Calling all Evertonians: Here's your chance to shape your club's future
Fans' Forum is recruiting
From building a statue of Goodison’s Holy Trinity, ticket pricing, having an input on kits and even the colour of the goal nets, Evertonians are finding they can make a real impact on Blues issues through the Fans’ Forum.
The Forum is currently recruiting for new members so if you fancy making a change you can now get involved – the deadline is on October 14 – and ensure you take a proactive role in making supporters’ voices heard rather than just moaning on the internet or to your mates in the pub when you don’t like something.
That’s what Nick Mernock did and he’s now chair of the Everton Fans’ Forum.
Nick said: “I saw an advert on the Everton website like the one we’re currently using, I was inquisitive and thought I’d have a dabble.
“At the time the Fans’ Forum was taking a bit of a kicking in that it was seen as being guilty by association over the unpopular badge change.
“I’ve held the chairmanship for 18 months now and have another 12 months to go.
“We wanted the Forum to become a focal point for Evertonians. Over the past 18 months the club has really started to engage with us and work with us as a communication channel.”
Have you taken your child to Goodison Park recently for a fiver? Well you’ve got the Fans’ Forum to thank for that – along with several other pricing initiatives.
Nick said: “We pushed hard on ticket pricing which is a key issue for me because I believe that Everton have got to remain affordable.
“Mid-range concessions for those aged 18-22 were important because it’s at that age that mum and dad usually stop paying for things for you but you might be at university or on an apprenticeship and not earning much.
“We had a disagreement over Europa League ticket prices a couple of years ago because we thought they could be sold as a batch to guarantee a reasonable price and decent gate for each game but the club wanted to take a step by step approach, presumably building for a crescendo at the end.
“We asked for the prices to be pegged back for the Dynamo Kiev game as we felt that around £28 for a Thursday night game when people have work and other commitments was too much.
“Although hindsight is a wonderful thing, the gate was probably about 10,000 light and those extra numbers could have made the difference for the team.
“The £5 tickets for kids for the EFL Cup games this season was something we felt was important. If we get a home draw in the FA Cup third round we’re hoping to do the same.
“Reasonable pricing for the League Cup semi-final first leg against Manchester City last season was also something we negotiated.”
Former Everton striker Graeme Sharp next to his Goodison Greats pillar
Away from Goodison Park, Everton’s large away following also throws up issues for travelling fans as Nick explains.
He said: “A hot topic at the moment is the distribution of away tickets. Currently there is a system in which they are sold on a credit basis on previous attendance at away games.
“Whereas some people think that’s fair because those who have proven their commitment in the past are rewarded, others see it as preventing them from getting their foot on the first rung of the ladder and believe we should make a percentage of them available through a ballot.
“It’s quite split down the middle as to whether we should make a change.
“One thing we are noticing though with the £30 cap on the price of away tickets is that some opposition clubs are not willing to allocate us with as many tickets because they can sell them to their own fans at an increased price.
“The last time Burnley were in the Premier League a couple of seasons ago they gave us the whole end but we’ll be getting fewer tickets this time.”
Kits are always an important issue for fans and whereas many of Everton’s Premier League rivals were bringing their new strips out at the start of the summer, Blues often had to wait several weeks before their replica shirts arrived.
Nick said: “We’ve managed to make a breakthrough on the distribution of replica kits because the service we were getting through Kitbag was poor.
“Previously the kits weren’t coming out until the end of August and the sun had gone in.
“We’re also hoping to get fan input into one of our kits in the future when it comes to design.
“We’ve had honest communications with the club over the merchandising after getting some rather frank feedback from fans who told us they wouldn’t be seen dead in some of the things that used to be sold in the shop.”
Looks aren’t just important to supporters themselves but also to both the interior of Goodison Park and the surrounding area and building a second statue outside ‘The Grand Old Lady’ to complement the one of Dixie Dean has been something the Fans’ Forum have worked hard to make happen.
Nick said: “The Holy Trinity statue has been a big project for us and we’ve now reached the stage where we were able to show the designs to Colin Harvey who told us he was very pleased with how it looked.
“We’ve also brought a new look to the branding inside the stadium and within the concourses of Goodison Park having asked fans who their icons were.
“The ‘wrap’ around the external part of the ground is part of a tidy up, not a concern that we’re not moving grounds. I think Mr Moshiri has the mindset that if we’re going to be here for another three or four years then we should be in pleasant surroundings.”
Everton Fans' Forum members with one of the new concourse designs inside Goodison Park.
Nick believes that prominent Everton employees now treat the Fans’ Forum seriously and is pleased with the strides they continue to make.
He said: “People at the club speak to me and I’m in communication with Robert Elstone (Chief Executive), Richard Kenyon (Director of Marketing and Communications) and Mo Maghazachi (Senior Press and Public Relations Manager).
“We’re holding regular events now for fans like quizzes and evenings with the likes of Tony Bellew and supporters get a night out and we’ll ask them what their issues are and what they’d like to see changed.
“The club have really bought into it and we work a lot closer with them now. We meet the club once a month and the agenda is always full.
“We want the Forum to encompass the whole fan experience and take a holistic approach.”
So if you like what you’ve read, now is the time to have a go.
Nick said: “There are a real diverse number of issues to get your teeth sunk into. We found there was a big movement to return to white goal nets as opposed to the blue ones that were being used with supporters appreciating some traditional values while we’ve done initiatives around food and drink such as four pints for £12.
“We’re also able to work with fans on external issues such as holding Halloween and Christmas parties for under-privileged children and to their credit the players always turn up.
“We’ve also had a North Liverpool Food Bank with a dozen or so crates of food passing through the Park End on match days.
“We want to be representative of the fan base and we’re looking for four more people who have ideas and are energetic. Try and think where could you make a difference?”
Evertonians who would like to become part of the Fans’ Forum can fill in an application form on the club’s website. The deadline for the current recruitment is on October 14.
Evertonians are invited to apply to become members of the Club’s official Fans’ Forum.
Four Evertonians are being sought to serve a three-year term on one of the most active and engaged Fans’ Forums in the Premier League.
The new members chosen will replace existing Fans’ Forum members who have served their tenure.
The Forum, which meets monthly, helps shape Club policy on fan-related matters as well leading on a number of club/fan-related projects. Over the past year, projects the Fans’ Forum have been involved with have included helping to set ticket prices, improving the matchday experience, helping to design new branding and signage around Goodison Park, devising and delivering fan events, leading on the new Holy Trinity Statue, providing feedback for the Premier League’s Away Fan Initiative and making improvements and contributions to the matchday programme.
For this intake of new Forum members, the group is seeking creative and dynamic individuals who will be available to meet monthly as well as get involved in individual project groups that meet their interests.
Nick Mernock Chair of the Everton Fans’ Forum said: “Supporters are the lifeblood of any football club and this is a great opportunity for Everton fans to get involved, share their views and ideas with the Club’s decision makers and help their fellow Blues in the process.
“We’re seeking fans who can help continue to take the Forum forward as we build on a successful 12 months. The coming year is an important one for the Forum as we work alongside the Club to deliver the Holy Trinity Statue, the new branding of the concourses around the stadium and beginning to work with Club retail partner Fanatics on new ranges designed by fans for fans.
“I would urge all passionate Blues – from all walks of life – to apply and make a difference to the Club.”
To learn more about the work of the Forum please read the terms of references which can be found here.
To apply, simply complete the application form below, explaining why you would make a suitable candidate.
The closing date for applications is Friday 14 October at 5pm and all applications are greatly appreciated.
Post by Everton News. on Jul 28, 2017 20:12:10 GMT
Everton will once again be supporting Liverpool Pride this Saturday, in conjunction with its LGBT Supporter’s Club, the Rainbow Toffees, and the Everton Fans’ Forum is inviting fellow Blues to get involved!
Liverpool Pride has become the region’s established annual celebration of all things LGBT and this year’s theme is international love, complimenting the city’s wider 50 Summers of Love Festival – celebrating 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality.
The Everton Fans’ Forum is calling on Blues to support the march, which takes place on Saturday 29 July and begins at St George’s Plateau at approximately 12pm. Everyone is encouraged to embrace the spirit of the day by sporting bright colours, alongside their Everton gear.
Nick Mernock, Chair of the Fans’ Forum, said: “Liverpool Pride’s popularity grows year on year and it always makes me immensely proud to see Everton support the event.
“Football is something that brings us all together, no matter sexual orientation or faith, and Saturday is our chance to celebrate that. We hope that Blues can join up for the march and show how Everton, The People’s Club, is there for all.”
If you’d liked to get involved in the march, simply turn up on Saturday 29 July, 12pm, at St George’s Plateau and meet up under the Everton banner.