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Club News

CUSP Meeting Notes: September 2023

12 September 2023

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

Club Attendees: Alex Tunbridge, Gareth Daniels, Dave Matthew-Jones

CUSP Attendees: Chris Neild (Chair), David Burkett, (Vice Chair), Philip Saich (Secretary), Ben Payne, Nigel Browne, Daniel Rivers, Mark Gordon, Wendy Glancy, Gina Parkin


CUSP comment

Club response




Overall quality

Feedback continues to be mixed, although we have seen fewer specific complaints comments recently around the quality.

There is still the challenge of how the Club can deliver a high-quality catering service given the restrictions on the size of the units and the time frame to do it in.

No-one expected us to be experiencing an average attendance of 7,100 after the first few games, largely due to the increase in home supporters.

Having said that, the Main Stand sold out for most home games last season, so there shouldn’t be a lot of difference in that area. There are challenges in the NRE and Habbin North, while the Habbin South is an ongoing project.

The Main Stand Abbey Grill has been refurbished and the feedback is that it’s better than before, with more people being served. The NRE Fanzone is popular, and the Club is aware that more food outlets are needed. More hawkers have been put in to cope with demand for beer.

The Habbin North now has the Brewboard Bus which has eight taps. Tea Bar 4 has been reopened since the first game. There is a new food outlet for the Habbin South which should be up and running for Port Vale, along with new covers.

The umbrellas in the NRE have gone and have been replaced with similar coverings. The window of no home games is being used to address these issues.

There have been issues with the card machines and these were not WIFI related. The card provider were put on notice and moved the Club onto its own server, so things should be better now.


The Club is still working on staff training to improve speed of service and reduction of errors. There’s also a lack of cellar space for storage. Two new cellars are being added by Brewboard to keep the beer colder and to aid the speed of pouring. More than 10 new staff have been added to cope with demand, and more may be required.


Sales and transaction numbers are up significantly from 18 months ago, and the outlets may be at capacity. The marker will be where the Club is at by the end of October. There are also plans in place for next summer, which will be announced in due course.


Brewboard don’t have the brewery contract (which is with Adnams) so are one of a number of options available currently, and low alcohol beer is now available in all bars.


The overall investment in these initiatives is in six figures, and the Club welcomes contact over specific issues and the areas in which they arise, either via CUSP or direct to the Club. It should be remembered that the stadium and infrastructure are outdated and – in some cases – not really fit for purpose currently, but things need to be improved in a certain order.


This is now the main issue and is understandable with the increased attendance. Half time a particular pressure point with feedback that many people aren’t bothering to queue as they know they can’t get served in time.


Three potential solutions:

  • pay-in-advance tokens
  • separate queues for soft/hot drinks and alcohol
  • more pre-pour with a separate queue for collection of alcohol with a token


Could we trial them at a match in parts of the ground to see whether they work? The plan could be publicised in advance so that fans know that we’re trying different approaches to help solve the problem.

Card machines

Not always working. Can you update on the plans?

Card machines

We’ve been made aware of a number of errors in the amount being charged by the operators. We appreciate the customer should always check but can the operators be asked to make sure they show the screen to the customer before processing?


Is the intention that Brewboard products will be the sole alcohol offering or will we continue with Amstel etc?

Low alcohol

Understand an offering coming?




Sound level

The new system has improved things, but we are now getting feedback that the music pre-match and at half time is so loud that it makes holding a conversation difficult (especially NRE). Can we turn this down, and turn it up for announcements?

The tannoy volume is increased 20 minutes before kick off to help create an atmosphere. Prior to that it shouldn’t be above a certain decibel level, so further feedback is encouraged on this.





We’ve had issues raised about some blockages, toilet seats and lack of loo paper. We’re getting the full details as to where in the ground but wanted to understand what pre-match checks are done on this sort of thing. We’d also like to get some laminated sheets done for each of the toilets which highlight where issues can be reported duding ground opening hours.

With the increased attendances (89% capacity) there is extreme pressure on the toilets and plumbing. We have an old stadium and there are some issues (eg the size and age of the plumbing pipes) that won’t be fixed during the course of this season. The cleaning has been outsourced from 1 September and a Cleaning Supervisor is in place to check the toilets prior to matches. Some supporters like to flush interesting items down the toilets (eg T-shirts) on matchdays. Contact posters can be put up in the toilets to help fans report issues.





Update on any plans here for catering, covers etc?

The catering offering will be addressed next season and the covers are in place.

Main Stand



New covered areas

If we’re unable to increase the seating, could we have some signs asking that people give up their seat to the elderly/infirm (similar to those on the Tube)?

This is really just an area of etiquette and common sense.


Query from Block A as to if/when the seating will be upgraded?

Other projects are taking precedence over this currently.

Habbin (N&S)




Update on any plans here for catering, covers etc in North or South Habbin?

These should all be in place for the Port Vale game.

Split into two

Is this going to be standard this season?

Covered by a recent press release.

Fan zone

If we’re going to segregate the N and S, can we call the covered fan zone the N Habbin fan zone (not ‘the Habbin’).

Yes these have been installed.


Both N and S Habbin had big puddles in front of the entrance to the stand, so people got their feet wet getting in. Any update on remedial actions?

For some reason the gravel has disappeared from this area so this will be addressed shortly.

Ground exit

Could we open the gate between the N and S on the final whistle so that S Habbin fans can have an alternative exit (other than the one right at the end near the South Stand) and more can get out ahead of the away fans.

The Safety Officer will implement this for the next game and then review.

Away area



General feedback

We’re getting very positive feedback from away supporters on the customer experience compared to what they are used to elsewhere (and at home).

The focus is on home fans, but it’s all positive news regarding the away experience.

Seating / shelves

Can we get an update on plans here?

Lottery funding might be available to acquire seating. Shelving is potentially an issue as they may assist in climbing over the back wall.


We can’t ensure that away fans consult their own website, or ours, prior to visiting so we do need to find as many ways as we can to communicate that the stadium is cashless. Signs at the turnstiles are arguably too late but do make it clear. Helpers on programmes / catering do make cash sales in order to avoid losing the sale altogether though.

Any further thoughts here from the Club?

Communication goes out to away clubs regarding ours being a cashless stadium but we have no control over how this information is used.





General feedback around the programme appears positive including the new insert cards and stickers, which have worked well.


The major current issue is around lack of availability (we appreciate this may be the opposite issue to last season). We assume they are all being sold currently? Can we have an insight into how and when the print runs are decided? Could we be missing out on potential revenue? (Are surplus copies still used as signed giveaways at the Soccer Schools and/or for PR purposes ?)

The Ultimate U’s card folder has been launched. The programme print run has been adjusted to reflect increased attendances. Copies can also be purchased directly from Curtis Sport who produce the programmes. Any surplus programmes go to the Foundation.




Which games are on it?

There still appears to be some confusion around which matches can be watched on iFollow so could another statement be released clarifying this?

Any league match not kicking off at 3pm on a Saturday and not on Sky is available on iFollow. However, iFollow is available on a Saturday during international breaks. Sky matches (such as Burton away) and cup games are not available on iFollow.

EFL app

The app also only appears to offer the home club commentary rather than both home and away. Is this correct, and if it is can it be rectified?

This has been raised with the EFL Digital Team who are responsible for the Club/iFollow App





Can we get an update on progress with this?

This is progressing well. Workshops have been held with the Main Board, Shadow Board and Club staff. Communication around next steps will go out within the next week with a view to concluding everything by the end of September. There will be an opportunity for fans’ feedback, which will be considered by the Main Board and Shadow Board.

Supporters’ Club

We can see progress being made here and appreciate the messaging. Any updates?

A working party meeting was held on Monday 11th September and both parties feel that a way forward and verbal agreement can be reached by the end of October.

Ground development plans

When can we expect to hear more on this?

Golden Share

Can we get an update on progress with this?

The relevant paperwork has been prepared for consideration by the Main Board. This will then be circulated to the Shadow Board for rubber stamping.


Can turnstile opening times be made clear? We understand it’s 90 mins (so 1.30pm) for Saturdays and 75 mins (so 6.30pm) for midweek. Could this be messaged out?

The arrangement will be 90 minutes before kick-off on Saturdays and 75 minutes before kick-off midweek.

Women’s replica shirts

We understand this was too late for this season’s kit run. Can we confirm it will be there for 24/25 and if so, could a message go out about this so everyone’s aware.

The women’s replica shirt – and women’s fit shirts and potentially other retail garments – will be available next season.

In-house radio

Are there any plans for an in-house model like Peterborough? No appetite for this from the fan base.

The Club has a new contract with the BBC.


We understand that this is being addressed via the Foundation which is a good solution.

This is underway.


Is there a plan to upgrade these as part of the ground redevelopment? We’ve had feedback that the typeface is too small for some fans

Any Habbbin/NRE redevelopment would most likely include an improvement in the scoreboard provision.

Retail and ticketing

Any updates?

There are plans to create a new retail outlet and ticket office – more details will be released in due course.

Training ground

Any updates?

More news should follow on this in late September, including a video tour upon completion. The training ground should be occupied by mid-October.

The date of the next meeting will be Thursday 16 November at 18.30.

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