New fans group gets under way
IT was the start of a new era at the inaugural meeting of The Albion Assembly.
Thirty nine supporters gathered at The Hawthorns for last night’s get-together in the West Stand.
The first meeting of its kind - with a near-full attendance - was a general meet-and-greet session.
A general constitution was thrashed out. It was decided Assembly meetings will be called five times a year, with the next one to be held on Wednesday March 25.
Among the subjects raised for initial discussion were the forthcoming Fan Zone, ticketing issues, the ethnic mix among supporters and club staff, as well as the lack of outlets selling Albion News matchday magazines.
Also raised were concerns about the public address system at The Hawthorns, how the atmosphere can be improved before home games and further debate about the price and quality of food/drink at the stadium.
There was praise from the floor for Albion's ticket arrangements for the forthcoming derby against Villa - not least in the light of recent criticism of the sale of Blues tickets - a motion to provide Assembly 'suggestion' kiosks at The Hawthorns and a call to move, and illuminate, the Throstle, currently located in the Woodman Corner.
Plans were also put in place to include a further representative from the Disabled branch of the Supporters Club, as well as the Junior Baggies and, in the future, potential overseas' representation.
Director of Communications Martin Swain, who was sworn in as the Chair of the Assembly, said: "We had a fantastic initial response from supporters who lodged their interest in joining The Albion Assembly and we were certainly enthused by the quality of debate and ideas at last night’s meeting.
"It was wonderful and heartening to see such a great, near-full turn out for the inaugural meeting.
“It was very clear that there is a huge demand and passion among the Assembly members, on behalf of all supporters, to improve varying aspects of their football club.
"We can't promise immediate change, but we hope that last night's meeting and next month's first proper get-together will provide the foundations for a gradual improvement.
"It was also obvious from last night's gathering that there is, not only a thirst for change, but a strong desire to help build a more proactive and dynamic relationship between the Club and its fanbase.
"I'm confident ALL supporters will see the benefits of the Assembly during the coming months."
The meeting was concluded with the appointment of committee members.
Hannah Weaver and David Cox were appointed as joint Vice Chairs.
Dan Watts will look after The Albion Assembly's social media, assisted by Josh Bland - with a Twitter page to be set up in the coming period.
The club's Head of Media & Content Chris Lepkowski will be the Assembly's membership secretary, with the club's media staff to provide minutes from future meetings. Those minutes will be published on the club's official website.