Last week the Fans Charter was launched, we have attempted below to explain the reasons for why and how CFU became involved.
Cambridge United and CFU have worked together to produce a fans' charter. The aspiration is to make the Abbey Stadium a place where everyone is welcome and where everyone can enjoy the atmosphere.
We hope it is not just the supporters who will aim to follow the charter, but everyone who is involved at Cambridge United including the playing staff and employees. There cannot be one rule for supporters and another for others.
Customer care is also going to have its place at the club from now on. There are service level targets being introduced and procedures implemented. These should benefit all supporters going forward to improve their match day experience and every point of contact with the club.
We hope the Fans' Charter will become the basis that makes the Abbey Stadium an attractive place to come for all supporters, both existing and new.
It is not there to prevent freedom of speech; it is there to ensure everyone will be listened to.
It is not there to prevent supporting Cambridge United; it is there to encourage supporters.
It is not there to prevent anyone’s enjoyment. However, remember what one person considers acceptable, another can find offensive.
Most of the charter already exists in the Supporters' Conduct element of the Customer Charter, so by entering the ground everyone is already agreeing to abide by these rules.
We don’t want to see another Cambridge United supporter
· banned from the ground and from matches
· receive a Football Banning Order
· go to court
· face imprisonment
We also don’t want to see
· another supporter failing to return home from a football match
· any supporter injured
· a player face abuse and deplorable language from his own supporter (as has unfortunately happened in the past)
· players not wanting to play for the club or loanees asking to return to their parent clubs
· homophobic or racist remarks made by supporters
The charter is not only for the supporters. It should be about everyone at the club who should show supporters respect, honesty and live by the same values as listed below. Supporters are also a team that comes together to perform on matchdays.
How did the charter come about?
Cambridge United and CFU have spoken in the past about a charter. However, it never came to fruition. Following certain events last season it seemed to be the right time to put something in place that would be a vision, a target. We may never get there, but a failure to try may mean the Customer Charter coming into effect more rigorously. Cambridge United has a care of duty to everyone and will act to ensure that it can perform that role.
CFU were approached by the club to be involved and took on the challenge. We knew it was not going to be universally popular and we also knew it would be almost impossible to present at a level for everyone to understand.
The charter is aimed so it can be understood by everyone. It needs to be understood by a child or an adult; it needs to be understood by anyone, whatever their educational ability.
See below the Fans Charter Definitions:
We, the fans, want the Abbey Stadium to be a place where:
• we support the team for the full 90 minutes, whatever the performance or scoreline
We have always supported the side through good and bad times throughout the match. The words supporter and support go together. We should support the side if we are supporters. We need to be the team's 12th man every match for our own side and not for the opposition.
• we encourage individuals and refrain from criticism
No one performs at their best if being constantly criticised or playing with fear. How would you deal with constant criticism in your working environment or at college? Criticism can also be a form of bullying if it goes too far. Social media now allows everyone the chance to say something and be heard. If you are critical of someone, that individual in future has no need to speak to you.
• we respect the opposition
Showing everyone respect does not mean that you cannot support your own team. Nowadays most football teams and supporters are working together throughout the week and are building relationships to improve the game and matchday experience for everyone. During the match however, there is no reason why our support should waver while we are still respectful of the opposition.
If we show disrespect, then what will we expect from other supporters and clubs?
• we generate a noisy and passionate atmosphere through the support of our team to overawe our opponents
The supporters of Cambridge United have always been the team’s 12th man. We have supported the side and been on a journey that has seen the success of the past few years and our return to the league. We have been as important in that success as anyone and shown that by doing so anything is possible.
• we contribute to a family-friendly environment
The future of Cambridge United depends on the success of attracting new supporters and families. To ensure this is achieved, the facilities the club offers and the environment that exists will determine if first-time or existing supporters return. We have one chance to succeed and everything needs to be done to ensure that everyone’s visit is an enjoyable experience they want to repeat.
• we refrain from unacceptable abusive language aimed at officials or players of either team
Please see the Customer Charter which clearly states that abusive, foul or racist language is not tolerated. It should be no different between supporters and this also will not be tolerated.
• we don’t tolerate discrimination of any kind, at any time
Discrimination of any type is wrong and should not be acceptable.
• we welcome new fans in a friendly and positive atmosphere.
New supporters should be welcomed to the Abbey Stadium as you would welcome guests to your own home.
Below is sourced from the Clubs Customer Charter which can be found on line –
• Supporters' Conduct
• The Club strives to ensure that the Abbey Stadium is a safe and pleasant environment in which to watch professional football. The Club requests that supporters co-operate with this policy.
• • Entry to the ground is subject to the Ground Regulations displayed upon entry
• • Smoking is only permitted in designated areas of the ground
• • Foul, abusive and racist language and behaviour will not be tolerated
• • Anti-Social behaviour will not be tolerated
• • Any problems should be reported to a Match Day Steward
• • CCTV Cameras are in operation at the ground and may be used in accordance with Ground Regulation 16
• Cambridge United Football Club in conjunction with Cambridgeshire Police have agreed guidelines of a policy to deal with any serious offences relating to supporter misconduct.
• The Board of Directors of Cambridge United Football Club Limited will sanction all bans regarding supporters' conduct.
• Period of Ban Offence (If convicted at Court)
• Life Riot, Violent Disorder, Affray, Supplying Drugs, Any Assault, Obstructing Police, Resisting Arrest.
• 10 Years Racist chanting and abuse
• 5 Years Section 4 Public Order Offences, Criminal Damage, Possessing a weapon
• 3 Years Drunk and Disorderly behaviour, Possession of Drugs, Throwing of items
• 1 Year Section 5 Public Order Offences, Running onto the Pitch or perimeter track.
• These are only guidelines and each case will be judged on the known facts. The action taken for any other anti-social behaviour which may fall outside of these policy guidelines will be determined following discussions between representatives of Cambridge United Football Club and Cambridgeshire Police.
• Warning letters and or entrance restrictions may be placed upon supporters whose offences may fall outside the scope of the policy guidelines. Such entry restrictions may include the signing of an attendance register, purchase of a known seat in the Main Stand and the provision of a recent passport sized photograph.
Read more at http://www.cambridge-united.co.uk/club/index_charter.aspx#kMVXUL5km6Ct7iL1.99
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