Here are my notes. I'm sure I didn't get everything, but it covers the main areas at least.
The meeting began with Mr Chansiri asking an open question of us all of what we thought the meeting was for. After a few brief replies he then spoke very passionately for nearly an hour. He wants the meeting to be a place where fans can come with ideas. He wants to engage and listen. He will answer questions on anything but wants the meeting to be reported fairly. If people have issues, then the meeting is the time to bring them, not outside on social media or elsewhere. He repeatedly talked about "you" as in the whole fanbase needing to support the club and what they are doing. He said that he respects the fans and wants our respect in return. DC said that he speaks from the heart. A point he made several times. He mentioned that fans had been messaging his children. He doesn't like criticism via social media – feels that criticisms should be brought to him via the meeting or email and that fans should otherwise support the club. He mentioned particular posts and people on social media who had upset him – including one person in the room. My notes at this stage say that the meeting was beginning to feel fractious here.
After the opening remarks there were some questions. One related to DC's management structure at SWFC. DC talked about how he has the final say, and that he has had to build trust in his employees but that he does not get fully involved in everything. Kits for examplewere Joe Palmer's area. DC says he is trying to teach his team the correct way of doing things. Before DC he felt that things were too relaxed at times. DC said that he does not want to sack anyone. He wants people who have worked for the club for a long time to stay working for the club. He wants Owls fans to be able to tender for work for the club where they have expertise – a recent ICT project was an example.
Corporate support was mentioned. DC was frustrated by corporate support – he feels that as they have the ability to pay more, they should. He only makes 10% margin on the boxes for example. More support from corporate supporters would help the club overall.
The kit was discussed at length. Some key points are that the club have learned lots from the process and next year will be much better. The 3rd kit is hopefully going to be launched in time for the Villa game. They have some deliveries of the yellow away kit, and hope to put it on sale within 2 weeks. Pulling production in-house was always risky, and was something that was agreed at previous meetings. DC says that he did speak to Adidas and others, but they were expensive, the profits would go elsewhere, they also have long lead times, and would have expected a 3 year deal. The 70% on last season's kit was in way of an apology to the fans for some of the problems. They are working on plans for next season's kit. DC did say that he would not completely rule out stripes! The price was again mentioned, which brought mention of FFP – the club needs income this season to avoid FFP. DC thanked fans who buy any merchandise, as it is one of the areas where the club do make money.
In a change to previous meetings DC did discuss some playing matters. He knows we have a large squad and would maybe like to release some players – but it's not easy. He has been influenced by fans into buying at least two players. One of these players he did not really want to buy as he felt the player might negatively affect the team dynamic. He also talked at length about the potential signing of another player from Barnsley at a similar time as Winnall, and why that fell through. A follow up question of who picks the players gave the response of Carlos asking for players in a certain position. A committee, other advisors and Carlos and his team then identify players. The club then negotiate transfers where possible. Doyen Sports are one of the advisors (but not the only one). DC makes final decisions on funding the deals. DC accepted that some of the deals that have been done were good, others not so, but contracts and other issues make it difficult to move players on. He also was happy with the size of the squad – and that some players are brought in simply as cover (although that is not advertised at the time!). DC then returned to the theme of support. He feels that fans should support and cheer the team and not boo. Players are human beings and need support. He feels that negativity from fans has affected the team and Carlos.
Stan then talked about changes to the ground. The SAG is now led by an Owl, so hope that they will continue to be more reasonable. Large flags are coming behind the goal soon for example. There will be work completed soon segregating the North Stand from the NW Corner with the aim of pulling some of the NW corner seats back into action. The current capacity is 34,285 and the club are looking to extend that further as time goes on. The kidzone is going to be restarted and developed soon (bean bags, computers etc). The Wednesday Ale is going well and new kiosks on the south are also a success. They club are looking at clearing some space at the bottom of the Kop which will allow more fans in and the possibility of selling 1,200 restricted view seats.
DC and JP talked about the 150th anniversary game and how they had tried very hard to get a prestige friendly. The cake was an attempt to get the SWFC name in the Guinness Book and therefore more widely known. The evening at Ponds Forge was generally acknowledged to be a success. They would have liked to have offered something in Hillsborough Park on similar lines, but couldn't get agreement from the council. TB felt that the 150th year is going well, and commented that it isn't finished yet – though there were no further details announced.
TB talked about the successes of the community programme who can now offer BTECs, Apprenticeships and Degrees. They are also developing international links. They also have a new(ish) website https://swfccp.co.uk/
A question was asked about George Hirst. DC did answer the question though it's probably best I don't share exactly what was said – other than it does seem that he won't be playing for us again as it stands, and that I can see the club's perspective very clearly on the matter. As part of that discussion it was said that Doyen Sport (one of SWFCs advisors) are an entirely separate entity to Doyen Global.
The Wednesdayite car park will be available until the end of the season (and maybe longer).
A question was asked about Carlos' future. DC is 100% supportive of Carlos (later upped to 200%!). This got a round of applause from many, but not all, in the room. A follow up question was about the length of Carlos' contract. DC's response was that the length of the contract is not important, what is important is what is in the heart. The aim is still promotion this year – and we are only 4 points behind last season. DC asked two rhetorical questions: If DC were to sack Carlos then A) Who would he bring in? And B) What if the new manager fails? DC spoke to around 20 managers/coaches before appointing Carlos. It may well be that any manager a fan thinks DC has already seen. DC did say though that as promotion is the aim this year (and every year) - he had not thought further ahead than that. DC had met with the players earlier that day and told them that he felt they lacked consistency, but that they are a good team. He also commented that Carlos and the team did know how important the Sheffield United game was despite comments online to the contrary.
Financial Fair Play (FFP) was mentioned several times. DC suggested that it will be difficult to keep within the rules this year, and very very difficult next year. He has put £150m into the club so far. There was some discussion about ticket prices and shirt prices to which DC made the point that he could reduce prices, but then he would need to sell players and play youngsters only. He could go back to how it used to be if we (the whole fanbase) preferred. The 1867 scheme was mentioned, which has only had a small uptake – DC has designed it to ascertain fan reaction. He didn't rule out sponsoring Hillsborough, but they are only allowed a fair market value within FFP – Derby get £600,000 per year for example.
DC returned to his points as the meeting neared its conclusion. He wants the fans to support the team. He said that his mindset is changing. He has always done what he thought was best for the fans as it is the fans' team. He is now beginning to think that he should do what is best for him and the club and that as the owner it is his team. I left at 11:15 just as DC was wrapping up with a further plea to the fans to please back the team.