Women's Supporters' Board Meeting - 6 October 2020
On Tuesday 6 October, members of the Women’s Supporters’ Board (WSB) met with senior members of staff at the Club to discuss the recent pilot event, behind closed doors fixtures and the Club’s preparations for the return of supporters to West Ham United women’s matches.
At the meeting, the WSB members raised their feedback from the pilot event, their experiences of the new home ground, Dagenham & Redbridge Stadium, and were also asked for their feedback on engaging fans while games continue without supporters present.
Here is a summary of the topics raised and discussed:
Reflection on the pilot event
The Club were proud to be able to host the first competitive football pilot event and would like to thank all supporters who attended for their cooperation and understanding of the measures that were in place on the day. The pilot event was an important opportunity for the Club to gain a better understanding of how games will work with social distancing measures in place. WSB members fed back on the ticketing experience, staffing, the facilities at Dagenham & Redbridge Stadium and the management of social distancing on the day. Their feedback will be added to the feedback received from Season Ticket Holders who have completed the post-match survey and used to inform our planning for the return of supporters, as well as working directly with the FA and governing bodies to assist with wider planning for fans return.
Behind closed doors fixtures
With confirmation that games will continue behind closed doors until further notice, the Club are currently exploring ways to ensure that West Ham United women’s supporters feel a part of matchday without being able to be there in person. WSB members were asked for any suggestions that they would like to see or ways to make sure they feel a part of every matchday. All Barclay’s FA WSL Fixtures, apart from those selected for broadcast, are shown for free on the FA Player, so fans do not have to miss a minute of the action. Following WSB member feedback, the Club are producing a guide to help fans access the FA Player, and the Supporter Services team will provide assistance to any fans who need it. Further fan initiatives include the digital matchday programme, which will be available online from 9am on the morning of our home fixtures from whufc.com, and physical copies can be purchased from our programme suppliers now. WSB members also suggested ideas for social content and player engagement, which will be explored by the Club.
Members of the WSB requested if their supporter flags could be displayed at Dagenham & Redbridge Stadium on home matchdays, to show fan support even though they cannot attend in person. The Club have now launched a flag initiative for women’s supporters to send their flags in to the Club, which will then be displayed on a match by match basis.
If you would like to display your flag, please find a guide on doing so here.
As games are being played without supporters present, all women’s Season Ticket Holders will be receiving an automatic match by match refund no more than 30 days after the game has taken place for any games they cannot attend due to COVID-19 measures. Season Ticket Holders will also be given the option to receive a refund in Club Cash, plus an extra 10% from the Club, which can be used towards next year’s season ticket, memberships or merchandise.
Actions from the meeting
- Staff to wear high-vis West Ham branded uniforms and name badges.
- West Ham United Supporter Services information tent to be in a prominent location outside Dagenham & Redbridge Stadium.
- Tickets to include map of Dagenham & Redbridge Stadium
- Programmes to be made available to purchase online, as well as the digital copy available for free.
- For games with social distancing measures in place, profile supporters to understand if seating or standing is appropriate.
- Explore possibility of installing Perspex screens and floor markers at the stadium entrances and assess clarity of floor markings around the ground.
- Assess car parking plans for Dagenham & Redbridge Stadium, and possibility for Season Ticket Holders to park on site.
- Create a how to guide for the FA Player and communicate this in the pre-match email.
- Explore possibility of virtual player event for Season Ticket Holders.
- Produce a ‘Meet the WSB’ page for the matchday programme and whufc.com.
- Assess the potential for a competition page in the matchday programme