Following fan feedback from Saturday's game at Barnet, we understand that certain issues have been raised by supporters. Liam Scully has answered a few of the concerns raised by some of the travelling Imps.
Are the club aware of the issues for and among supporters on Saturday at Barnet?
LS: We are fully aware that there were issues on Saturday, and we will be working the SLOs, our supporters board and future host clubs to pro-actively address the issues and implement measures which should help mitigate the catalyst to the unrest.
What can Lincoln City do to prevent further issues at away games?
LS: Away game tickets are sold one of four ways which are; variables of unallocated/allocated, and host club/LCFC as the primary vendor. Our strong preference is for allocated seating to be issued by ourselves which allows us to implement controls such as singing sections and group purchases.
Fundamentally, the root cause of the issues on Saturday was due to some fans not sitting in their allocated seats. Whilst we do not condone the actions of a small minority, we do need to respect that attending matches is and always will be a group activity. Therefore wherever possible we need to put in place measures that allow for this, with relative ease at the point of purchase.
For the avoidance of doubt, in return we absolutely expect our fans to respect the ground regulations and their fellow fans (which the majority clearly do!) so we see it as our role to create the purchase framework and the rest is over to the fans who we are sure will reciprocate by their actions on the day.
Will a singing section be in place each game moving forward?
LS: We’re trialling it and we’re learning and reviewing as we go along. We initially would have trialled it at the Mansfield game, but for the rearrangement. If all goes to plan our intentions are to have a singing section, or a version of it, for each away game for the rest of the season. Important to note this will largely depend on the host club and their application of the ground regulations. We respect that they know their ground better than we do, however and from safety officer to safety officer and chief executive to chief executive we will be putting a strong case forward that the host club supports our thinking.
Does this mean the LCFC ticket office will sell tickets for all future away games?
LS: What we must respect is that it’s some clubs’ policy to sell tickets themselves, but hopefully through each of the relevant departments here, we can liaise with our counterparts at the opposing teams to enable this to happen.
Overall, the support has been fantastic - hasn’t it?
LS: Absolutely. And what we’ve got to recognise is it is our role to create the best experience for all of our supporters- home and away. The fact there is a diverse fan base and people have different expectations must be factored into our thinking and planning for games.
On a basic level, for Lincoln City to be successful in the long-term we need to continue to grow our fan base and for this we need to be attractive to all types of fan. On this journey, we need to work hard to address any issues that arise regardless if they are viewed as small or large issues. How the club interacts with fans and how the fans interact with other fans has direct correlation to how people feel about us as a club. Outside of the football result, we need to ensure fans have had a positive experience from Lincoln City as failure to achieve this it will only work against us and limit our overall capacity to grow as a club.
Under Danny and Nicky we have developed a unity and a togetherness which is special, some would even say unique! As someone who is new to Lincoln City, I am respectful and very aware that I have a lot of learning to do, however I am surround by people who know our club and our fans intrinsically. Using their knowledge, it is important we critically review our own actions. It is then my role, and our role as a ‘the club’ to implement structures and the platform that enable us to be successful as we all grow together. This covers everything from ticketing to retail, catering, access and parking. The list goes on but please be assured we are considering all aspects of our club both on a short term and longer term basis.
I do hope it comes across that the whole Lincoln City team are passionate and committed to working with the fans to grow our club. Over a period of time I am sure we can get this right for all of our fans, however our growth as a club is unparalleled so we do need time to put the foundations in place. In the interim, I kindly ask fans are supportive of what we are trying to achieve as well as help us towards our aims by being respectful and supportive of our fellow Imps as well as communicating openly with us to help us achieve our joint objectives as quick as possible.
Should you wish to provide feedback to Lincoln City on this and other matters please feel free to get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org