Dunfermline Athletic

Board Statement – Important Information for Supporters

Friday, 6th Jan 2017

Statement from the Chairman outlining changes to matchdays and ticket sales at East End Park.

On behalf of the Board of DAFC I would like to provide further information to our supporters. As ever, we believe it is important to keep our supporters updated of any changes, and explain why they are being made.

Before doing so, I would just like to thank all of our fans for their unbelievable support at both matches over the festive period. The 12th Man once again made a big difference in two very difficult matches. In particular, the travelling support we took to Kirkcaldy was fantastic and during the game my fellow Board Members and I remarked a few times how proud we were to be able to view the huge bank of Pars fans behind the goal, roaring the team on to victory.

ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES

Following the smoking ban, it has been permissible to use electronic cigarettes within the stands at East End Park. A number of other SPFL clubs had already taken the decision to ban electronic devices.

However, as from our next home game against St Mirren on 14 January, we ourselves will now need to ban electronic cigarettes from the stands. We have had a number of instances at recent matches whereby they have set off smoke alarms within the stadium. The smoke alarm system is not just a simple individual sensor, it is a linked system, because it is a sports stadium, and a specialist company need to reset it once it has been activated.

Therefore, we have no other option than to take this preventative measure and I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

NEW UNACCEPTABLE CONDUCT RULES
As highlighted before Christmas, the updated SPFL Unacceptable Conduct rules came into effect on 1 January 2017. I have already highlighted that all SPFL clubs are expected to take a robust approach to any unacceptable conduct, so I don’t want to repeat that message as such as it has been well documented already.

What I would like to outline is how these new Rules will impact upon our fan base when purchasing match day tickets in advance. However, before doing so I would like to emphasise to our supporters that DAFC was one of only four clubs who provided detailed feedback to the SPFL, in advance of the Rules being amended, highlighting that the proposed changes would provide additional workload (and cost) but with no certainty that it will help to identify any troublemakers for a variety of reasons. Nonetheless, we will now just need to embrace the new requirements as best we can.

The new requirements create a lot of additional administration work for our club as we effectively need to obtain the name and address of the purchaser of match tickets sold out with match days. Let me provide examples of how the SPFL expect this to work in practice:
• Season ticket holders attending a match at East End Park will not be asked for any further information, as their name and address is already held on our database.

• Any person purchasing a ticket(s) out with match day for a normal league match at East End Park will be required to provide their name and address. In other words “Supporter A” purchases four tickets for him, and his three friends on the Friday before a match. All four tickets will be registered under “Supporter A”, so if one of his three friends conduct is deemed to be unacceptable, it will be traced back to “Supporter A” in the first instance, to establish the name and address of the offender.

• Any person purchasing a ticket on match day for a normal league match at East End Park, will be deemed to be a “walk up fan” and will NOT be required to provide their name and address.

• All Supporters (including Season Ticket Holders) attending East End Park for a pre-season friendly, cup tie or play-off match (where season tickets do not apply), who purchase a match ticket(s) out with match day will be required to provide their name and address. and

• If DAFC are selling tickets on behalf of another club, for one of our bigger away fixtures (for example Raith Rovers and Falkirk), then we are responsible for obtaining the name and address of purchasers of tickets out with match day.

Exploring the sale of away tickets further, you will appreciate the additional work involved for our club in selling for example 2,100 advance tickets to supporters attending Starks Park twice per season, and being required to obtain further information such as name and address. Therefore, after giving it much thought, the most effective and efficient way to sell advance tickets for away matches is to do this on-line in future. The existing on line ticketing arrangements at our club, is unfortunately one of many legacy systems which need to be overhauled. It has been out of action for many months but has now been fixed and it is hoped that it will provide a reliable and quick way to sell and purchase tickets. Most clubs now sell tickets in this manner, and once supporters are registered the process should be relatively straightforward. We will, of course, keep a watchful eye on the ticketing system itself.

Finally, I appreciate that there may be a slight increase in the time taken to purchase match day tickets in advance for games at East End Park, but we would encourage as many people to continue to do so, as it greatly assists our club in managing the queues at the ticket kiosks on match day itself.

Naturally, any change causes inconvenience, so I would like to take this opportunity to apologise in advance to any supporter who might be adversely affected but we are genuinely faced with trying to take the best approach we can, under the circumstances.
Thank you for your continued support.

Ross McArthur
Chairman



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