Welsh Assembly government funding issues were raised and fans have asked why the WRU seem to get far more financial support than the national football team, Mark explained that this is not as big a difference as what it appears and Welsh football gets a lot of support in community initiatives and especially the Welsh football trust, but it was agreed that the FAW need to match the WRU in the work they put in to acquire grant funding. This is something that they are looking at and will be more proactive in the future.
We asked them to explain the benefits of the new centre at Newport and why that City was chosen over other venues especially those in north or mid Wales? It was explained that tenders were put out and the Newport city council pulled all the stops out to get the centre located in the city, the advantages of the M4 corridor will obviously be a plus point and it is hoped the centre will benefit Welsh football for many years to come. It will be a joint venture and the Football Association of Wales, Welsh Football Trust and Newport City Council aim to build the venue. The centre would develop the under-21, women's and younger age-group squads.
Membership issues and costs have been a constant irritation to the fans and we asked what the plans are for future membership schemes. Lucy suggested that they were looking at a lower price for renewals next year and fans can upgrade to Gold or Silver, the membership price will stay the same for new members and will always remain open until it reaches a level where the member benefits cannot be operated.
The data gathered from the membership scheme and from ticket sales to new customers in the kickback scheme must be put to good use and the FSF have put forward an expert in that field to meet with the marketing department later this month, hopefully progress can be made and marketing opportunities for the FAW can be improved.
One question asked by the fans is the terrible ranking position we find ourselves in and what is being done to improve this, it seems a silly question but Mark said that they were very concerned and plans were in place to get better quality friendly matches in the future, playing teams ranked below us was pointless and the other obvious answer was to help develop new Welsh talent and the Newport centre was part of that plan.
Concerns were raised amongst fans of the club rivalries raising their head at the England match and the fact three coach loads of fans were absent from the game after some problems in the city centre pre match…the FSF had received a letter via the human rights organisation "Liberty" from one of those fans that said he was refused the opportunity to see the game. Wayne said that the police were well aware of possible risk supporters entering the city and were well on top of everything…the fans mentioned were allowed access to a pub and were told that if they split up in to small groups they could continue on to the game but they decided against this and left the city.
Wayne also informed us that despite pre match concerns everyone was very pleased with the event day, over 100,000 fans had come into the capital and there were only 13 arrests in total and 8 of those was for ticket touting (part of an Olympic games police preparation initiative). There were minor scuffles in parts of the stadium but in general it was a good, safe event.
Neil Dymock brought up the Gol initiatives and explained about the fans' teams and the success they had been in bringing fans together. We have another fans tournament in Dublin next month and once again Carling has been outstanding in sponsoring the event.
Neil mentioned that the charity work had enabled them to arrange trips for 4 Montenegran Orphans to attend the Wales game against Montenegro and he also had plans for more orphans to attend the Welsh cup final, this is not a Gol initiative however but work done in conjunction with Llanelli FC. The FAW said that they would continue to support these ventures and supply signed shirts and raffle prizes to help fund raising.
The Bulgaria match is almost definitely in Sofia but still not confirmed, the last two home games will be played at the Liberty stadium and Cardiff City stadium (details available soon) there are thousands of vouchers sent out to clubs in the kickback scheme offering half price tickets for one of these games. Dublin prices have been confirmed..
The prices for the remaining Carling Nations Cup games have been confirmed today, 20 Euro each for our fans so we will sell at £18.00 each. We'd hoped there would be a concession for juniors for the May games but unfortunately there isn't. It's only for the ROI fans buying via general sale.
The FAW will get application forms sent out to Gold and Silver members in the next week or so, may take longer with the bank holidays
Road shows will continue with Jonathan Ford visiting many areas over the next few months.
We handed in some correspondence to Lucy, some good and some bad regarding the England tickets and the feedback will be taken into consideration…we then ended the meeting in agreement that it would be a good idea if more fans attended these regular meetings maybe from the other areas of Wales, anyone is welcome to come along but please e mail Mark Evans in advance.
information taken from Wales Away Yahoo group.