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CLUB UPDATE | Q&A

16 July 2020

FUNDRAISING

Q1. Why did the Club launch a Crowdfunder for its front of home shirt sponsorship?

A. As relayed in last month’s Q&A the club has had to adapt to the pandemic by being creative, ensuring it minimises the financial impact of the pandemic as much as it can. Given the significant impact on the economy, it was evident we needed to act in a different way than we had traditionally. We wanted to explore the Crowdfunding option to engage with our fan base as well as supporting charities that have a relationship with the Club, and have been severely impacted by the economic downturn. These elements combined we believe reflect the values of the club and the communities we serve.

Q2. Why hasn’t the Club launched a players’ recruitment fundraiser?

A. Whilst the economic factors are of course significant in this area there are other considerations as well. Firstly, we have 18 players under contract for next year (initially including Mark O’Brien). We don’t know at the present time what the football fair play rules are going to be for our division. It is likely to be a salary cap but as it stands today SCMP is still the measure. Lastly, we don’t know what date the season will start. All these factors make it difficult for the Club to commit any further (at this point) to player contracts than it has already done so for the forthcoming season. So, whilst the economics are key there are other factors that need to be considered which mean a Crowdfunder specifically for players may not achieve the desired effect.

Q3. How can I help the Club in the current economic crisis?

A. Firstly, we would again like to thank every single supporter who decided not to ask for any refund for season tickets or match-day tickets purchased for the curtailed 2019-20 season along with the 375 supporters who have contributed to the Crowdfunder. The Club genuinely appreciates your generosity, particularly as we recognise these are difficult and uncertain times for many of you. Secondly, any donations supporters are able to make to the Crowdfunder initiative will be greatly appreciated not just by the Club but also the three charities involved. Finally, the Supporters’ Trust remains the Club’s majority shareholder and
the more Trust members we have, the more the Trust can donate to the Club as owners. We are grateful to every single Trust member – and all fans in general – for their continuing support for the Club.

Information on how to join the Trust can be found here:

https://www.ncafctrust.org/join/

You can also support our weekly lottery which is a great source of income for the club –

details as follows - www.countylottery.com/register

County supporters have always pulled together in times of adversity and that is happening during this pandemic. Thank you all again. 



SEASON 2020-21

Q4. Why has the Club not put season tickets on sale yet?

A. The Board took the view it would not be appropriate to sell season tickets for next season until we were able to categorically communicate what fans would be receiving for their money. Whilst we have explored blended options such as iFollow livestreaming if matches are played behind behind closed doors and then reverting to a traditional season ticket when fans are allowed in the stadium, there are complications which mean we would not be able to price the product accurately and could not guarantee we could deliver the product. We have been working with EFL colleagues and are hopeful that a product will be forthcoming
very soon that we can then in turn offer to supporters with confidence.

Q5. When will the new season start?

A. The EFL has been exploring next season’s start date for some time. It is a complex situation given the number of factors that need to be taken into consideration along with the number of stakeholders involved. This has included engagement with all member clubs and we are hopeful that we will be able to communicate a date fairly soon.

Q6. When will supporters be allowed to watch matches at Rodney Parade?

A. EFL officials are part of the UK Government group that has been exploring options of how supporters can return to watch sport in a safe manner. Health is obviously a devolved responsibility in Wales and we welcome the fact Welsh Government colleagues are engaged. When supporters are allowed to return It is likely this will be in a socially-distanced manner with reduced attendance. We are again hopeful that we will be able to  communicate on this matter fairly soon.

Q7. If supporters are allowed to return under social distancing rules, how would this work at Rodney Parade?

A. As outlined in question 6, the EFL as a member of the UK government working group have been assessing various options to explore how supporters can return to stadiums in a socially-distanced manner. As a Club we have been mirroring this work to ensure that we are able to operate in a safe socially-distanced manner if and when both UK and Welsh governments give the green light. The detail is not absolutely known at the moment and the Club will be guided by the blueprint that will be produced by the relevant authorities. The safety of everyone in the stadium is of primary concern and we will work closely with stakeholders to ensure we meet the required standards.

Q8. If the stadium can only operate on a reduced socially-distanced capacity who will be able to
buy season tickets?

A. The club will be guided in this area by the authorities and the rules that need to be applied. We will communicate on this matter when the guidance is produced.

Q9. What are the prices likely to be when crowds are allowed in to watch matches for the forthcoming season 20/21?

A. Prices will be frozen and reflect the season and match day ticket prices for 19/20. The Club is conscious of the economic climate being faced by everyone as a result of the pandemic and in addition aware that supporters were not able to watch all 23 home games last season.

Q10. When do you expect to put season tickets on sale?

A. This will be dependent upon a number of factors including:

• season start date;

• whether crowds will be allowed into stadium, in what form and how many;

• EFL providing the Club with a package that blends livestreaming & stadium attendance.
These are not all mutually exclusive.



PLAYERS

Q11. When will the players return to training?

A. This date will be driven by the start of the season announcement. Planning is under way internally to ensure we are ready when the announcement is made.

Q12. What protocols will be in place for when players return to training?

A. The EFL, again as part of the UK Government working group, have been constantly reviewing the current protocols in place that have governed the respective League One & Two play-offs, Championship and Premier League matches. The emerging view is there will be set of protocols that clubs will need to follow for the forthcoming season and we will, of course, be adopting these to ensure we provide a safe environment for our players and staff.

Q13. Is there an update on Mark O’Brien?

A. Many fans will know Mark has recently provided an update on social media for those on such platforms. For those who are not, Mark has had a successful operation and is recovering well. Everyone at the club wishes Mark a speedy recovery and we will continue to support Mark in his recovery.



GENERAL

Q14. When will the new kit be launched?

A. Given the current climate the launch will be a little different this year. However, the plan for launching the kits is as follows.

• Away – W/C – 27th July

• Third – W/C – 17th August

• Home – W/C – 1st September

Given the home kit sponsor will not be known until 10th August, we will be launching the
home kit last.



THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS ARE THOSE THAT HAVE BEEN ASKED DIRECTLY BY INDIVIDUAL SUPPORTERS ALONG WITH THE REPONSES PROVIDED (EVENTS HAVE MOVED A LITTLE SINCE THESE WERE ASKED BUT HAVE BEEN RELAYED VERBATIM FOR TRANSPARENCY REASONS)

Q15. Please can you outline what defines behind closed doors? Does this mean that as directors
you will be able to attend the games? Will this also apply to off the field staff who have been
furloughed? If so this does not appear to be fair given that you are in this position as our
representatives. Maybe this could be looked at and perhaps a draw system for match attendance
could be considered?

A. As the focus has been on curtailment of the 19/20 season the EFL have not issued any guidance in support of next season. As a Club we are governed by EFL rules and regulations and will adhere to those. We will, of course, communicate when more information becomes available.

Q16. what is happening with the ground rents and fees? Given that the WRU have been receiving
substantial income from the Welsh Government for use as a testing centre I would hope that rents
have been significantly reduced or waived.

A. The club has met its contractual obligations under its current arrangement with Rodney Parade. Where Rodney Parade has taken advantage of Government initiatives that have an impact on the Club this benefit has been shared. How the use of Rodney Parade as a testing centre has been arranged is not something the
Club is privy to. 

Q17. why is there always a need for fans to start expressing concerns about the lack of
communication before the club issues statements? We were promised regular communication and
transparency, if this was adhered to then a lot of the negativity would become a thing of the past

A. Since lockdown the Club has issued the following communications:

Every day: Online updates via all its communication channels

Every week: Update, activity packs & birthday messages to young supporters via Clwb Spytty

Regularly: Direct contact with vulnerable supporters to check on their welfare

April 15: Club statement regarding furlough of staff and players

May 15: Club statement regarding League Two clubs' indicative vote to end the season. In this, we explained there would be no further statement until the formal decision to end the season was taken.

Since then, to ensure we operate in a structured and controlled manner we have been following our communication plan and will continue to do so. The plan is focused in two areas, conclusion of the curtailed season 19/20 and then future focus towards season 20/21.

This may well mean there are times when information intended to be communicated may well already be out in the public domain through a variety of routes. The club is unable to control those and will continue to follow its agreed plan. That said the plan is agile in its nature so it is able to flex accordingly. This was the case recently with the sad news about Mark O’Brien’s retirement.

To recap, outlined below are all the communications that have been issued by the club following the decision to formally curtail the 19/20 season.

Area What Date
Season End Formal Season End 9th June
Season End 19/20 Season and match day
tickets
10th June
Season End 19/20 Shirt Sponsors 10th June
Season End 19/20 End of Season Awards 11th June
Season End Open Letter and FAQs 12th June
General Mark O’Brien retirement
announcement
15th June
General Mark O’Brien – Dedicated Day 16th June
General Front of Home shirt
Crowdfunder
17th June
General Thank you message - Season
and match day tickets 19/20
17th June
General Mental Health Charter 18th June
General Clwb Spytty round up 18th June
General Pure Vans Sponsorship 18th June
General Announce kit supplier –
Hummel 
19th June

General

Transition back to school –
Kidscape
19th June

There will be further communications in relation to the club's retained and released list, the club shop
and other retail operations, the 20/21 kit launch, and the sale of 20/21 season tickets over the
coming days and weeks.

Please note since the above answer was supplied to the individual supporter, the communications
relating to the retained and released list, the club shop and other retail operations have all been
issued.

END OF QUESTION AND ANSWERS



We hope the above answers most of the many questions you may well have – but we recognise this is
not an exhaustive list.

We have tried to strike a balance of openness and transparency while also appreciating that these
are still very uncertain times for everyone.

If you do have a question that is not covered in the above Q&As please send an email to
office@newport-county.co.uk If we can answer we will do so, and if we are unable to do so we will
respond relaying that. All we ask from supporters is patience as we are operating a skeleton team so
there may well be a slight delay in responding.

Please stay safe.

 

 

 

 

 


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