SEARCH
Video

Twitter
Wednesday
Jun012016

Meeting with Fulham CEO, May 2016

Trust Meeting with Fulham FC CEO, May 2016

 

On 26th. May, 2016 at 11.00, four of the Trust Board (Dan Crawford, Michael Gregg, Gerry Claydon and Tom Greatrex) met with Alistair Mackintosh (AM, Chief Executive Officer) and Sarah Brookes (SB, Communications and Marketing Director) from Fulham FC at the Club’s Headquarters, Motspur Park.

 

1) Redevelopment of Riverside Stand, Motspur Park and work on Craven Cottage

The Trust asked AM for an update on the 3 major works taking place and reiterated concerns over the delay to the Riverside stand and lack of clear information from the club on where exactly the club stood in relation to a start date on it.

The Trust made it clear that the low key nature and imprecise wording of the statements published on the Club's website and in the final match programme of the season increased anxieties, and that the Club needed to always be aware of the significance of any proposals associated with the ground with supporters, given the history.

AM explained that as the club moved closer to the actual start date of the work on the Riverside stand it was decided to have a peer review on the current plans. He confirmed that this decision was taken towards the end of the season. The club wanted to make sure it was/is the right design for the club and the ground going forward.

AM reiterated that Mr Khan loved Craven Cottage and wants to make sure that any development of it is right in all areas. AM stated that we would start to see more marketing of Craven Cottage as a venue, with regards more internationals possibly being held and as a corporate location. It’s a unique ground and as such should be viewed that way.

Two companies were put forward to look at the stand and ground, with Mr Khan choosing Heatherwick Studios to do the review. They have been given 4 months to look at the stand and the ground and come back with its conclusions. Currently, they are 4-6 weeks into this review.

Once their report is presented to the club they will then look at the result and make a decision on which route to take. This may be to continue with the current plan or take into account what Heatherwick Studios produce.

What this does mean is there will be no major works taking place this year, irrespective of the outcome of the review.

With planning permission due to run out this summer, the club will still be undertaking pre-commencement works to maintain the validity of the current planning permission. If the conclusion (of Heatherwick’s review) is to go ahead with the current design of the stand, there would then be no delay due to planning permissions. AM agreed to forward to the FST a discharge list of work to be undertaken. Some work such as trees being removed and some riverbank work had started already.

If any changes Heatherwick Studios suggest require a full planning application, then the club will have to decide if they wish to submit an application. This, of course, will take time. While the existing design is planned to be built while stadium is in use, AM could not commit that would necessarily be the case if an alternative design was favoured.

The club is in full consultation with Heatherwick Studios throughout this process, and involves discussing both the match day requirements and non-match day possibilities that a new stand could provide. Part of the brief is to ascertain what would be possible by staying within the footprint of the current plans.

The Trust asked about contractors involved with the build and AM said that, while they had worked with one major company throughout the process, nothing had been signed regarding the actual build process of the stand.

While the club would not confirm how much has been spent so far on the Riverside Stand, but the Trust believes it is in the region of £5M.

The work on Motspur Park continues and parts of it resemble a building site. This work will help the club keep the Category One status for its training facilities. New pitches, parking and a permanent dome for indoor training will benefit both the club and the local community. The cost of this work is between £6-7M and it should be finished by September 2016.

Craven Cottage is having all of its roof tiles removed and cleaned. The dressing rooms are being updated to cover league regulations and other exterior and interior work. Hopefully, this will be completed in time for the start of the season. As a listed building, the club is obliged to keep it in good condition, hence the need for these works.


2) Transfer embargo, FFP and player recruitment

With club now out of the embargo, AM said that the plan is to stay within the new FFP limits that have come into force. The question about QPR and its ongoing legal challenge was raised and there is still no news as to when that will be concluded.

FFP regulations should not hamper the club’s desire to make the changes required to the squad in order to challenge for promotion in the coming season.

The manager, in conjunction with Mike Rigg and his scouting team, will all be looking to bring in players with the right character and skills required for a promotion push. The structure of the player recruitment side of the club has remained unchanged following a review by Mr Khan at the end of the season.


3) Players retained/released and pre season matches.

SB confirmed that the list of players retained or released will be published no later than June 8th. and may well be announced before then.

With regard to pre-season matches, dates will only be released when all the contracts with the clubs have been signed, but it was confirmed that will include a tour to Ireland.


4) Season Tickets, Attendances, Fixtures, Ticketmaster and Casper Stylsvig

SB said that sales of STs so far had been going well and was above budget at this time. The reason for the extension of the deadline for applications was due to the forthcoming Bank Holiday and also to help fans who were normally paid at the end of the month, hence the extension until 31st. May.

The club was fairly happy that crowds, on the whole, were the same as last season and only down a few hundred on average. The mixed zone will be staying at the Putney end and also the club confirmed that they will not restrict ticket allocations away fans as many Fulham fans have asked. Scott Parker has asked SB to look at how the club can help the fans be more vocal, so it appears that the clappers are here to stay.

AM confirmed that (i) the club will continue to request permission from the Football League to stage their midweek home games on a Tuesday at 19:45 and (ii) the manager favoured this instead of a Wednesday.

Many fans had received multiple automated e-mail acknowledgements for renewal of their season tickets from Ticketmaster (TM) and this was being investigated by both the club and TM. It is a TM issue and happened during a specific time period. No reason for the problem could be given at this time.

Casper Stylsvig has started work at the club and is looking at all aspects of the club under his remit, which is to focus on increasing and developing revenue streams, including sponsorship and hospitality.

It was confirmed that a main shirt sponsor is in place for 2016-17, but the Club was not yet in a position to announce details.


5) Proposals for re-structuring of the Football League

AM said that the club had been in touch with the League asking for more clarification on the proposals and were unable to offer a firm position given the lack of detail in the proposals so far. He indicated that the FL agreed that discussions will take place over the coming months, ahead of any final proposals being put to Clubs at the 2017 AGM. AM volunteered that the reduction in games was not something he instinctively favoured.


6) The ‘free drink and hot food’ offer

SB said that, while the offers as a whole had gone down well and a majority of fans had been catered for, that issues had arisen from both the greater than expected demand and also the ability of the caterers to actually stock the required food and drink within the kiosks. SB expressed the view that, if it were held again, that lessons had been learnt from the problems that had arisen.


Meeting closed at 12:30

Friday
Apr292016

Brentford Away Information

The final away trip this season takes Fulham to Griffin Park for a match against near neighbours, Brentford FC. This guide follows a meeting between two of the Trust’s Board, representatives of fans’ groups of The Bees, Brentford club officials and Metropolitan Police match-day officers at Scotland Yard earlier this month and subsequent updates.

 

Getting to Brentford 

Brentford lies on the Hounslow loop line of South West Trains’ services from Waterloo via Chiswick (four per hour off peak) and another two per hour via Richmond and Hounslow. There are services originating from Addlestone (two per hour). At the time of writing, no engineering works are planned on this sector of South West Trains’ routes, but their web-pages should be checked nearer the date. 

http://www.southwesttrains.co.uk/engineeringworkland.aspx

Brentford is well served by London Transport buses: 

http://content.tfl.gov.uk/bus-route-maps/brentfordhighstreet-a4-121013.pdf 


Getting to Griffin Park

Brentford’s home since 1904, with its very limited capacity (little more than 12,700), lies on Braemar Road. 

http://bias.org.uk/fixtures-guides/guide-to-griffin-park/

http://www.footballgroundguide.com/leagues/england/championship/griffin-park-brentford.html

http://www.brentfordfc.co.uk/tickets/stadium-plan/

A Traffic Management Order will be in operation and a contingency exists to put on cordons via Clifton Road, with suggested parking areas. 

Away fans are housed in the Brook Road Stand at one end of the ground. This covered two-tiered stand has 600 seats in its upper tier and room for around 1,000 fans below in the terrace. The view of the pitch from the upper tier is unhindered, although this is restricted by the presence of supporting pillars in the lower terraced area.

The same number of officers as in the earlier match at Craven Cottage will be on duty, but with more police support units, the match having been classed as Category C, in theory resulting from concerns about fans on the pitch, deriving from the corresponding fixture last season. 

The FST enjoys cordial working relationships with independent Brentford supporters’ groups, both on the National Council of the Football Supporters’ Federation and in the Championship Trust’s Group (through Supporters Direct), and, as a result, both sets of fans’ groups believe the match categorisation to be overly cautious.

The LB Hounslow will be a ‘controlled drinking zone’ with no open cans or bottles of alcohol permitted. No alcohol will be served in the away end.  In addition to travelling stewards from FFC, Brentford FC will provide plenty of ‘Here to help’ staff at the Fulham fans’ end.

After the game, at Brentford railway station, there will be the option to keep some fans on one side of gates when trains arrive. There will be no special trains, but 2 extra carriages will be attached.

Real ale Brentford

The Brentford area is well-served by real ale pubs and nearby Chiswick is the home of Fuller, Smith and Turner’s Griffin Brewery, renowned for its ‘London Pride’ bitter. Griffin Park has a pub on every corner of the ground (The Griffin, The New Inn, The Royal Oak and The Princess Royal). In a departure from our normal citation of real ale pubs, and given discussions between the police and the licensees, we’ve listed the pubs in the vicinity of Griffin Park and restrictions over access for travelling fans.

Globe

Pre match: Home fans only.

During Match: Home fans only.

Post Match: Home fans only. 

O'Riordens

Pre Match: Accept both sets of fans.

During match: Accept both sets of fans.

Post match: Accept both sets of fans.

New Inn

Pre match: They will accept home and away but only with tickets.

During match: They will clear the pub; then home fans with tickets.

Post match: Home only with tickets. 

Griffin

Pre match: Home and away with tickets.

During match: Shut one door and home fans with tickets.

Post match: Home fans with tickets or regulars.

Princess Royal

Pre match: Home and away fans.

During match: Home and away fans.

Post match: Home and away fans. The landlord intends to close at 18.30 in order to prepare the pub for a disco at 19.00.

Inverness Social

Pre match:- Home fans only who are regular members of the club.

During Match:- Home fans only who are regular members of the club.

Post match:- Home fans only who are regular members of the club. 

Kings Arms

Pre match: Accept both home and away fans.

During match: Accept both home and away fans.

Post match: Accept both home and away fans, but will close at 19.00.

Beehive

Pre match:- Will accept both home and away fans.

During match:- Will accept both home and away fans.

Post match:- Will accept both home and away fans but will assess on the day.

All other pubs in the area will accept both home and away fans.
 

Culinary Brentford

Bring sandwiches. 

 

Cultural Brentford

The BIAS web-site lists a number of worthwhile cultural and sociological landmarks in the vicinity of Griffin Park and any of these merit investigation.

http://bias.org.uk/fixtures-guides/guide-to-griffin-park/#whatelse

Keen historians will be aware of the crucial (in terms of the defence of London) battle of Turnham Green (on 13th. November, 1642). However, the day before, an important skirmish was fought at Brentford, which delayed Royalist forces and allowed the Parliamentary army to form up on Turnham Green. 

http://www.battlefieldstrust.com/resource-centre/civil-war/battleview.asp?BattleFieldId=53

 

Monday
Mar142016

Trust Meeting with Fulham FC CEO, March, 2016

On 8.iii.2016 at 10.30, two of the Trust Board (Dan Crawford and Neil Springate) met with Alistair Mackintosh (AM, Chief Executive Officer) and Steven Day (SD, Chief Executive at Fulham FC Foundation) from Fulham FC at the Club’s headquarters, Motspur Park.

1) Proposed statue of George Cohen

SD explained that the Club had been working on this for four months in order to honour the Club’s World Cup winning player and to support the charitable causes promoted by George Cohen. A press release on 2 March, which had received a positive response, had been followed by a general announcement on the Club’s web-site and a fund-raising campaign had gone ‘live’ on the day of the meeting. It was hoped that £100,000 would be raised for both the statue and the charities, which would be matched, pound for pound, by the Club’s Chairman, Shahid Khan, with an intended closure of the funding effort on 8.v.2016. The sculptor who had been used for the statue of Johnny Haynes would design that of Cohen. A number of events were planned, including a screening of the 1966 World Cup Final, with dates to be confirmed.

https://www.tifosy.com/en/campaigns/thank-you-to-fulham-1966-world-cup-legend-george-cohen

2) Fulham FC Foundation Ladies

Having received some enquiries from members, the Trust asked about progress with the Fulham FC Foundation Ladies team. SD said that the side was progressing well on the pitch, although that it would be unlikely for it to continue playing at the Surrey Sports Park, Guildford, and would be brought to Motspur Park for next season. A partnership had been entered into with Kingston College for a Girls U18 Team. The Foundation was in the process of applying for an FA License to operate as a Regional Talent Centre for the 2016/2017 season and had progressed to Stage 2 (of three) of the process.

3) Player recruitment in the January transfer ‘window’

AM remained optimistic about the future of the squad under the leadership of Slavisa Jokanovic. It was believed that the transfer embargo during the January ‘window’ did not have a significant impact on the Club’s player recruitment, since the making of major player purchases in mid-season was not preferred. All of the Club’s loan targets had been achieved, in particular the acquisition of Michael Madl from Sturm Graz. The Club would be taken out of the embargo at the end of the current season, following the examination of financial information supplied by the Club to the Football League. The Chairman would offer fiscal support in order to strengthen the side for the 2016/2017 season.

4) Ticket purchasing for away matches

More complaint had been received by the Trust regarding the selling of tickets for away matches and the lack of choice offered by Ticketmaster. At the recent match at the Madejski Stadium, versus Reading FC, it was noted that seating arrangements appeared to have broken down and that it had become a ‘free for all’ with regard to occupation of seating, to the obvious discomfort of the elderly travelling fans. AM said that the deal with Ticketmaster would be reviewed at the end of the season. The Trust asked whether reports hade been received from the Club’s ‘away’ stewards, but AM said that there had been none. The Trust queried the wisdom of the continued absence of the Club’s Supporter Liaison Officer at away matches, which the Trust believes is where and when the SLO will be most needed, noting the contrast with the effort made by previous SLO, Tommy Guthrie, who was always a very visible presence at away games.

The Trust had received a request for an International line to be established for ticket purchases and other information for those calling from abroad in order to replace the prohibitively expensive charges levied by ‘phoning to the 0345 prefixes. AM agreed to investigate the possibilities of an international direct dial line.

5) Commercial partnerships

AM stated that the partnership with VisitFlorida was the largest commercial deal in the Championship, but would be reviewed at the end of the current league season.

6) Riverside Stand Redevelopment

No fixed date had been given for the commencement of works on the Stand and the Trust reiterated the growing frustration of its members and fans in general with the apparent lack of progress on this matter. AM said that tendering was still taking place, although this would be within one overall contract.

AM said that the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham has placed an advert in the London Weekly News (and had written to local residents) with regard to its intended use of a small area of Bishop’s Park adjacent to the Putney End as a contractors’ compound during the construction process. The Council has discussed the matter with the Friends of Bishop’s Park.

http://www.friendsofbishopspark.com/index.html

7) University Boat Race 2016

AM said that the traditional pre-Boat Race varsity football match between Oxford and Cambridge would be played at Craven Cottage on 27.iii.2016.

Meeting closed at 11.45

 

Friday
Feb262016

Trust Meeting with Fulham FC CEO, February, 2016

*First of all we would like to apologise for the delay in these minutes being posted on the website. We had some technical issues which have now been resolved.

 

On 9.ii.2016 at 10.30, three of the Trust Board (Dan Crawford, Michael Gregg and Neil Springate) met with Alistair Mackintosh (AM, Chief Executive Officer) and Sarah Brookes (SB, Communications and Marketing Director) from Fulham FC at the Club’s headquarters, Motspur Park.


1) Appointment of new first team head coach

AM was pleased with the appointment of Slavisa Jokanovic as the Head Coach of the first team and there was a feeling of overall improvement in the quality of play of the side.

 
2) Ticketing for QPR and related matters

The Trust was pleased that an increased allocation of tickets had been made by Queen’s Park Rangers FC for the forthcoming match on 12.ii.2016 at Loftus Road and believed that being able to book by block was an improvement on the pre-existing system. SB said that a revamped ticketing page on the website was due to ‘go live’ from Ticketmaster.

With regard to season tickets for the season 2016/17, SB said that a questionnaire had been sent and the responses were being analysed. The Trust said that any increase on the current prices would not be welcomed by the fans. SB said that a range of pricing ‘packages’ would be offered, but that rates had yet to be decided, but the Club’s position in the league would have to be considered.

 
3) Redevelopment of Riverside Stand and Motspur Park

The Trust said that, as yet, there had been no major announcement by the Club, either on its web site or in the match programme about the schedule for the start of works on the Riverside Stand. SB said that some matters were undecided, although these were unspecified. AM confirmed that the Club would need access through Bishop’s Park for the intended works. The Trust noted the repair and refurbishment works to the turnstiles on the Stevenage Road.

Having supported the Club’s planning application for development at Motspur Park, the Trust was pleased that it had been granted and said that this would be important in keeping the Category One status for its training facilities. Had a time scale been set for the completion of works? AM said that, already, the facility resembled the proverbial building site, but training had to continue as normal. There would be greater building activity during the close season.

 
4) Non-executive directors on Fulham FC Board

This matter was raised at the Trust’s recent AGM and had been discussed with the Club before. From comments received from some members and those from fans in general, it perceived that there was an absence of long-serving fans of the Club involved within the its hierarchy. AM replied that Board was and would remain as it is constituted presently and added that he spoke to Chairman, Shahid Khan (Chairman) and Mark Lamping (President, Jacksonville Jaguars) on a weekly basis.

 
5) Financial Fair Play (FFP)

The Trust noted that its members (and fans in general) were surprised that, following the Club’s previous statements that it was within FFP guidelines, that it had become subject to a transfer embargo by the Football League for the January transfer ‘window’. The subject had been discussed at the Trust’s recent AGM and its members wanted an explanation for the breach and embargo, further to the brief statement that had been given on the Club’s web-site.

AM said that selling Ross McCormack, for whom much interest had been received during the summer 2015 transfer ‘window’, could have enabled the Club to remain within the limit of losses permitted by FFP. The alternative was that was chosen was a “managed breach” of FFP (and to retain a relatively large squad of players, as stated in the minutes the meeting of September, 2015 to Trust members). Although this was known in June 2015, AM said that the Club did not wish to disadvantage itself during the summer 2015 transfer ‘window’ by making a public statement of the breach of regulations. Further, AM said (i) that it would have suited the Club had Queen’s Park Rangers FC been successful in their legal action against the impositio n of sanctions for their breach of FFP rules, but this process remained incomplete, and (ii) claimed that many fans of Fulham would prefer the Club to adopt a similar course of action.

The Trust reiterated its longstanding support of the principle of FFP regulations and stated that it expected the club to abide by the competition rules.


6) Hammersmith & Fulham borough Safety Advisory Group

The Trust informed the club that its representatives had attended a recent meeting with police and council officers about participation in the Hammersmith & Fulham Safety Advisory Group, alongside representatives from the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust. This would allow for greater supporter input into ongoing policing and stewarding issues. The Trust will now be consulted ahead of each Fulham-specific meeting of the Safety Advisory Group.

 
7) Forthcoming match versus Charlton Athletic FC

AM confirmed that, despite pressure from Manchester City FC for a change of date and timing to suit their forthcoming Champions’ League match the following Wednesday, the home match versus Charlton Athletic FC would take place as scheduled on 20.ii.2016 and at 15.00.


Meeting closed at 11.35

Thursday
Jan282016

Fulham Supporters' Trust welcomes Motspur Park planning permission

The Fulham Supporters' Trust are delighted that Fulham Football Club's proposal to improve Motspur Park were approved by Kingston Council at a meeting of their Development Control Committee last night.

The plans include the replacement of Fulham's current indoor training facility, an increase in the capacity of the current stand so that more supporters can watch the club's under 18 and under 21 sides, an expanded car park and the opportunity to increase the amount of community facilities and outreach activities with local schools.

The planning permission is integral to Fulham retaining their Category One EPP rating and for the club to continue the fine youth development work overseen by Academy director Huw Jennings.

The Trust looks forward to continuing to work with Fulham Football Club on their excellent youth development and community engagement work.