We received 97 responses, with at least 5 players responding from each team.
Most people agree or strongly agree that the club offers good value for money. Almost three quarters prefer the current annual/weekly subs mix to any other options. We were considering ways to change this so it is useful to know that people prefer things as they are compared to other costed alternatives.
We could do a better job of explaining the costs of running the club. Here is a chart summarising our budgeted expenditure for the current season:
In terms of income, this is how it is broken down:
If anyone wants more detail they should speak to Keith Johnston. We will think about whether there are any better ways to share this information in future.
The vast majority either agree or strongly agree that our pitches, general facilities and food are better than the teams we compete with. Over 70% prefer to receive food after home games rather than pay less. Clearly we are never going to be able to keep everyone happy but this suggests the current offering is in line with what the majority prefer.
The average score was 3.6/5. The 5s rated this particularly poorly but we were already addressing that, having already ordered them a new kit. Campbell Harper has agreed to take on the role of Club Equipment Officer. He will be liaising with each team captain to address any concerns and plan what needs to be prioritised for next season.
A few people have said they would like more social events. There were also some questions about tours. See the FAQ section below. The current end of season awards format seems to be the top preference so we will leave that as it is. We would like to appoint a dedicated Club Social Secretary, please talk to your captain or a committee member if you are interested.
Not enough people know who the office bearers are in the club so we will attempt to address this with some social media posts in the coming weeks. This information is on the web site as well.
Only half of people said they know how to raise a grievance/issue. In most cases you should first do this through your captain who will bring it to the attention of the relevant office bearer or the committee. If you don’t want to go through your captain, you can approach any office bearers directly or send a message via the contact form on the web site.
This seems to be poorly understood. This is the situation: the physios are paid by the club to attend home Saturday fixtures. They have a physio table in the pavilion and tend to watch whatever game is on the first team pitch. This does not mean they are there exclusively for the team playing on that pitch. If there is an injury that requires attention on any pitch, a sub or someone on the sidelines should come and get them. They are also available on a first come first served basis before and after the game for anyone to see (obviously there are a limited number of slots available). Before the game they will help with taping etc. After they will do initial assessments on injuries. If there is an injury that requires further attention, appointments can be made at their main clinic. Such appointments are not paid for by the club, they need to be paid by the individual player, although there is a discount for club members.
Around 60 said they are interested in regular training. We will consider if there is any way this could be reintroduced next season. Unfortunately we had to stop club training a few seasons ago due to poor attendance. Laurence Spear will look into this further.
Most people find the club through word of mouth. The vast majority believe they are given opportunities to play at the highest level they are capable. The majority who use social media have noticed an improvement in our output this season. We are grateful to Mark Parker who has taken this on.
There were a few questions that allowed free entry responses. We have tried to combine these responses into a FAQ which explains the main issues raised. If you think something you raised has been missed, please mention it to your captain or a committee member and we will attempt to add it here.
Why don’t we have BT Sport/Sky?
The ground is owned by the University of Westminster. Unfortunately they do not consider it commercially viable for them to recover the costs of these subscriptions through increased bar revenue. The cost of a business subscription to Sky Sports is a five figure sum per year.
When can we have a new kit?
The condition of kit gets reviewed regularly. Any specific concerns should be raised to your captain who should in turn bring it to the management committee. Clearly, we have to balance the cost of new kits against our budget which is ultimately paid by the membership fees. There have been some specific concerns raised about kits being handed down and we will take this on board.
What’s going on with the showers?
There have been problems this season which we have repeatedly raised with the University. We believe they want to fix it but there have been problems with the system that have proven difficult to resolve. We are hopeful of receiving a rebate on part of our pitch fees by way of compensation which we will look to invest in things like new kit.
Could we offer a nanny service for players with children?
This is not something the club will want to get involved with directly. However, Laurence Spear owns a nursery so we have someone in the club who could help. Laurence can provide details of qualified childcare professionals who may be interested in some extra weekend work. Please talk to Laurence if you are interested.
Can we reduce subs?
Our goal as a club is to break even, this is how we create the budget at the start of the season. We would love to reduce the subs but the long term sustainability of the club is important, and we won’t achieve that by making a loss every season. We have tried to provide a bit more background on our costs in this document.
Can we improve the bar service?
We have received mixed feedback on this. Some have said that they prefer draught beer, others have said that this makes the service slower and it would be better to only serve bottles at peak time. The University of Westminster run the bar so we are constrained by what they can offer together with their supplier. There is always going to be a queue immediately after games when 100 players descend on the bar at the same time. At times, items have been running out this season and we have raised this with the University.
Is there a club tour?
Historically there was a centrally organised club tour but more recently it has been teams making their own arrangements or working with one or two other sides. Perhaps we can work together a bit more in future seasons (see previous comment about vacancy for a club Social secretary). The committee are not involved in organising anything however we do know there is a tour to Amsterdam on the last weekend in May. This is a full 11 a side football tournament on the Saturday and Sunday with teams from all over Europe. After the football, you can take your pick from Amsterdam’s many attractions.
We have in the past entered more than one Poly team and everyone connected to the club is welcome to attend. The majority of those attending are flying out on the Friday morning although there are others flying over on the Saturday morning. If you would like more information, please talk to Keith Johnston or Laurence Spear. Once you have booked, please ensure you inform Keith or Laurence either directly or through your team captain, then we will be able to ensure we enter the right number of sides in the tournament. Please let us know by March 15th. Just to be clear, we will organise entering of the teams in the tournament and playing shirts. Everything else should be managed individually – flights, accommodation etc.
If there are other tours that are open to additional attendees then we are happy to help publicise the details to the wider membership, please talk to Keith or Laurence in the first instance.
Why don’t we have sponsors?
We are open to more sponsorship within the Club. In the past we have found it difficult because of the limited time of committee members to pursue this. We would be open to ideas from anyone who thinks they could help contact local companies and pitch the club to them.
How are the pitches allocated?
We tend to allocate the highest home team to the first team pitch and the second highest to the Railway pitch. Some teams prefer to play on the smaller pitches and their captains specifically request one of the other pitches. We feel that the principle of the highest team playing on the first team pitch is correct as this is a tool we use to encourage players to play at the highest level they are capable. It is also the expectation of the league and other clubs. We would be open to giving the lower sides the chance to play on the Railway pitch if they have not done so already this season. The railway pitch is of roughly comparable size to the first team pitch and is not on a slope. Please ask your captain to raise this if you are interested.
How can we move players up to higher teams?
If you feel you are not getting the opportunity to play at the highest level you are capable, please talk to Laurence Spear who is the Chairman of Selectors. Similarly, if you have identified someone who is obviously playing for too low a side. In general, we feel most of the sides in the club are competitive in their divisions although it is never going to be perfect. It is noticeable that many of our competitors have dropped several sides in recent years and we need everyone in the club to take an active role in recruiting new players for the club, not just their individual team.
Can we do something in memory of Terry Buckland?
Yes, we are considering how best to do this and will make an announcement soon.