Supporters’ Forum notes

Notes from the latest Supporters’ Forum drop-in session…

August 2023

The Drop-In on Thursday, August 3 was attended by 18 people plus 22 via the YouTube link. Members of the Supporters’ Forum Committee attending were Phil Tooley, Marcia Bigg, Paul Goodwin, Adam Collins, Nigel Goodlad and CFC CEO John Croot. The main agenda item was away travel. 

The Supporters’ Forum Committee meeting on Saturday, August 5 was attended by CFC director Paul Stankard, CFC company secretary Pete Whiteley, Adam Collins, Marcia Bigg, Phil Tooley, Nigel Goodlad, Mark Barton and Paul Goodwin. Apologies were received from John Church, Neil Kerry, Luke Searston and John Croot. 

The notes below cover the two meetings as a whole plus reference to issues that arose later on Saturday 5 August at the match against Dorking Wanderers. 

Away Travel

It was noted that the club’s True Blue Travel organisers and the Barrel Inn Travel Club had already started liaising about the season and, for games unlikely to attract great numbers on coaches, will pool resources to ensure fans who wish to travel will be able to and work towards eliminating, or at least minimising, any losses. 

Additionally, Luke Searston had previously volunteered to compile information on away grounds which will be posted on the club’s website to help Spireites away fans. This will be used for the AFC Fylde match for the first time. This discussion brought out the fact that when we are at Fylde, it’s also the Blackpool Air Show (250,000 visitors last year) and Sunderland are also playing at Preston. For the Aldershot trip, it’s the Bournemouth Airshow, which also attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors. 

Paul Goodwin pointed out that since Covid, coach operators had shrunk their fleets and price increases had been made, so adding extra coaches at short notice will be difficult. Fans are being urged to book as early as possible 

One attendee at the Drop-In asked if (for visits with limited away allocations, such as Oxford City), people who want to book on the coach, but aren’t season ticket holders, therefore not able to access tickets in the first wave, could be given ticket priority. This will be considered but is unlikely to be pragmatic. 

Car Sharing was debated and whilst this happens informally on message boards and social media, it will be considered on a more formal basis, but any official club initiative would need to ensure safeguarding was in place, which could include needing to know details of participants, so the club’s customer number could potentially be used. This initiative, whilst welcomed, could require substantial discussion to be made safe if done officially. 

Issues about accessibility at Aldershot (big hill) and Bromley (continual walking in front of area) were also raised and these will be sought to be addressed with the host clubs at the appropriate times. 

It was also mentioned about, when physical tickets (rather than virtual or print at home) are issued, such as for Oxford, people who live away from Chesterfield cannot easily collect and, due to experiences of lost or late tickets in the past, the club does not want to post out. It was decided that any such supporters, if they email [email protected] at least two days in advance, a solution will be designed to suit. 

John Croot pointed out he had written to every NL club about away ticket allocation for CFC trips, indicating that they should not put on sale via their own website until Chesterfield FC is notified and able (if necessary) to put priorities on the tickets. He added no other club had written to CFC and that already, tickets had been put on sale by clubs for CFC supporters without consultation. 


Issues raised at previous Forum meetings had made it clear that the tannoy system was a problem. This led to work to investigate the existing system and a number of connections had become a problem and were fixed in the summer. All speakers had been individually decibel tested and met the requirements. However, there remained issues in pre-season games so further work with microphones and master settings will take place and, at the Dorking game, a major test with personnel being allocated in each area being contacted during the afternoon for reporting back the audibility of announcements. 


This has become a major issue, with supporters concerned with many aspects of the club’s offering. Price, quality and queuing were all discussed at length. Unfortunately, the existing physical design of the serving area negates some elements supporters had suggested, such as cooking (rather than warming, extraction problems) and pre-pouring drinks (space issue). 

Whilst it is clear that the concourses are being used in huge numbers, Director Paul Stankard has indicated that customer experiences will be taken into account in a club review. 

The bare walls of the concourses was also mentioned, and a plan to improve this element will be put together. 

It has been accepted that a tuck-shop selling sweets (in the manner of the Brampton Brewery offering, with a separate cash based stand) needs to be added to the family stands, so a potential partner will be sought; any potential vendors are asked to contact [email protected]. 

A suggestion made earlier to remedy the issue that small boys cannot reach the urinals will see a stepped area built in each Gents toilet area, with a target of being ready for the Oldham game being set. 

It was also suggested that, for Stoma Bag users, it would be useful to put a coat hook, mirror and shelf in the accessible toilets. This principle has been accepted by the club and a discussion with the Trust’s Accessible Expert will be arranged and appropriate measures taken. Along with this area, seeing if a quiet area (likely to be near the East Stand Wheelchair Bay at the back of the Stand) is practical, with the possibility of a TV showing the game in there in the event of any supporter needing such a space. 

Several supporters and concourse staff have indicated that some people were verbally abusing concourse staff. The club has a zero tolerance policy and ABC (Anti-Social Behaviour Contract) in place and it was noted that two supporters have been placed on this watch-list already. 

East Stand Queues

This issue was raised ahead of the Dorking game and a video about phone tickets was put out by the club. The design of paper tickets is being looked at to ensure users know how to fold them in advance. Additionally, the club will consider the use of a hand held scanner or similar. 

One issue raised AFTER the Dorking game was asking why only one exit door was open and one remained closed. This has been put to the club. 

Fan Zone

This suggestion has been debated by the club and a solution has been debated. It is expected that an announcement will be made towards the end of August. 

Artificial Pitch

After many issues, the proposed pitch at Stand Road is currently going through planning having been submitted. 

Club Response to phone and emails

Several examples of poor communications were brought up, including not responding to phone messages and emails. The club will be reviewing this area, looking at every email address (fans@, hello@ etc) and ensuring individuals have responsibility for dealing with them, and they are also set to look at the phone system which appears to not be as flexible as required.

Also, the issue of fans’ shirt sponsorship was raised. Last season, one sponsor was just handed their shirt with no certificate or signature and they were not asked if they wanted to go again this season. This area and similar issues are being incorporated into a review of communications as a whole. 

At the last forum, the Buy a Brick scheme was mentioned in similar vein, and that led to a communication being put out. 

North Stand

Lots of messages were received after the Dorking game (and after the Forum meetings) about season ticket holders (and other day ticket holders) not being able to sit in the seats they had bought. These concerns have been forwarded to the club and the Forum expects a full explanation of the reasons to be forthcoming. 

Other Issues

  • The old scoreboard is no longer functional so cannot be used
  • The club will look at whether goal replays could return to the Big Screen
  • Lack of Open Day; Phil Tooley will look at a possible event at the start of next season
  • Website links, several not working. This will be looked at
  • Rainbow Spireites will be asked to attend future forum meetings
  • Programme Fair; Nigel Goodlad will look at possible events
  • Hall of Fame was suggested; this will be considered

Next Drop-In Forum will be at 7pm on Thursday, September 7,  2023