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#21
offline King Carlos

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Wayne, I may as well admit what you probably already were aware of…
The comments regarding Andy and the management were somewhat exaggerated in order to generate some controversy and discussion on this forum. I wanted to try and gauge a generate census of opinion to what people feeling were towards the current situation and realised that the approach which I took, would provide me with a wealth of responses and opinions very quickly. Unfortunately a large amount of people on these forums seem content with the situation at present and are reasonably confident that if left unchanged the club can battle successful against relegation. I was simply trying to draw people (somewhat unsuccessfully) into a discussion about peoples longer term ambitions for the club.

In my opinion, the importance of reaching out to the local community cannot be underestimated, as it is from there where future attendance increases will come. This will probably be a question which I may reget asking, but has anyone involved with the club actually attempted to lease with potential GNFC supporters who have not as yet shown an interest in attending fleet matches? There are thousands of football supporters in Gravesham, and I'm not for one minute naive enough to think that they are going to flock to Stonebridge Road immediately, what I am saying though is a different approach should be adopted for different target groups to prove successful.


#22
offline Wobbly Wayne rides again

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Carlos,

I applaud your efforts ( even if I still disagree with the personal pops at Andy ) to bring some life to this usually lifeless forum, and your original postings regarding 30 - 40 vocal protestors were see-through enough for most sensible people to see that they were an exagerated viewpoint and a wind up.

We are currently in a time when the population in the area is rapidly increasing, interest in footie is at an all time high and premiership tickets if you can get hold of them, are slowly but surely pricing themselves out of the pockets of many. Especially the teenagers and blokes wanting to take their kids to a game.
This is creating a market that is crying out for a decent local team to step in and clean up. We can be that team.

The second point of your comments were alluding to this , and suggesting that we as a club aren't doing enough to make sure that we will cash in on this, and create that brighter future for ourselves.
From where I stand ,I can not comment as I don't know what the long term goals are , or what steps we are taking to get there. I was hoping that when the new CEO came on board we might have more regular communication on here, and that would enthuse us and all the local community, but so far nothing........
I think the hope is that the ST representatives give us regular feedback from the board, so that open and honest debates can then be aired on the forum, and suggestions on how we can help can be made.

Despite what some others may think, your postings give the impression of someone who does think about the club, and is passionate about how it develops.

Do you have any suggestions how we can get more people thru' the turnstiles ? What sort of age group / sectors we shouldtarget etc ?


Up the Fleet, as we set sail for the first 3 points of the season on Saturday...


#23
offline FleetFanatic

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Carlos, all of a sudden you don't seem such a bad chap.

I for one think all half-decent suggestions as to how the club can move forward in terms of both on & off field activities should be given a genuine chance of being brought into fruition.

As for Wobbly's last question - I think others have given the same answer that I will - EVERY school in the whole borough should be targeted - give each school say 20/30 tickets that admit the child free when accompanied by an adult - hey presto, hopefully some extra £10's through the turnstiles plus any other extras. On top of that, these people might actually return for the next home game after.....

.....another sector we need to pursue is the asian community. How many of this sector come to the games? They can't all surely 'support' Man Utd!

#24
offline JimGNFC

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"In my opinion, the importance of reaching out to the local community cannot be underestimated, as it is from there where future attendance increases will come. . . . but has anyone involved with the club actually attempted to lease (liase?) with potential GNFC supporters who have not as yet shown an interest in attending fleet matches?"
Quote: King Carlos

Some interesting and valid comments King Carlos - a subject close to my heart, as I suspect Wobbly Wayne etc. As a fan, this is what I have noticed over the summer months, which suggests the Club has "tried hard" this summer to attract new supporters:

a) The Supporters Trust meeting was widely advertised in the local
press, especially the Reporter, with flyers and posters being
distributed around the town and local shops etc.
B) Fleet Stalls at the Regatta and Carnival promoting the Club.
c) The new Chief Executive seems to be a bit of a "spin doctor" with
the local media, with several articles about the Club in the local
press. There have also been adverts in the local papers advertising
"the club as your local team - 5 minutes from Bluewater" - or
something along those lines! Give him time and see what other
idea's he comes up with - his only been in the job a short while.
d) 10,000 season ticket application forms distributed to all 60
pubs in G&N, Gravesend train station and shops etc. The intention
here was simply to promote the Club a bit more - it was never
intended to sell 10,000 tickets!
e) Fixture posters circulated to those pubs that agreed to display
them. Out of 60 odd pubs, only 14 odd bothered to reply - which
reflects the "uphill struggle" the Club faces with promoting
itself in the local community.

These and other initiatives need to be repeated summer after summer to see any real benefits.

The question remains, what else could the Club be doing to promote itself and attracting new supporters? Answers on a postcard!


#25
offline Stu B

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And the asian community are definetly "into" football,you only have to look at the success of the guru nanak teams.
SD is right,schools need to be targeted aswell,they'll provide new fans that could be fans for life..and kids tend to be noisier,helping the players,and they'll want burgers etc,they're dads will want beer etc.
Actually,forget that,target everyone!Build a 60000 capacity stadium and win the premiership <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

#26
offline northfleet nigel

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All extremely good ideas in isolation. BUT, if the team is not producing 'moderate' results, new fans will not be interested in joining the flock. It is that dreadful 'chicken and egg' scenario.

I am not suggesting the Club speculates running at a financial loss, but at present the resources we have, albeit IMO worse than last season, are not producing the results. I do not blame the players as I happen to think last Saturday they were excellent. I the think the blame lies elsewhere.

For what it is worth I am bringing 3 and half new persons on Saturday hoping to see us lift off ! So thats an extra £ 35.

#27
offline James

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Surely we need to attract younger supporters why not contact all the local schools, junior football clubs, youth groups such as cubs, scouts etc and offer free group entry on a rotational basis with a follow up package of reduced prize entry.

We must have a data base from the participants of Ian Dockers Football in the Community Scheme why not offer those boys and girls who obviously have an interest in GNFC incentives to come along.

Why not target KIds for A Quid during school holiday times.

The potential is obviously there remember 4098 at Canvey and the 7000 we took to Villa. I know these were exceptional high profile games but we attracted big crowds for several of the lower profile cup games such as Plucky Cinderford.

I am glad to see we are now running more competitions in the Reporter to increase profile.
What about introducing a Junior Fleet Membership article in the Reporter similar to the Mcdonalds junior club article with competitions and weekly/monthly offers.

These are just a few suggestions I have many more up my sleeve .


#28
offline King Carlos

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Firstly I'd like to say that I honestly believe that Gravesend is a footballing town. As someone pointed out above, when the circumstances are right (Canvey & Villa), people will come out to watch the fleet en masse. The amount of excitement generated around in town's pub's before and during England internationals only adds to this theory.

Most of my mates who's are in their twenties and early thirties all support Premiership and League sides and attend matches as regularly as finances allow. Unfortunately due to the large amounts of television revenue Premiership clubs now receive many clubs turned their backs on the paying fan, who actually considers watching football as a lot more that staring at a television set in the comfort of their own homes.

This situation needs to be capitalised on by the club. I know for a fact that there a great many people in a similar situation as my mates who with a little bit of effort will soon be boosting attendance figures and club funds.

Someone also mentioned a database containing fans details. Is there any such database in place at the moment? How much would it cost to begin and maintain such records of Gravesend supporters? The reason I'm asking, is because as we know advertising funds are in short supply so they must be used wisely. Information needs to be collected on Pubs that have advertised for the fleet in the past, and supporters that are more likely to attend matches. If ever the situation arises where more flyers need to be printed and distributed, it would benefit us if we had a bit of knowledge on who to target and who not to waste funds on.

Sorry if it's a bit vague, I'm working at the moment and it's a bit rushed. Any comments?


#29
offline John@TheFleet

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There may be problems with the useage of the database idea in general as it will fall under the Data Protection Act. which in the end may cause more work, consequently being counter-productive. However, the sentiments contained therein are not dissimilar to what is already happening in the Supporters Trust Committee. If there could be a database of volunteers, then that may be diferent. I'm not too hot on the relevent legislation here so maybe someone can comment.

Like you, Carlos, the vast majority of people I know support Premiership clubs and one just has to look at the geography of Gravesham & London to see what ALL local clubs are up against. My local pub is trying to be a 'Fleet' pub, as much as it can be, but often away supporters outnumber us 3-1 largely due to it's inclusion in the National Good Beer Guide. Many of the local inhabitants are interested in how we get on but are reluctant to come to a game which to me seems odd as most live within a 2 minute walk of the ground. They'd rather go shopping or watch Arsenal on the telly, which seems even stranger. There seems to be a natural apathy in the area regarding the local club that no amount of advertising, coverage or coaxing (especially from myself) can cure. On the day we won the Ryman, many people in the local pubs that night didn't even know we were playing! It seems there is more support growing from further afield including the Medway towns and even a couple from Dartford, which is rather curious. Maybe a few good results and a high profile cup run will encourage more local support. I agree with the schools idea.

#30
offline King Carlos

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John, I understand where your coming from with the 'natural apathy towards the fleet thing'. On numerous occasions last season, the handful of so fleet fans which I attend matches with would meet in our local for a drink before the game. If ever we suggested to the non-fleet fans in the pub that they tag along to Stonebridge Road with us, it would usually be greeted with laughter or a mocking response. It's pretty evident to me that a lot of local people don't even regard GNFC as 'their' local club, which is kind of sad.

I must admit, when I first started attending Fleet matches about 10 seasons ago, I didn't really regard the Fleet as 'my' team just an addition to 'my team in the Premiership'. I think a lot of people view the fleet in this light, they see it as though they can't watch the fleet because they already have 'their' team, and are not about to change. Ten years later though, and I can successfully juggle watching Fleet and my London club. This doesn't mean I support either any more or less, it just means in time I have built up a loyalty towards GNFC through matching matches which I never expected to develop in the early years.

I think that what we should all realise is that at this stage in our 'development', it would be unrealistic to try and prise the Spurs, Arsenal, or United shirts from people's backs - it's simply not going to happen, not yet anyway. We are not on a level footing to complete with the London clubs, but maybe we could offer an addition to their London club?

We may not have the Thierry Henry's or Ruud van Nistelrooy's but we do have other attributes, which if used correctly, may be useful in attracting and retaining support for the fleet. We need to offer more than ninety minutes of football, we need to offer an afternoon or evening of fun and enjoyment of children, youths and adults. This may sould far fetched, but I reckon it could be easier than people think. How we do this is open to much discussion and debate, which is why these forums are useful, and should be utilised for the benefit of all involved.


#31
offline ajw

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Could we not improve match day mascots? Carry on with the beginning bit, you know the kids meet the players on the pitch before the game to have a kick about plus photos, then in the dressing room. Why can't we say, give them a signed football as well. Maybe the price might have to go up a bit, but you know its a big occasion for the youngster (especially the 5 to 9/10 yr olds).
Or even have a competition before the game like penalty shootout with maybe the reserve keeper.
I know the things might of been thought of but maybe if we can give it a go then what harm can it do?

#32
offline FleetFanatic

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Quote:
ajw said:
Or even have a competition before the game like penalty shootout with maybe the reserve keeper.


I think we need a club mascot of the costumed variety.
Then he can go in goal at half-time.

Seems to work at Burton Albion!

#33
offline John@TheFleet

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Many of these ideas have been/are being discussed and I agree, we do need to make it more of a day out.There have been some issues raised regarding the pitch and the away team being entitled to use one half of the pitch for training etc before the game and during half-time. However, it's worked elsewhere, so why not. Any voluneers? Who'd like to see Super Daz in a bunny-suit and a tu-tu??!!

#34
offline David Holden

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Quote:
Who'd like to see Super Daz in a bunny-suit and a tu-tu??!!


I thought the idea was to attract people into the ground.

#35
offline FleetFanatic

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I'm starting to worry about John!

#36
offline John@TheFleet

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So you should! Can't be worse than one suggestion I heard last year, though. To tie in with the local panto, someone wanted the 7 seven dwarves to lead the team out for the Xmas fixture against Margate!! (And please, no comments about about our strikers.....)

#37
offline majorman6

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Yeh ive seen the costumed mascots and I wrote into the club about becoming one (I would fund myself) but have had no reply. At most of the clubs I have been to (bar Leigh hahah) they have this and it gives it more of a family feeling and less of a grown up men type of game. If anyone knows who I could contact to see if the club would be intersted in having a mascot please let me know. Or if anyone who reads this forum coud make a decision on this that would be greatfully recived!!

#38
offline King Carlos

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Seen a bit mentioned on here on Supporters Trust meetings. Just out of interest is there anymore arranged? If so can anyone supply a date? thanks.

#39
offline Drummer Boy

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Why do we need a man in a funny suit to amuse us??Does Andy Ford not provide us all with enough laughs?


#40
offline David Holden

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Quote:
King Carlos said:
Seen a bit mentioned on here on Supporters Trust meetings. Just out of interest is there anymore arranged? If so can anyone supply a date? thanks.


There are monthly meetings of the Society Board




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