(Above - FSF Cymru and players encourage fans to Wear Red For Wales)
FSF Cymru met with the Football Association Wales on Monday 3rd August 2015, at the Cardiff City Stadium, to talk national team matters. If you have any queries which aren't answered below contact FSF Cymru's Paul Corkery via firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @corkyfsfcymru. Read on...
- Cyprus - tickets and general discussion
FSF Cymru: When will the Israel tickets be sent out? Some people will be going to Cyprus early and would need their tickets before they left as many are arriving home just in time for the Israel game.
FAW: Football Association Wales: Wales v Israel tickets will start to be posted out from the 10th August and this task should be completed by the end of that week.
If Cyprus is oversubscribed will the points system for the second group of applicants be applied?
No, only 500 tickets have been sold to date to the priority members and it is estimated no more than 2,500 will apply from the 10th August meaning 3,000 in total and not exceeding the allocation.
How will it be at the stadium?
They are used to boisterous fans having hosted home nations teams before but they have zero tolerance when it comes to drugs. They can be prone to arresting very drunk supporters and detaining them for 24 hours but hopefully the atmosphere will be good at the stadium.
And what about ex-pats or military who’d like to attend?
If they apply for membership when it reopens later this month and there are any tickets left Lucy (FAW Ticketing and Membership Manager) will consider each application but it’s more likely that they will apply for tickets in the home ends.
- Bosnia - tickets and general discussion
When will the Bosnia intent of interest to travel email be sent out?
This email will be sent out in the next week in order to gauge how many members are planning to travel to Bosnia, the results of which will determine what criteria is used to sell tickets. Members will not be penalised for not replying to the email but are asked to reply to it ONLY if they intend travelling to Bosnia.
When are Bosnia tickets going on sale?
The FAW are making a final trip out to the stadium on the 18th of this month, the match will definitely be played in Zenica. They are asking for a bigger allocation of tickets for the Welsh fans. Tickets will be put on sale soon after their return from Bosnia.
Will the tickets go on sale whilst fans are in Cyprus?
Possibly in advance of the trip but fans should not worry because the criteria that will be put in place will protect them.
What criteria is being used to decide which level of membership are likely to get the tickets, after the three continuous membership (1500) used for Cyprus caused concern from many members as taking into account the amount of away games members had been to?
As soon as we return from Bosnia with final allocation numbers, we will use the email survey that we are sending out to see exactly how many are likely to apply for tickets and then go from there but we can say that we will use membership and ticket purchase history to determine who gets first opportunity and work back from there.
- Membership and points system
When will the new memberships for the 2018 campaign be available? Will it be the end of this year or beginning of next year?
New membership for the World Cup 2018 qualifying campaign will be available from around March 1st 2016.
Will it also be a requirement to get tickets for Euro 2016 and, if so, will that mean that the 2010 membership will be dropped?
No, the new membership WC 2018 will not be considered for Euro 2016 ticket applications.
Can we keep it at the current prices? We believe that membership numbers will rise next campaign and the data that creates is more valuable than the cash, although a great deal of cash will still be raised through membership even at the current prices.
Membership prices will be looked at and discussed but the final decision will be made by the FAW, hopefully towards the end of this year.
Will all the points that supporters have accrued be available to members? Many are confused about the system at present.
Lucy said she wants to move away from the points system and concentrate on membership and purchase history but a review meeting will take place within the FAW at the end of this campaign to decide the right way forward. It was also suggested that the FAW produce a supporters charter that will be transparent with clear guidelines regarding ticket criteria as well as other matters that affect supporters, hopefully the fans can have some input in the creation of that charter.
- Euro 2016 France information from Fans Congress (Belfast)
France has accepted the Fan Embassy project and, dependant on funding, it is hoped that at least half the countries participating will operate a Fan Embassy. We have been working on this for nearly a year now and have an office at the Parc de France and a conference planned in November. Accommodation costs and availability will be an ongoing discussion leading up to the tournament. Police and the way of working they adopt in France, no special training regime is planned ahead of the Euro 2016 and there is concern from fans about this. We hope that advice will be accepted from the Football Supporters Europe, supporters themselves and possibly foreign police forces to promote a friendly and safe tournament for everyone. There will be a lack of intercity buses and trains are expected to be fully booked up so transport is another issue in advance of the tournament. Can the FAW and police get fully involved with planning meetings in France should we qualify?
Although it is presumptuous to assume we have qualified fans can be assured that the British Police and FAs will be attending plenty of meetings in advance of the tournament where concerns can be brought to the table.
- Home games
How are ticket sales going?
Israel has sold out and more than 30,000 tickets have been sold for Andorra. Israel initially asked for their full allocation in the away end but if they don’t sell the 2,100 tickets, some may become available to Welsh fans, if security and segregation measures permit.
Are we going to have the same intensity in the build up to the games in the way the ground was made to look and the way the atmosphere was created?
Absolutely! Anything else would be a backward step and we want to make the whole day a great occasion for the fans to enjoy.
What extra measures are being put in place for the Israel game?
There will be one extra check of bags and persons outside the stadium and 120 additional stewards on duty plus extra police. There are reports of a peaceful pro-Palestine march in the city but that will not be allowed within the perimeter of the stadium and organisers will be made aware of what they can and can’t do.
All fans are requested to support their teams and not bring any political or offensive banners into the stadium, these persons found will be ejected and could face future banning orders; it will also impact on Wales if UEFA officials witness anything like this inside the stadium.
It’s important that fans are reminded to respect the national anthems. The Bosnian FA has recently been fined by UEFA for disruption of the Israeli anthem during their match in June.
Also if we were to win the match and qualify PLEASE DO NOT INVADE THE PITCH! Even a friendly invasion will be seen as a violation of UEFA rules and it will do us no favours. Come to support Wales and help get the three points.
- World Cup 2018
Early thoughts on which venues are likely to be chosen?
Most people within the FAW are happy to stay at the current stadium for the next campaign and the team and Chris Coleman has also expressed this desire very strongly in a recent interview.
Will the FAW take the draw into account when deciding ticket prices for WC qualifying campaign? Ireland aside, it’s not a particularly attractive group in terms of the opposition. We have fantastic pricing currently in place and a huge rise would be counterproductive now we have built up support. A fair pricing structure, especially for tournament tickets and concessionary members would be acceptable and appreciated by the members.
Pricing has been incredibly cheap and successful in building up a much bigger fan base, as well as the success on the field of play, and pricing will be discussed at various levels over the next few months. The final decision will be made by the FAW International Committee but we will be making recommendations.
- Any other business
Programmes - it was noted that these were not available for sale until 5.30pm at the Belgium game...
It was agreed that two and a quarter hours was enough time in advance but the FAW offered to let Cardiff City Supporters’ Club have 400 programmes to sell earlier at the next two home games. It was also noted that there was again a poor take up of the programme from fans. This has been the same for a number of years now, only 3,000 of the 9,000 printed were sold and this is something that the FAW are looking at. Maybe the future could be online programmes, but they will keep producing them for the time being.
Could the FAW and Chris Coleman appeal to the supporters to wear red for Wales in Cyprus and Bosnia?
Yes, we would love to see a sea of red behind the goals at both the remaining away games and all home games and Chris will make an appeal to the fans.
Neil Dymock asked us to raise the issue of former players attending games with the fans as ambassadors of the FAW to mingle in with the away fans on away trips. He has two in mind for Cyprus - Andy Legg and Gary Lloyd - and we will provide accommodation but wondered if the FAW could arrange transport for this?
This will be discussed back at the FAW and a decision made quickly, it sounds like a good idea and maybe we could take it forward to more away games in the future with other former players.
It was asked if Chris Coleman would take part in a question and answer session at the Cardiff Stadium in the autumn, with cheap tickets put on sale and any proceeds going to the FAW charity?
Ian Gwyn Hughes agreed to arrange this and reiterated the fact that any groups that can raise enough numbers can request a visit by the Wales manager to their town.
Merchandise - Ian Davis, FAW’s Head of Commercial & Marketing, was not present to answer questions but merchandise concerns will be directed to him and his answers will be made public, also there are obligations that are in place in relation to contracts with Adidas and JD Sports which have to be considered. The questions asked/points made by FSF Cymru were:
- There are no women’s kits available and a general difficulty in fans obtaining the kits, is it possible that Adidas can put them on sale at the Cardiff and Swansea stadiums, which are both Adidas outlets?
- Could general Welsh merchandise (e.g. hats, scarfs, training gear, leisure wear) be more readily available to supporters? When you type in “shop” on the website, it takes you to JD Sports. Is there any way we can have our own bespoke shop both online and in City centres/Welsh football grounds?
- The standard of the portable shops available on matchdays is poor and needs improving and, generally, we feel that the FAW could be making lots of money from merchandise if they changed the way they work. This money could help keep tickets at reduced prices and be put towards other FAW projects instead of being lost to unlicensed vendors who are making great profit from the current popularity of Welsh merchandise.
Present at the meeting:
- Lucy Mason - FAW Ticketing and Membership Manager
- Ian Gwyn Hughes - FAW Head of Public Affairs and Stakeholder Management
- Robert Dowling - FAW New Media and Publications Manager
- Wayne Nash - FAW Security and Cardiff City Stadium Head of Operations
- Wayne Palmer - South Wales Police
- Simon Chivers - South Wales Police
- Paul Corkrey - FSF Cymru
- Alyson Rees - Wales supporter
- Colin Lewis - Wales supporter