As we approach the start of season 2020/21, a season like no other where unfortunately we will see football being played behind closed doors. Hopefully, this restriction isn’t in place too long and we can get back in some shape or form to the stands to watch our football club take on the best in the Scottish Premiership at the Global Energy Stadium.
Thankfully, the club have struck a deal with media company Stream Digital which means they will be able to stream all our home games for the entire season on RCFCTV for season ticket holders in the shape of a virtual season ticket. This is great news and at least provides that football fix until stadium access is again allowed.
Preparing for the new season has been challenging – dealing with COVID19 processes and procedures, and information from the SPFL and Scottish Government which has been very fluid; with information changing almost daily this has created many challenges.
As Supporter Liaison Officer, it’s been one of the busiest couple of months since I took on the role with lots of queries and concerns from supporters with regards to this changing information. A lot of these queries were answered by the club at the time of being raised - but I felt it was important that we attempted to address several of the key queries in one sitting before the season officially kicks off.
Currently we are unable to hold a Supporters meeting for obvious reasons, so I suggested to the club that we hold a questions and answers session based around the issues raised by supporters over the last number of weeks.
Thankfully both Ross County FC Chairman Roy MacGregor and CEO Steven Ferguson took time out of their busy schedules for this questions and answers session - the details of which are below and hopefully address the bulk of the queries raised.
Q1. Information coming from the club recently has contained misinformation, one of the main
queries resulting from this surrounds the streaming of away matches. Can you confirm that the Virtual Season Ticket only entitles supporters to view home games streamed by RCFCTV?
A1. We can confirm that only home matches are included in the virtual element of the season ticket.
Q2. Supporters have raised queries regarding the pricing structure of the virtual season ticket - the cost of East and West stand compared to the Jail End was one of the main queries - could you explain the pricing structure?
A2. We wanted to try and freeze almost every season ticket price and are delighted to be able to say that on average we are the cheapest season ticket in the Scottish Premier League! The difference in cost from the West/East stand to the Jail End was due to us trying to ensure we had something to offer the wide range of budgets available to our supporters. A cost of Jail End season ticket is available on a first come first serve basis to all our supporters, but we do understand if supporters do not want to move from their preferred usual seats in the West and East stand. We appreciate that for the virtual season ticket part is the same no matter what season ticket you buy but you do have the peace of mind that when live football does return (whenever that may be!) you have the seat you want to watch your team at the Global Energy Stadium.
Q3. Will a half-season ticket be available, and will this only be available once supporters are
allowed back into the stadium?
A3. It is likely there will be a half season ticket available. Obviously given that entry to stadia will be dictated to us by the Government, we are unable to give any information as to when fans can return and, if half season tickets will be on sale before, during or after fans are allowed back to grounds. It is important to acknowledge and repeat the First Ministers advice that the more we suppress the virus the more allowances and steps we can take.
Q4. Supporters have asked if they would receive a refund for the four home games that weren’t played due to the pandemic and resulting close of football?
A4. Due to small numbers asking for this initially, the Club didn’t put a statement out and chose to deal with this on a 1 to 1 basis to make it more personal as every supporter had different individual circumstances. Options are available, and we are grateful to all the supporters who have donated the cost of last year’s games to the club. We continue to encourage supporters to open dialogue with us on this by contacting the shop during office hours on 01349 860 860.
Q5. For those supporters where circumstances may have changed and are unable to afford a virtual season ticket - is there a Pay-Per-View option available for RCFCTV?
A5. You will have seen our earlier feature on PPV which is on our club website. Our RCFCTV coverage is something that we have placed a lot of effort into and have tried to create something unique which we hope adds to the value of watching the coverage. PPV will be available for home games, which are not being covered live by Sky, however when we are away we believe some clubs may not offer PPV.
Q6. The virtual season ticket only allows the streaming of home games - are away games
available via Pay-Per-View and how would supporters pay for these i.e. do they contact the away club in question to pay for the game?
A6. Again, information on this is available on our club website with the announcement on PPV. For our away games, if the home club is offering PPV you will pay and access the stream via their TV site.
Q7. Do the club have any indication of when supporters will be allowed back into the stadium?
A7. At this point we have no indication of when supporters will be allowed back in to stadia.
Obviously, Jason Leitch and the Scottish Government have intimated out trial events and looking at October as a potential start point but nothing has been rubber stamped yet. It is our belief that around 25% of our capacity will be allowed access, which would effectively be all our season ticket holders, however again this is not confirmed and is merely guess work now.
Q8. Are the club considering a Virtual Season ticket going forward for all future seasons i.e.
keeping RCFCTV operating going forward - this could be a way to generate additional revenue for the club for supporters who are unable to attend all games?
A8. We want to bed in RCFCTV for the long term and look at how we can build and develop upon it. At this point in time we are thankful to Sky and the SPFL for allowing us to bring matches to our supporters via this medium this season. As we go forward, it will be directed to us by the SPFL as to how we can use RCFCTV to cover matches and whether we will be able to continue to screen them live beyond this season.
Q9. Members of the Staggies Army initiative were informed that they would receive a membership gift - can you provide an update on this for supporters who have joined the initiative?
A9. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns in various places this has taken much longer to proceed with than expected. The Staggies Army shirt, being designed by Macron, will be available in November/December as we want to ensure we get as many names as possible on this piece of history for our club. The Introductory gift is in the process of being created and we hope to bring this to you in the next 6-8 weeks, again dependant on no delays. We will endeavour to keep our supporters as up to date as we can on this.
Q10. Can the club advise if RCFCTV / Stream Digital are able to stream their content overseas?
A10. All Scottish Premiership games, home and away are available to view on our live streaming platform to fans based abroad. Further details will be released in due course regarding this.
I’d like to thank both the Chairman and CEO for taking the time to answer the queries above and I hope the above provides the supporters with some additional clarification on the main queries that were raised.
You can contact me anytime via email at SLO@rosscountyfootballclub.co.uk
Thank you for your continued support and all the very best for the season ahead
Kenny MacLennan - Supporter Liaison Officer.