around Yorkshire
  • To save on paying staff at Headingley-stewards etc.
  • I think that all we are doing is lining the pockets of these Junior clubs and getting not very much in return.
  • Again, you are not looking at your base support who do not want to stand at Selby to watch a game without the comfort of Headingley.
  • I would suggest that prices are dropped next year for these B & I games.
  • ”Kids free admission- must be accompanied by a parent for a fiver ”
  • All home games being at Headingley.

Sian: Thank you for your comments, we have always been clear as to the objectives for the ‘On the Road’ fixtures. We offer these matches to the clubs to spread the word of Yorkshire Carnegie at our local amateur clubs and therefore they have an opportunity to A) make some money for their club through ticket sales and secondary spend (food and drink) and B) promote the match in their area which in turn will bring fans that wouldn’t normally attend Headingley, to come and see a professional game at their local club. From this, hopefully this would then encourage new fans to want to follow Yorkshire Carnegie and make the effort to come to Headingley Carnegie to watch us.

Feedback from Andrea Green – Fans Forum Member: 

  • From Andrea: Great excitement on Saturday Freddie Robinson bounded in the café exclaiming we are the mascots, the whole family had turned out and the boys Dad had taken annual leave from work to attend.  Freddie excitedly run off to find a Carnegie Times and returned rather crestfallen as their photo was not included.  Both boys Freddie and Lucas really enjoyed the day and know there will be an official photo but could you possibly print the boy’s photos in the next edition please?

Sian: Thanks for the feedback Andrea, during the proofing of the Carnegie times, unfortunately the design house did oversight on the photo being included however, Abigail, our Head of Marketing, was with the family from 2.30pm until just after kick off and they had a fabulous time. They loved seeing their picture on the big screen and loved being so close to the action and meeting the players. We received nothing but positive feedback from them. We did apologise for the error however this didn’t dampen their experience. The mascot package is free and they will receive a professional, personally signed photo which they were looking forward to.

  • From John R – Always have a spot of lunch and really enjoy the food and hot drinks be it tea or the great real coffee but could we put our heads together to come up with a better system, whereby, we can obtain our food, pay and maybe return for the drink. If there is a queue the food is getting cold.  We do not want to have the instant coffee.   

Sian: Thanks for the feedback John. The is only one mechanism whereby I can see this working however I will need to discuss this with the Carnegie Café Bar team to see if they think it will work. I will aim to get this in motion for the London Irish match if they agree.

  • From Andrea: The Café food, fabulous proper coffee and the great service, the personnel serving are so lovely, is an asset to the club. 

Sian: Thank you for your kind feedback Andrea, I will ensure these comments are passed on.

Feedback from Ian Waterhouse – Fans Forum Member:

  • The other item has relevance to both Rhinos and Carnegie and concerns the question as to when an announcement will be made re stadium development after the delay in starting the work last September as originally planned.

Sian: As it stands, planning permission has been granted for the stadium re-development however as it stands we are still sourcing the funding. Once we have a funding update, more information will be communicated. There is nothing to report at present.

Feedback from Peter Turner – Yorkshire Carnegie Fan via email:

I attended yesterday’s match, which was my first of the season. I was delighted that the bag searching policy has been discontinued. I paid by cash as usual at the turnstile and then went to the club shop to obtain my copy of “Carnegie Times”. There was a young chap at the entrance who said that you could not enter without a match ticket. I explained that those paying cash are not issued with tickets. Another gentleman tried to enter at the same time and was also ticketless having paid cash. Fortunately, the door guarder was not prepared to physically block our entry so I got my copy and left. As I left he explained further saying that he had been told that the main gate was unattended so people could freely enter the ground. This policy seems confused and I felt sorry for the young lad. Perhaps it could be looked at?

I made my way round to the west terrace in an attempt to gain entry to the South stand. I found that this was blocked. As there were spectators already standing in the South stand it was clearly open. I worked out that by walking all the way round the ground I could gain entry which I did. Later I saw several spectators face the same dilemma. Some resolved the issue by climbing over the wall onto the field and getting into the South stand in that manner. Would it not be possible to place a notice at the west terrace explaining that there is no entry to the South stand that way? Better still position a steward there who can explain what to do. I would think that there are likely to be a lot of away supporters and casual fans at the London Irish match coming up for whom this will cause inconvenience. A potentially inflammatory situation awaits if no action is taken. 

Sian: Thanks for your feedback Peter. As the match was played on the Saturday, we had to open the club shop for the general public aswell however admittedly, there was an oversight as we don’t usually issue tickets on the cash turnstiles and we should have done. Thank you for flagging it up and I will ensure for the match on the last Saturday of the season, that this matter is resolved. I will be honest I am unsure about what you mean about the main gate being un-manned. This is not the case. All access points are covered on Carnegie match days and access is only via the turnstiles.

I will also work on resolve about access to South Stand via the Western Terrace corner and ensure that people are informed prior to walking in front of the Western Terrace to gain access to the South Stand.

YORKSHIRE CARNEGIE WEBSITE: 

There have been a few pieces of feedback regarding the new Yorkshire Carnegie website therefore please see below the official feedback from Phil Daly and Leanne Flynn from the Leeds Rugby PR and Media Department. Although we understand some of the frustrations with the new site, we hope you find the mobile version of the site easier to use and we are working to continually improve the site.

If you have any further feedback on the Yorkshire Carnegie website, please email fansforum@leedsrugby.com and help us to ensure the website is working for the fans.

  • Regarding the league table.  The results, team line ups, scorers and league table are fed in from a stats provider, who also provide the RFU with their stats.  After London Welsh went into liquidation they changed all their results to a draw, which subsequently made the league table incorrect.  A gentleman kindly called to advise us of this error and we contacted our website providers to ask them to make the necessary changes.  Unfortunately, this was not done as quickly as we would have hoped, and we took the temporary measure of removing the table until it was resolved.  The correct table should now be on the site.
  • We have had issues with the home page articles not displaying correctly and this is something we are working on currently with Sotic to improve further.
  • In terms of navigation we will work to improve this if fans are finding areas difficult to find.  Any feedback on which areas are difficult to find would be helpful.
  • On the desktop version of the home page there is a filter option to change the home display to show ‘news’ or ‘match reports’ or ‘match preview’.  Also on the desktop at the bottom of the page is a quick link to the next match and league table.
  • In regards to finding where the B&I fixtures, if it was with regards to the page not loading properly, we have expressed concerns regarding the speed of the site and this is something Sotic are looking at to improve.
  • On social media, we have had some serious issues with headlines no longer copying over and links not working.  This is something we had confidence in with our previous system and something that has let us down. We share fans frustrations regarding this and we believe Sotic have now resolved most of the issues.
  • Following feedback, we have added a more prominent link to the shop. The advertising on the current site is much improved and there is a large button on both the desktop and mobile for the shop but we appreciate that it could be more user friendly to have a link prominently in the menu and have made this amend.
  • There has also been an issue with stats copying over to show full career history. This is something Sotic have now fixed.