CUSP Meeting Notes: November 2023

The latest notes from the recent Cambridge United - Cambridge United Supporters' Panel meeting can now be viewed...

Club Attendees: Alex Tunbridge, Gareth Daniels, Dan Branowsky, David Matthew-Jones

CUSP Attendees: Chris Neild, David Burkett, Philip Saich, Ben Payne, Nigel Browne, Gina Parkin, Daniel Rivers, Chris Casey, Ben Phillips, Mark Cawdery 

Apologies: Wendy Glancy, Danielle Foster, Mark Gordon 


CUSP comment

Club response

CUSP Surveys



Overall result

The overall customer experience rating is high which indicates most people are happy with their trip to the Abbey.

The first CUSP survey had 100 responses and numbers have declined since – CUSP is seeking to get wider awareness of the survey in future. The Club appreciate the detail that’s being provided. A first-time fan attending also receives an email from the Club beforehand with information and a follow up email after the game. The Club is having around 300 first time fans per game

this season.


What actions from the club has the

feedback driven?

The Club has shared all the results with staff

and caterers so issues can be addressed.

EFL survey

Did the club have any involvement in setting the questions?

How does the club get sent the results? Presume they will be shared with fans?

The EFL produced the survey for all clubs, but specific feedback is only provided if there are more than 200 respondents for a club.




Add-on costs

Some individuals have tried to buy at the ticket offices but been told to go online. This means a card handling fee and postage cost. Can we understand why these cost what they do?

The Club was ‘ahead of the game’, in selling upcoming away matches before the physical tickets were available, so they were online only. In general the Club request seating layouts and encourage on-line purchase for away games so that any lost/duplicate tickets can be replaced.

Postage is charged at a little above cost and the 50p booking fee is the lowest in League One, aside from one club which doesn’t charge. The 50p booking fee has been the

same since 2014 when the system was introduced.


Main stand is hard to find if fans come to club shop or Kids’ Zone. Can we look to get some more signage near the ticket office?

There will be changes to the frontage in the summer of 2024 and signage will be reviewed and refreshed. There is currently a sign at the entrance to the car park to help

fans navigate.

Main stand

Main stand tickets: the wording on the ticket isn’t clear as to exactly where seat is. Seat row is as prominent as the block.

This has been addressed.


Can you clarify if unaccompanied means under 14 or 14 and over? Seems stewards are unclear. Is this an EFL recommendation we are following or club decision? How do we deal with those who are younger? If we deny them access at the turnstiles who is responsible for them?

The rule is that under 14s (so 13 and below) must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Safeguarding policies around this are in place, and work is being done to stop the purchasing of tickets by underage fans. The Club will make this policy as prominent as

possible on the ticketing website (nb: 80% of the Club’s ticket sales are online currently).


How has the club decided what age to allow a discount? Seems to vary for different clubs (we are 64, Oxford, Charlton

are 65 but Stevenage is 60)

Historically this was in line with the retirement age and there are no plans to change this at this stage.




CUSP comment

Club response




Overall quality

Variable still

Work continues to try to make improvements in this area. There are regular discussions with the caterers on issues.

Multiple queues

With the kiosks selling different things, if a family want to get (say) a pie, a burger and a beer, they need to queue up three times. Can we look at what is available at each


All menus are now consistent across all outlets so perhaps items had simply sold out on these occasions. The Club is up 4% on catering transaction numbers since

September and 16% since last season.

Queuing/Card machines

At kiosks (NRE particularly) there seem to be more staff than machines which adds to the queuing time. Can we (a) look to have more machines and/or (b) at half time redeploy the programmes seller machines

to the catering kiosks?

The Club have recruited 15 permanent catering staff to improve levels of service and efficiency.

Card machines

We have been made aware of a number of errors in the amount being charged by the operator. There is currently no facility for the card readers to process a refund. How can we deliver this?

There are 48 card machines around the ground. The card provider is currently not enabling refunds due to changes in legislation, but the Club is pressuring them to offer this. The hope is that this will be resolved early in the new year at the latest.


Portion sizes for the same thing aren’t always the same across the ground.

This relates to South Habbin where an outside caterer has had a unit to cope with increased demand. A new food unit which will be run by the Club is now in place and therefore, this shouldn’t happen moving forward.

Stock levels of non food items

Seem to run out of things (e.g. hot drink

lids, cows milk etc). Who checks stock levels of these before each game?

The caterers check so this should not

happen unless there is a particular demand on a day.


Bottled water is seen as expensive

Water was the only product for which the 2022 price was held for this season, and free drinking water is available.

Walking sales

Could we consider having someone walking to sell crisps, chocolate, soft drinks

around the perimeter? Kids focussed stuff

This would not be permitted by the Safety Advisory Group.

Half time

Does the club have any plans to further improve the half time process

The Club will continue to look at this.

Alternate vendors

Is there any plan to pilot ‘street food’ vendors to supplement the current offering

This is not feasible with the current ground setup due to space and access.

Disabled fans



‘Safe space’

Are there plans to create one for fans who have issues with being in a large, noisy crowd

The ground is bursting at the seams and the only space currently is a small one behind the away dugout which is regularly sold out. A facility for this will be included in the new ground plans.

Away end

There is nowhere under cover for them currently. We used to offer poncho’s or similar. Can we reinstate. Is there a longer-

term plan?

Ponchos and umbrellas are available, but cover is not possible.

ST holders




Can we consider special offers or thanks to them and communicate club plans/developments to them as a group (not all read FB, X etc)

The Club will consider this but feel that the real value for STHs is in the pricing. External partners offering discounts could possibly be introduced. The Club focuses heavily on

under 12s to build their loyalty.





We note there are now signs advising where fans should report issues

Also, a matchday cleaner has been appointed covering bins, toilets, etc.


Still seen as not ideal across a lot of the areas

This is work in progress and major refurbishments are not planned with the forthcoming stadium redevelopment on the





CUSP comment

Club response





Still seem to be inconsistent approaches adopted around the ground (and within the same area). Can we understand the overall policy here

This is operated ‘stand by stand’ based on the risk assessment of the game. Within this, the Club aims to search all fans, and in the same manner, but with the number of agency stewards (c70%), this leads to some inconsistency. The Club would welcome further

feedback on the manner/vigour of searching.

Away area



General feedback

We are getting very positive feedback from away supporters on the customer experience compared to what they are used to elsewhere (and at home). Can we get an update on plans for


Shelving and seating have now been installed.





How many are we selling each game Is it now profitable?

The programme now turns a small profit every game.

Club crest




Can we get an update on next steps. What is the plan for the consultation process and when will it start?

Communication on the badge will be issued just before Christmas and there will be a 7-8 month period of consultation including junior and senior supporters as it was felt that these groups were under-consulted. The process will be more interactive with stakeholders being encouraged to interact with the new design(s) in real life rather than just on screen.


Can we get more granularity on the results from the survey

The Club feels it’s been very open with the survey results.




Ground development plans

When can we expect to hear more on this? Will there be any opportunity for fans to comment on the layout?

Further updates with imagery will be provided in late January with a six-month consultation to follow.

Golden Share




Can we get an update on progress with this?

This is drafted. The Club is waiting on final Government guidance, upon which it will be shared with the Shadow Board and then issued.




The Peterborough home game – away fans

Given we were not allocated any seats behind the goal at the recent away game, will the Club be doing the same to them for our home game?

The Club will commence planning for the fixture in the New Year, this will be based upon learnings from last season's fixture as well as any relevant intelligence at the time.

All plans will be made in conjunction with the Safety Advisory Group with the safety of supporters being the primary focus.

To comply with EFL a regulation 10% of the overall stadium capacity must be allocated to away supporters which must also include an element of covered seating. Combining both terrace and seating for this fixture provides several operational and safety challenges therefore, it is unlikely that an allocation in the

South Habbin would be feasible.

Remembrance Day v Peterborough

Why did we not wear shirts with poppies or the black armbands with poppies for the Peterborough match?

The Club’s Remembrance Day match was the previous weekend, but the Club acknowledges that, in addition to the Club’s involvement in the pre-match Remembrance events, the armbands should also have been worn by the players for the match. This was an error and will not

happen in future.


When will Marvin return?

The Club is still recruiting, and applications are welcomed.

The next meeting will be held at 18.30 on 15 February 2024.