What has STAR ever done for us?
It’s beefed up supporter representation:
In July 2019 STAR and RFC signed a Structured Dialogue memorandum of understanding which provides STAR with a very high level of representation with the most senior club managers on strategic issues twice a year. STAR’s success in engaging with the club was acknowledged by the Football Supporters Association in December 2019 with the national award for Supporter Engagement.
STAR submitted evidence and presented to the Govt’s Fan Led Review of Football Governance 2021.
STAR is active in the national Football Supporters Association, involved in work groups on ticket prices, fixture setting and stewarding.
Every couple of months STAR Board members meet with all of the Club’s senior management and can put any issue up for discussion. Notes of these meetings are posted on the STAR website.
STAR attends the Fan Engagement Panels and represents supporters at the SAG (Safety Advisory Group) meetings.
STAR continues to examine and provide an expert annual commentary on the Club’s accounts.
STAR subscribes to update notices from Companies House to keep up to date with any filings detailing loans, charges or changes in directors in the Club and its associated companies.
About 70 people of widely differing ages and backgrounds have held board positions within STAR.
Described by Supporters Direct as a ‘model’ trust / best conversion of a supporters’ club to a Supporters’ Trust.
STAR has worked with the club on fans surveys to improve the questions and the analysis of the results.
Taken up specific complaints and requests of members and other supporters with the football club for successful resolution and now, as of 2016, agreed a standard protocol with the Club for representation of supporters in examining such cases.
It’s run successful campaigns:
In November 2018 STAR made a well-publicised statement calling for dramatic action to reverse the club’s slide into apathy. Within a month the CEO and the manager had been replaced. To be fair, we weren’t the only ones to spot the problems!
Campaigned to keep BBC Radio Berkshire coverage of Reading FC in face of the club decision to drop them.
Created a ticketing blueprint for when we arrived in Premier League – our recommendations were largely followed by club.
Persuaded the club to allow match tickets to be bought at the advanced price up noon on match day rather than cut off the discount on the day prior to the game.
Campaigned successfully to have paper/ card votes for Player of the Season re-instituted and organised / distributed the paper voting forms.
Consulted widely on the proposed Royal Elm Park planning application and issued a formal objection based on the lack of car parking provision.
Been part of the successful national Twenty’s Plenty campaign to reduce away ticket prices – which as of 2016-17 will be £20 at the Madejski Stadium.
It’s helped with colour, identity and atmosphere in the stadium:
STAR has actively supported and participated in the Club 1871 South Stand atmosphere initiative during the 2018-19 season.
STAR has created and funded bright concourse posters illustrating several playing members of our Hall of Fame.
Organised the Raise the Hoops display in 2006 at the QPR match.
Created the No13 URZ flag and paraded it big games.
Funded and commissioned memorial plaque for Roy Tranter and bought a bench for the memorial garden.
Implemented the memorial wall.
And managed to stop the club putting out clappers and rumblestix so often!
It’s sought to respect and embellish the history of the club:
STAR was the vital and initial core funder of Reading Museum’s 150th RFC Anniversary exhibition of 2022.
STAR initiated and part-funded the creation of the Academy Graduates Honours Board. This was unveiled in the stadium’s main entrance hall-way in December 2018 and a second board was added later.
Published ‘Reading Til I Die’ book.
Organised in 2003 a re-match of RFC’s first game in 1872 at King’s Meadow and in 2022 a rematch of the club’s first ever win at Reading School.
Participated in Reading Museum exhibitions, talks and loans boxes.
Launched the Steve Death Memorial trophy for the best young goalkeeper in the club.
Organised commemorative trips to Somme 2011, Flanders 2014 and northern France in 2017.
Put Jamie Cureton’s name in space, among the stars! And Murty too.
Launched the STAR Reading FC Hall of Fame in March 2016 and presented annually thereafter.
Deposited a run of home programmes from 1964-2006 with the Berkshire Records Office for access and reference by the general public.
It’s improved the coach travel service:
Reacted at pace in August 2019 to fulfil trebled demand for free away travel in response to owner Dai Yongge’s offer to pay for coach hire.
In August 2019 STAR made online travel booking and card payment available to all members thus greatly increasing the convenience of the service.
Stepped in to provide a coach service for unaccompanied minors when the club stopped running the Young Royals coach.
Started and maintained Readibus service for disabled supporters, now replaced. STAR together with its travel partner Horseman are now able to offer travel options for wheelchair users.
Continued to run efficient and good value coach service to all first team away games.
Introduced DBS accreditation for coach stewards.
Yes, but what’s actually done for the tangible benefit of members?
In view of the uncertainties created by the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic STAR chose to roll over the 2019-20 memberships to 2020-21 at no cost to existing members.
Expanded Exiles groups in UK and overseas and maintained their ticket benefits in situations where they wouldn’t have enough Ticketing points.
Every STAR member gets 20 extra Ticketing points every year of joining.
Continued to hold Fans Forums several times a year when Covid restrictions allow.
Continued to give a 10% discount voucher off merchandise at Fanstore.
Gained access to Jazz Café on match days for members.
Kept members informed with Reading Matter magazine and fortnightly STAR Bulletins.
Kept (adult) membership fee unchanged for 19 years at £10.
Successfully campaigned to get the number of Ticketing Points earned for away games doubled.
MEET THE BOARD
All STAR Board Members are volunteers, either elected by members or co-opted.
Roger Titford – Communications & Heritage
Mel Bishop – STAR Travel, STAR Shop and Safeguarding Officer
Colin Bishop – STAR Travel
Paula Martin – Membership
Steve Benton – Data Controller
Andrew Wearing – Exiles Co-ordinator
Co-Opted Board Members:
Interested in volunteering to help STAR? We would love to hear from you so drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Media enquiries should be sent to email@example.com. Please note that although we have a number of volunteers monitoring this address they may not be in a position to respond immediately.