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Club News

Your questions answered

7 September 2012

Answers to fans' online Q&A

Recently we asked supporters following the club on Facebook and Twitter to send in their questions.

These could be about anything related to tickets, merchandising, matchday experience, travel and more.

The response was incredible and it was great hear from so many loyal and engaged Royals fans who had something to say.

Below are the answers - all departments from inside Madejski Stadium played their part in providing the information.

As always, if you have any questions please drop us a line on customerservice@readingfc.co.uk

TICKETS:

Amie Barnard - Why can't members book more than one ticket for away games ie take a guest? 
Hello Amie, you can purchase additional tickets once they are on general sale and this is available for all member card holders. The club like to make sure that members get the best chance to purchase tickets for away fixtures before further tickets can be purchased for friends and family. 

Michelle Symmons - And why do fans travelling to away games only get 5 Royalty Points when home attendance gives you 10?
Hi Michelle, a strong away Royals away support is always appreciated but the club naturally encourages attendance at home matches as this is our bread and butter. We want as many people as possible enjoying what Madejski Stadium has to offer and experience what it’s like on a matchday.

Paul Cleveland - When are Liverpool away tickets going on sale to STHs?
Hi Paul, tickets usually go on sale four weeks prior to the fixture but this is also dependent on the other club’s ticketing policies For Liverpool specifically, ticket news is here.

David Vincent-Smith - Why do supporters who have only got season tickets this year get priority over away tickets before members with many more loyalty points? I've been going to away games since 1998, got a lot of so called loyalty points but yet can't get an away ticket until all season ticket holders have had their chance, it should be a points system as we're these fans at the likes of Barnet away in the LDV.
Thanks for the question David, fair point and we discussed at length over the summer. In the end the club wanted to recognise that season ticket holders make a significant investment and commitment at the start of the season. We believe they should be rewarded in as many ways as possible, including access to away tickets. Even so, only the longest serving season ticket holders get first access because Royalty Points are still factored in. 
In terms of non season-ticket holders, so far this season every away game has gone to general sale so thankfully every fan who wanted to travel to support the team has been able to.

Dave Lloyd - How are the club deciding what away allocation to take at matches e.g. 1.5k to WBA away. As a non-season ticket holder living in the Midlands, I was hoping to go to these sorts of games.
Hello Dave, this is dependent on the ticketing policies of the opposing club and takes into account average demand for previous away games, as well as general demand from fixtures preceding any away match. Tickets for West Brom are not sold out, they’ve been on general sale for a few days now and demand at the moment indicates that the allocation of 1,500 is a reasonable number.

Michael Wilson - Why do members only get the opportunity to purchase tickets in the South stand and not the North stand (where I sat all of last season and would prefer to sit this season) when I could see plenty of empty seats dotted around in the North stand vs. Stoke??
Hi Michael, the North Stand is at capacity with the number of season ticket holders in that area. For the Stoke game any spaces were most likely season ticket holders who did not use their seat. There are a limited number of family seats available in the North Stand, these are not available for purchase online as families are encouraged to get in touch directly in order to book seats in this area. 

Lorraine Firth – At what age do you have to buy a separate ticket for a baby?
Hi Lorraine, the club maintain that children of walking age will need to buy a ticket and suggest over 4 years old as the maximum age. Babies are allowed in for free but bear in mind that the child will need to sit on the lap of the accompanying adult for the match as the club is likely to be at capacity for the majority of this season’s matches. 

Ryan Lewis - I have a membership card that is age 12-16 and I'm 17, do I need to buy a new card? If not how do I replace it? How much is a member card?
Ryan, you don’t need a new card but you can drop by the ticket office and they can produce you a new card with the correct status on for free. Costs for new member cards are £2 for adults £1 for concessions. 

Charlie Nicol – Is it possible to get a half season ticket?
Not this season Charlie, the club has reached its capacity for season tickets. Half season tickets are offered only when the full quota of full season tickets are not sold.

MERCHANDISE:

Maggie Cox - I have been a season ticket holder for years and was so very disappointed to find that nearly all the ladies shirts had sold out before our first game of the season. All that was left were a couple of shirts in the not so popular sizes. Will there be any more coming in?
Yes Maggie there will, the Megastore is expecting them towards the end of November along with more long sleeve shirts. Long sleeve shirts were very, very popular this season, much more than normal.

Jo Neal -  Please could you stock Royals china mugs. Would make my cup of tea perfect.
Hi Jo the Megastore will look into this if there’s enough demand for the product. Always a good idea to let them know on megastore@readingfc.co.uk

Billy Cox - How much is it for a name on your shirt and number?
Any name, any number plus sleeve badges costs £18 from the club Megastore, Billy. Shirts cost £30 for children’s sizes and £40 for adults. 

Chris Slack – How could I purchase/order a shirt if I live in SA, and what would the costs be?
You can place your order online Chris and the club will deliver to anywhere in the world. All costs and postage information are listed on readingfcdirect.co.uk - prices for postage to the rest of the world start at £10 but that charge can include a large number of items, not just your shirt.

James Dalley - When do season ticket holders get another free scarf?
Hi James, season ticket holders already receive a great benefits package when they commit. We are glad to see that the previous time the club issued free scarves to ST holders was well received and your question has been passed on the marketing team who will certainly consider it again for future season ticket packages. PS don’t forget to use your Waitrose and Megastore vouchers if you haven’t already!

TRAVEL:

Jacob Potter - Is there going to be a bus to take the fans up to the QPR cup game? If yes then what time? 
Hi Jacob, demand for this fixture is already looking strong and STAR will be providing coach transport – you will need to get in touch with them to book yourself a seat and the coach leaves Madejski Stadium on the day of the match at 4pm – www.star-reading.org 

Cass Fox - What's happening to our coach tickets for Sunderland, can we get them refunded?
Hi Cass, STAR are looking after coach ticket refunds; please contact them to arrange this. And ticket refunds can be done through the Ticket Office – but you may like to wait until the new date is confirmed.

Phil Hayward - If the club is going to increase the stadium size is there any chance of building a new train station at Green Park on the Basingstoke to Reading line would help with the increase in traffic?
Hello Phil, a Green Park station has been talked about for many years, this of course will be dependent on a number of things and would not be a decision just for the club. Reading FC would certainly welcome the idea as it provides supporters with great access to and from the stadium but if it were to happen then it would be in the long term, most likely.

WEBSITE:

Paul Bowen – When is the website going to be iPhone friendly?
Hello Paul the company who look after the back end of the club’s website have said that a mobile version of the site will be available in late September / October. Also there are plans for a new club app which will be available soon we hope.

Darryll Eaton - When will season review DVDs be available through download services such as iTunes? 
Hi Darryl, the club’s media department hope that the season review DVDs can be made available to Reading FC Player subscribers soon, we know it would be of interest to our supporters to have digital versions available, especially now that last season’s DVD is sold out.

Ayala Offical  - Why is the website rubbish? 
Hi Ayala loving your direct style! We don’t think it’s rubbish but it’s certainly been a real change for our supporters. It’s a lot different in terms of the home page, but it gives much more prominence to stories now. For example a story now takes up the full home page which is great in terms of giving coverage to aspects like the Academy, Community and Womens team – previously they would have had one line on the homepage at best. We’re not 100% happy with the site, of course, and are working every day to get it perfect.

Jonny Soper - Why does the Reading FC Player never work? It was that bad last year I will never get it again I always had to go on the opposition commentary.
Hi Jonny, we monitor the commentary for every game and save for the first ten minutes of the Stoke game it has been fine for every match this season? If it drops out on a matchday please tweet @ReadingFC or email customerservices@performgroup.com

MATCHDAY:

Darren McNeil - When will the club deliver a 'Premiership' catering service. The speed of service is a joke and just makes the concourses congested. On top of that the prices are ridiculous for poor quality food and drink.
Hello Darren, glad you mentioned service because it is something right at the top of our agenda. In fact the RFC customer service team will look to personally contact you and other fans who also mentioned this. With bigger crowds in the Premier League we know queues can be longer so we are 100% committed to getting the service right. For example over the years we’ve worked very hard with our caterers to get the number of agency staff as low as possible – obviously if someone has worked here before then they will be quicker than first timers. Again speed and quality of service is vitally important to us and rest assured we are doing everything we can. And in terms of price we think we're in line with most clubs and also try to offer discount packages such as the Kingsley lunch pack for kids.

Juliette Davis - Why is the Windsor Bar shut & being used for Corporate when it wasn't the last time we were in the Premiership? 
Hello Juliette, the bar is currently being used on matchdays to accommodate the larger number of guests in corporate hospitality. It was not an easy decision as we know the Windsor bar is a popular area. As an alternative the North Stand concourse was open after the Stoke game, so too the Jazz Café. As always, if you have views it is always best to email customerservice@readingfc.co.uk – and of course we’ve shown them this Q&A so your view is being passed on.

Daniel Hall – How do you become a ball boy for Reading FC?
Hi Daniel, register your interest with the club and they will keep your details on file for when ball boy trials are held. These usually take place towards the end of the season and 16 individuals are chosen from the applicants so there’s no space for this season sadly.

Rob Widger – Will the stadium be getting Wi-fi for the fans?
Rob, this is currently being discussed at the club but at the moment nothing can be said definitively. Anything to reasonably improve the fans’ experience we will look at, but wi-fi for 24,000 people is not a simple operation of course.

Jamie Collis - Any chance next season that we can have a standing section for fans?
Hi Jamie, this is a question that is asked frequently and we can understand that some supporters would like a standing only area. However, the decision isn’t entirely with the club as it involves a lot of health and safety requirements, currently there are no plans in place but that’s not to say that it won’t be considered in the future.

GENERAL:

Georgia Graham - Can I work within the club please??
Hi Georgia, the club posts all new positions online when they become available and we also share them on Facebook and Twitter. Make sure to look at these pages regularly in order to see what positions can be applied for when available.

Neil Jessiman - Having read the original invitation, how are you going to sum up answers to all of the questions posted on this thread into a single article on the website?
Hi Neil we’re having a go!

James Miles - When is the Sunderland away fixture going to be?
A date has not been confirmed yet James but once it is announced we will send out an SMS to our text subscribers and put it on the official site, Facebook and Twitter immediately. Tickets already purchased can still be refunded.

Daniel Britton - What was the club's thinking behind handing out song sheets?
Jack Peedell - Why are the club so intent on the family club image? I know that the obvious answer will be the future supporters of the club, but don't you worry that you are in fact isolating fans that are too old for this but not yet old enough to have kids of their own. Personally I dislike things such as goal music, happy clappers and "Queensley" among other things and it is almost enough to put me off wanting to come to home games. I have been a Reading fan all my life and go to lots of away games, where crowds are able to make an atmosphere without goal music and such. So my question is don't you think that you can attract younger fans without potentially losing out on older fans?
We also had questions from Gavin Willoughby on these topics.

Daniel, it’s great to get the opportunity to answer a question about ‘song sheets’ / Queensley / general matchday experience. In terms of the ‘song sheets,’ we feel there is perhaps a misconception because there were a few hundred posters printed that were given to children by Kingsley near the Fun Zone which was open for the first time. They weren’t for the entire crowd and nobody was given one who didn’t want one. Frankly any fans who didn’t want one probably didn’t even see one! It was simply a gift for some of our younger fans, which is a nice thing to do. They weren’t left on seats or anything like that because we knew 100% they were designed for young fans and not for everyone. So we’d just like to defend our approach on that somewhat, there were a handful made for kids. It wasn’t for Y26!

And Jack in terms of being a family club, it is something that every club strives for. You are right - young supporters are the future of our club, and having full houses is in everyone’s interest. Admittedly goal music and clapbanners may polarise opinion but that will always be the case in a 24,000 seater stadium, there is no way to please everybody. So what we would rather do is focus on ways to move forward and encourage ideas or activities for teenagers / young adults that would make your matchday experience even better. If there’s anything in mind we would always ask fans to email customerservice@readingfc.co.uk and we will think it through. 

Overall, probably the key point we would make is that not everything we do is designed to affect every single fan. We know that some young fans will adore Queensley, some older fans will not be affected in the same way. In terms of atmosphere, Brian McDermott said the Stoke game was probably the best in ten years, so the crowd and club are definitely doing something right – anything we do is just designed to help, not to replace.

Tom Rosher - Why do you try censoring most of us as if we're living under a Reading FC media department dictatorship? One of the fake accounts is the best thing to have ever happened to the club and to be honest the only thing keeping those above the age of 6 in touch!
Sorry Tom, going to have to disagree with you on this. There was a fake account relating to the club that Twitter closed down as a response to fans’ comments, they deemed that the content was not suitable. Free speech is one thing but Twitter felt that was too much. If they felt it was OK they wouldn't have closed it down. We can’t and wouldn’t dictate what people say about us and hopefully with Q&As like this we show that we listen too.

Gavin Willoughby - Can we drop the "Reading fans everywhere" squad number 13, Gorkss really wants that number, we should let him have it.
No Gavin sorry we’re not about to do this. You’re right, 13 is Kaspars' favourite number – he does in fact have it tattooed on his arm – but we’re not about to take it away from our fans, we don’t think that would be right, even though Kaspars is a top man.

James Busby - Can we scrap goal music?
Sorry James we know it doesn’t suit 100% of our fans but we believe it makes a positive difference. Just so you know all departments of the club are part of the decision – the football management and our club matchday team too.

Lee Browne - Why, on the official website, are the match gallery photos taken with a 0.5 megapixel camera now? Would it be possible to up the pre match entertainment, like at Brighton. On pitch interviews on the big screen, highlights of the last games, get the value for the ticket.
Hi Lee, our photographer is the same but the new website has an automatic saving tool that makes photos quicker to load – admittedly we would like the quality to be better though, too many DPI are being taken away. And in terms of the big screen, we’ve got the pitchside camera back this season and will focus on fans in the stand, players warming up and so on which we think makes a difference. Interviews are difficult as the PA system has different levels in different stands so it doesn’t always carry.

Paul Woollard - When we score a goal why does it take soooo long for the music to play ?? Surely it's just a button that has to be pressed? Sometime the players have finished their celebrations and then the music starts!
Hi Paul, we like to let the players celebrate and fans to join in before it begins. Goal music is designed to prolong a celebration, not replace it, so we don’t do it immediately as the goal goes in.

Jonathan Hall - What is the current intention/plans in relation to the stadium? Is this going ahead and if so when? I believe the previous plans included corporate boxes in the East Stand - is this still the intention? If so what happens to the season ticket holders with seats in the East Stand?
Hi Jonathan, this is not on the immediate radar and no plans are confirmed so impossible to say with any certainty but thanks for asking.



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