Wednesday
Sep192018

Last few tickets for 30 years of TOOFIF book launch

There are just a handful of tickets left for the launch of David Lloyd's 'There's Only One F in Fulham - 30 years (and more) of Fulham FC and TOOFIF' book on Wednesday 14 November at the Duke's Head in Putney.

As well as your first chance to buy the book, there will be a Q&A with David and a panel of special guests from on and off the pitch to talk all things TOOFIF, Fulham and Craven Cottage.

You can also order the book in advance (at a reduced price) when booking your place at this special event, to pick up on the night. 

Taking place at the famous Duke's Head in Putney, your ticket includes a hot and cold buffet and the bar will be well-stocked for the night.

This is an all ticket fixture - come along to enjoy a night of all things Fulham FC, celebrate 30 years of TOOFIF and pick up an early Christmas present for that special Fulham fan in your life - numbers are limited, so book now to secure your place.

You can book your ticket via the Eventbrite link and order the book via the TOOFIF website.

Monday
Sep102018

Notes from September meeting with Fulham FC

On Monday 10 September 2018, Alistair Mackintosh (AM, chief executive officer), Darren Preston (DP, chief operating officer) and David Daly (DD, non-executive director) of Fulham Football Club met with Ian Clarke, Dan Crawford, Les O’Gorman and Owen Smith of the Fulham Supporters’ Trust at Motspur Park as part of the ongoing structured dialogue between both parties. The Club and the Trust were joined by PC Tony Delamo to discuss policing issues for part of the meeting.

AM welcomed the Trust representatives, especially the newly-elected members, to the meeting and reiterated his commitment to be as transparent and receive as much feedback from the supporters as possible. He also passed on the apologies of Carmelo Mifsud and Casper Sylsvig, who were unable to attend due to other diary commitments.

MATCHDAY EXPERIENCE AND GROUND ISSUES  

The Trust highlighted multiple issues arising from the recent League Cup tie against Exeter City following significant delays and queuing outside the ground prior to kick off as well as an apparent lack of staff, poor organisation, and inadequate stewarding.

AM acknowledged that they were “internally very aware” of the problems and that the Exeter game was “not our finest hour”. DP had written up a report on matchday failings and AM had collected feedback from several other senior Club staff. The expectation of service increases with a lower crowd and there would be “learnings” and that they were “caught by surprise”. The club were trialling not raising matchday prices for the Exeter City game and found that there were on the day an unexpectedly large number of walk-ups and late arrivals.

The reduced number of staff appears not to be due  to cost cutting, but rather the short time with which to get enough people to work the match. AM clarified that for all midweek cup games, against teams where there are reduced ticket prices, the Club makes a loss, but this presents an opportunity to attend for people who wouldn't ordinarily be able to. AM promised to learn from this experience and the club will improve in future.

The Trust also raised the Club’s decision this season to pay the London Living Wage and suggested that this should help to recruit and retain regular stewards rather than relying on agencies to continually provide staff. AM and DP replied that they felt strongly that it was the right decision, but it does have some knock-on effects. AM revealed that it can be a challenge to retain matchday staff, against a number of competitors in London, and he asked the Trust to help the Club recruit any supporters who might be interested in working on matchdays. DP also said that the introduction of the London Living Wage has meant that some regular stewards have had to reduce their hours because they would otherwise be affected by the benefit cap.

The Trust highlighted the common-sense stewarding by Brighton and Hove Albion’s stewards at the away game earlier this month, especially in terms of entry and exit from the stadium and how  Fulham fans were encouraged to remain in the ground following the final whistle. PC Delamo was less impressed with the stewarding both on the concourse prior to the kick off and with a slowness to police who were standing in seating areas. AM advised that the Club and Brighton were trialling a seated section in the away end for this game. However, ticket sales in this block were very low and eventually the club had to take the decision to open it up to general sale.

The Trust raised the news of a new planning application concerning the Hammersmith End. DP confirmed that this was the installation of a new commentary box to be located between the Hammersmith End and the Riverside Stand so that the Club could comply with the Premier League broadcast regulations. DP said that the box should be in place for the home game against Watford. It remains to be seen how this will impact upon movement of supporters in this area, although no viewing of the match will be affected. Both the Trust and the Club will monitor developments.

The Trust raised the fact that, at the start of both home league matches so far, the blind commentary service had not been working and supporters were actually listening to commentary from an alternative game. AM and DP were concerned to hear this feedback and said they would ensure that this was sorted for the next fixture.

All parties agreed that the Craven Cottage PA system remains very poor. DP agreed that it is very hard to hear at the back of the Riverside, and the Trust representatives also relayed that the same problems remain in the Johnny Haynes stand. The general consensus was that the investment in new equipment has  not been successful and the Club will be looking at other ways to improve the situation.

The Trust also brought the nationwide On the Ball campaign, designed to encourage clubs to provide free female sanitary products at football matches, to the attention of the Club and suggested that Fulham should sign up. Following a discussion at the meeting, the Club announced on Thursday that they would be immediately joining the On the Ball campaign. You can read the Club’s official statement, with comment from the Fulham Supporters’ Trust here

TICKETING ISSUES

The Trust raised the status of the members’ discount on home match tickets, as some members had written in after not being offered a discount for the forthcoming Arsenal game. AM replied that the membership discount is not intended for top-tier games such as  Arsenal, but only applies to certain other games. However, the club would rather not issue a list of the games it does apply to as they are exploring the idea of offering discounts to some games which they currently wouldn't, if there are any movements due to scheduling clashes.

The Trust raised a number of issues and suggestions around away ticketing, including:

  • the inability to choose a particular seat for away matches, which provokes problems around standing and sitting in the Fulham section (which were particularly problematic at Brighton and Hove Albion),
  • reintroducing the previously provided information on the Club website regarding blocks that were available and the order that they would be sold in,
  • splitting blocks into front and rear if individual seat choice was not available
  • and the possibility of simplifying the loyalty point tiers.

The Trust also asked if the Club could provide more information on how tickets remained on sale for away games to assist supporters. AM and DP said that the Club would take these suggestions under consideration, consult with their ticket office colleagues, and report back.

The Trust also highlighted IT issues around access to Arsenal tickets, with season ticket holders unable to purchase tickets on the advertised date. This issue was eventually resolved with the assistance of Katy Brecht, the Club’s head of ticketing, but caused significant problems. DP confirmed that the option to print tickets at home, whilst being useful in previous seasons was now being abused by touts and had been withdrawn. AM and DP confirmed that the Club will be attending a Premier League meeting on combating touting to discuss issues faced this season.

AM confirmed that the Club are still looking to set up a ticketing exchange system for  season ticket holders who are unable to attend particular fixtures, but it remains ‘a work in progress’. Casper Sylsvig is leading on this work, in conjunction with his ticket office colleagues, and the Club hope to be in a position to announce a development as soon as possible.

The Trust representatives also reiterated our concerns around this season’s ticketing pricing, especially for the forthcoming Bournemouth home game, and the potential for pricing out previously loyal supporters. DP agreed to take the Trust’s feedback on board, discuss internally to identify what would be possible and then organise a ticketing workshop with the Trust.

RIVERSIDE STAND UPDATE

AM provided an update on the Riverside Stand, having missed the previous meeting. He confirmed that the Club remained out to tender to potential sub-contractors and reiterated that no contract will be signed until the Club are totally satisfied with the offer on the table. The Club are not totally satisfied with the current responses received but are looking to move on with the project as soon as possible. AM revealed that chairman Shahid Khan is very focussed on the detail of the scheme and, in response to follow up questions from the Trust, wanted to assure supporters that the plan is not in danger of slipping a year.

COMMUNICATIONS

The Trust raised comments from supporters about a significant lack of information on the Club’s website. Several members had raised the lack of information about Scott Parker on the coaching section of the website and the continued listing of Jose Sambede Carreira as the Club’s goalkeeping coach despite press reports on his departure last month. AM said that these updates were a combination of slowness and ensuring the Club abides by employment law, but promised that these instances would be rectified as soon as possible.

Some Trust members had been in touch about inaccuracies in the Academy reports on the Club’s website. AM replied that the Club had recently recruited a new member of staff to assist with the coverage of the Club’s Academy and that he would pass on the comments internally.

In response to a question about Tim Ream’s fitness, AM said that the Club generally try not to reveal too much about injuries, although Slavisa Jokanovic is sometimes more forthcoming during his press conferences. AM said that Ream’s injury was not ‘extremely serious’ but had taken him some time to recover from and the Club hoped to have him available for first team selection again shortly.

ORGANISATIONAL

AM confirmed that the Club’s finance director Sean O’Loughlin had joined Crystal Palace and his role was currently being covered by his deputy Andy Tye. Whilst the Club had advertised for a replacement, AM revealed that the permanent replacement could be an internal appointment.

In response to various internet rumours of an ownership change, AM confirmed that the ownership of the Club remained with the Khan family and that no changes were either made or planned.

TRANSFER WINDOW

AM provided a brief overview of the August transfer window, having missed the last meeting. He felt the window went very well and fitted with the Club’s desire to try and establish themselves as a Premier League club. Slavisa Jokanovic had specified a number of areas where the promoted squad needed improving and the Club worked to bring in high-quality additions. AM said that the Khan family had provided financial backing for the Club to strengthen the squad and that they exceeded the amount they had planned to spend by bringing in a number of players towards the end of the transfer window. He also reiterated the importance of retaining the Club’s key players and confirmed that there were no issues with Financial Fair Play, with the Club now operating under the Premier League’s version of the rules.

MERCHANDISE

The Trust representatives relayed the feedback of a number of supporters about the lack of stock on some popular lines, including children’s replica shirts. The Club recognise that this is an issue, due to long lead-in terms and delays from Adidas meaning that not all stock was received. DD confirmed that CS was due to meet with Adidas in the coming days to resolve these problems. The Club also acknowledged the Trust’s comments on the lack of options for female supporters – and AM and DP said that new lines and items were planned.

The red and black shirts, worn during the away games against Tottenham Hotspur and Brighton and Hove Albion, will not be available in the Club shop. The intention was for them only to be used against Newcastle United until the Premier League changed their mind on the Tottenham kit clash. The Premier League have subsequently run the Club’s change kit through their colour clash simulator.

POLICING ISSUES

Tony Delamo introduced himself and said that he wanted to come to one of the structured dialogue meetings having been in place for more than a year. PC Delamo was pleased with most matters at Fulham, but detailed that most arrests have been for drug-related offences. He disclosed that this season’s drug policy is “nightclub style” i.e. confiscate and eject.

He confirmed that the thrower of the flare at the Exeter City game had been identified and action was currently being taken. He also added that six people involved in trouble at the Rotherham game had now been issued with three-year football banning orders.

PC Delamo wants to be approachable and will continue to liaise with the Club and the Trust as appropriate.

The meeting finished at 1.13pm.

Tuesday
Aug212018

Notes from August meeting with Fulham FC

Carmelo Mifsud (CM, media relations manager), Casper Sylsvig (CS, chief revenues officer) and David Daly (DD, non-executive director) of Fulham Football Club met with Ian Clarke, Dan Crawford and Archie Rhind-Tutt of the Fulham Supporters’ Trust at Motspur Park on Monday 13 August as part of the ongoing structured relationship between the Club and the fans.
CM welcomed everybody to the meeting and gave Alistair Mackintosh’s apologies for his absence.

MATTERS ARISING FROM JULY MEETING
CM and CS confirmed that Sean O’Loughlin has left Fulham Football Club to take up a position as finance director at Crystal Palace. The Club are currently recruiting for a new finance director.

The Trust inquired again as to the possibility of the play-off final highlights package and the review of the season DVD to be made available as a digital download following some queries from our members. CS confirmed that following conversations with Fulham FC’s suppliers both items will be soon made available to download via iTunes and the cost of the upload would be borne by the Club so the price to supporters would be the same as the physical media.

The Trust representatives referred to the safe standing trial currently in operation at Shrewsbury Town and the Government review of policy that has been trailed over the summer. CM confirmed that the Club were interested in fans views about this, but any policy changes would have to wait until the Premier League and the football authorities had reached a firm view on the matter.

RIVERSIDE STAND

The Club had not yet appointed a contractor to carry out the Riverside Stand rebuilding works. The Trust will be following this up with Alistair Mackintosh in due course. The Club confirmed that, once the contractor has been appointed and a clearer timescale for the works is in the place, they would want to set up a Riverside Stand working group with season ticket holders to discuss the various relocation options. The Trust and the Club agree that it is vitally important to provide supporters with as much information as possible about the changes to their matchday experience at Craven Cottage.

CM said that the Club had talked to a number of clubs about their experience of undertaking similar rebuilding work – and that he had personally visited Bristol City, who also had to move long-standing season ticket holders during their building work. The Club are committed to continuing with the Riverside Stand work and will keep supporters updated as to progress.

DD, who has been working on the promotion of the Club’s history since his appointment to the Board, confirmed that he would be wiling to discuss how to represent Fulham’s history in the new stand with the fans. The Trust will be setting up a meeting with DD and potentially other Club officials to discuss this in greater detail.

TICKETING ISSUES

The Trust raised the issue of the increased cost of upgrading tickets for matches this season. CS informed the meeting that, during a period of mystery shopping and direct phone calls to supporters seeking to renew their season tickets and memberships, that they discovered a number of adults who held concessionary memberships or season tickets.

Detailed analysis from last season on the number of games that season ticket holders miss showed that genuine concession holders are most likely to miss midweek evening kick-offs for a variety of reasons, particularly travel time to and from the game, so the Club wanted to keep the option of upgrades open. CS confirmed that the Club will keep this policy under review, but stressed that it had already proved successful in deterring the number of touts offering Fulham tickets for sale.

The Trust also raised the concerns of some members that they had purchased full adult tickets that had concession printed on them – and this was leading to problems at the turnstiles. CS replied that the Club would be looking into this as a matter of urgency.

The Trust representatives reiterated our concern at the expense of attending Fulham matches this season and the increase in season ticket prices. CS reiterated that there have been no discussions about the setting of prices for next season and that the Trust’s feedback would be given weight when those decisions are taken.

LOYALTY POINTS

The Trust put forward the suggestion made by a number of members that there could be a reduced number of tiers of loyalty points for some away fixtures. CS said that the Club recognised that loyalty points was an emotive issue for supporters but that the Club had received specific feedback that fans with a high number of loyalty points wanted the ability to buy tickets first. CS also commented that the Club are looking at other ways of giving supporters with high loyalty points additional benefits.

MERCHANDISING

CS confirmed that the Club has never sold as many replica shirts. The Trust raised the issue of the cost of purchasing a replica shirt, which has risen considerably over the past few years. CS said that he was aware of this issue and it was one of the reasons why the Club had reinstated the ten per cent discount for season ticket holders this season.

The Trust also raised queries from members that a number of popular sizes of shirts, training kit and other merchandise sell out exceptionally quickly. CS explained that the Club has to place orders with their supplies seven months in advance, which accounts for the shortage of stock in some sizes. DD confirmed that this is standard practice within the industry. CS confirmed that the next delivery of adult shirts is due in October and November.

CS revealed that takings in the Club’s stadium store on Stevenage Road were 50% higher than ever before during the opening home game of the season against Crystal Palace. He also said that the Club were looking to freshen merchandise more regularly this season and that the Club have appointed a specific member of staff, Sean Davies, to oversee this.

CS and CM confirmed that this season’s official third kit will be last season’s black away kit.
Following a further discussion on the kit manufacturing process, CS said that the only organisations who can fully design their own Adidas shirts are Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Manchester Utd and Germany.
In response to a question from the Trust, CS confirmed that the Club are still trying to still the shirt sponsor space on the Under 18 kit, which cannot display the Dafabet logo due to age restrictions on gambling.

FULHAM FC TV

The Trust had been made aware of instances of passwords and log-in information for the Fulham FC TV subscription service being sent in plain text email. The Trust raised this concern and the implications for GDPR. This issue will be looked into by CM and any supporters experiencing this should contact the Club immediately.

CARD PAYMENTS

The Club admitted that, following the decision to make more card-only payment areas available within Craven Cottage for the friendly against Celta Vigo and the first Premier League home game against Crystal Palace, the signage and knowledge of staff was not good enough at these games. CS has undertaken a review of the current operation and is aiming to ensure that it is better for the forthcoming home game against Burnley.

It was also confirmed that it is the Club’s intention to operate a card-only payments policy in the Riverside Stand once the new stand is fully built.

STEWARDING

The Trust raised the issue of over-zealous stewarding during the Celta Vigo game. CS and CM replied that the Club has to comply with the ground regulations and that Craven Cottage is designated an all-seater stadium, although they do recognise that there are some areas of the ground where supporters are left with a severely restricted view. CS commented that the Club are reliant on stewards to operate in line with their match day briefings, but said the Club would keep an eye on these issues.

The meeting closed at 1.32pm.
Friday
Aug172018

Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham: Awayday Guide

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR v FULHAM
SATURDAY 18 AUGUST 2018


Fulham's first away fixture of the 2018/2019 Premier League season has been switched to Wembley Stadium due to delays in completing Tottenham's new stadium. There are a number of travel issues and alterations that could affect supporters' journeys to and from the match tomorrow, which we hope to summarise below.

TICKETING INFORMATION

Fulham have sold their full away allocation for this fixture. There will be no away tickets available on the day.

RAILWAY ENGINEERING WORKS AND SERVICE ALTERATIONS

There are extensive engineering works taking place on the West Cost Mainline, which will impact train services out of London Euston station. There will be no Virgin Trains or West Midlands Trains running between London Euston and Milton Keynes Central and no London Overground services between London Euston and Watford Junction. London Underground Bakerloo line services will terminate at Queen’s Park. A rail replacement bus service will be in operation between Milton Keynes Central and Stanmore station, linking to London Underground Jubilee Line services.

This means there will be no Bakerloo or London Overground services calling at Wembley Central station on Saturday. Fulham supporters are strongly advised to take the London Underground to Wembley Park (Metropolitan or Jubilee Lines) or use the Chiltern Rail services to and from Wembley Stadium station. TfL have informed us that there will be an 'enhanced Metropolitan line' service operating on Saturday afternoon to cater for demand.

TRAVELLING BY CAR

There will be no parking available at Wembley Stadium or in the surrounding streets. Wembley Stadium does operate a park and ride scheme and more details are available here.

TRAVELLING BY BUS

The 18, 83, 92 and 224 bus routes stop in close proximity to Wembley Stadium. 

AWAY PUBS

The designated away pub for this fixture is The Green Man (Dagmar Avenue, Wembley HA9 8DF). Most of the usual pubs around the stadium will be open, but it is up to individual landlords as to whether they will accept visiting supporters.

CASHLESS WEMBLEY

Wembley Stadium will be operating a cashless service at this fixture in order to reduce delays and queuing at the kiosks and bars within the stadium.

Thursday
Aug092018

FST Election Results 2018

FULHAM SUPPORTERS’ TRUST

SOCIETY BOARD ELECTION AUG 2018

INDEPENDENT SCRUTINEER’S REPORT AND ELECTION RESULTS

8th August 2018

It was an honour to be asked to be the independent Scrutineer for the Fulham Supporters’ Trust Board Elections 2018 and it has been an interesting experience.

Nine vacancies were declared, and ten nominations were received but on informing the nominees one decided to withdraw leaving us with nine nominees for nine positions.

Therefore, as the Independent Scrutineer, and in line with rule 3.7 of the Election Rules, I declare those nine nominees appointed.

Those appointed are: Ian Clarke; Sue Couch; Dan Crawford; Chris Gilbertson; Tom Greatrex; Les O’Gorman; Gerry Pimm; Archie Rhind-Tutt; and Owen Smith.

In line with the current Constitution, at the first Society Board meeting lots shall be drawn to determine which four nominees are appointed for a two-year term, or part thereof, and the other five will then be deemed to be appointed for a one-year term or part thereof.

There should then be a further election prior to the next AGM where three vacancies will be declared, and the five retiring Directors will be eligible to stand again for election as will any other eligible members. This will then leave the required two spaces for co-opted Directors.

As part of my role I am required to report whether the current Society Election Rules Regulations and Procedures and the Society Constitution were adhered to. I am satisfied they were.

However, I consider that both the current Election Rules, Regulations and Procedures and the current Constitution are no longer fit for purpose and need to be updated as a matter of urgency. The former for the next Election and the latter for proposal to the next AGM.

I would recommend that both are reviewed in consultation with Supporters Direct who will advise on best practice.

Best wishes, Neil Le Milliere

Independent Scrutineer 2018

 

Board Statements