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Saturday
Dec092017

Trust asks Fulham fans to 'bring a pound to the ground' and support the Fulham Foundation

The Fulham Supporters' Trust is asking Fulham fans to support the work of the Fulham FC Foundation on their charity matchday at Craven Cottage this afternoon by bringing a pound to the ground to support the Foundation's award-winning work.

The Trust have worked with the Foundation on a number of innovative projects over the last few years, including their FanActiv fitness programme, the Walking Football initiatives that supporters will have seen displayed at half time on the pitch at the Craven Cottage and the 'Fulham Memories' project championed by George Cohen.

The Foundation's work includes running highly commended programmes for supporters and youngsters with disabilities. Trust communications officer Dan Crawford said: 'I have personal experience of how the Fulham Foundation's work with disabled fans helps boost our confidence in a wonderful environment close to the football club we all love. The Foundation depends on the generous donations it receives from Fulham fans - so I would like to urge all Fulham supporters to bring at least a pound to the ground today ahead of this afternoon's game against Birmingham City'.

The following is a message to Fulham Supporters' Trust members from the Fulham FC Foundation:

 For more than ten years, Fulham Football Club Foundation (FFCF) has delivered pioneering disability programmes in the community and today we’re raising vital funds to support our Fulham Badgers, Active Autism and Inclusive Champions programmes.

FFCF’s Official Charity Matchday is on Saturday 9th December when the Whites host Birmingham City at home, KO 3pm. For supporters attending the match, FFCF has just one ask: Bring £1 to the ground. Volunteers will be collecting donations in and outside of the ground pre-match. Can't make the match? Supporting the cause has never been easier.

If you can't make the match or haven't got £1 to hand, you can text FFCF09 £1 to 70070 or donate online here.

From everyone at Fulham FC Foundation and Fulham Football Club, thank you for your support!

 

For more than ten years, Fulham Football Club Foundation (FFCF) has delivered pioneering disability programmes in the community and on 9th December, we’re raising vital funds to support our Fulham Badgers, Active Autism and Inclusive Champions programmes.

 

FFCF’s Official Charity Matchday is on Saturday 9th December when the Whites host Birmingham City at home, KO 3pm. For supporters attending the match, FFCF has just one ask: Bring £1 to the ground. Volunteers will be collecting donations in and outside of the ground pre-match. Can't make the match? Supporting the cause has never been easier: 

Wednesday
Nov222017

Last chance to get your tickets for Trust evening with Micky Adams

The Fulham Supporters' Trust has a few final tickets for our special question and answer evening with Fulham cult hero Micky Adams on Thursday 30 November at Craven Cottage.

Tickets for this special event, which will include a complimentary drink and the chance to get a signed copy of Micky's recently released autobiography, are priced at £20. The evening, staged in the McBride's bar at the Cottage, will get underway at 7.30pm and will give Fulham fans to hear the architecht of that famous 1996/97 promotion season talk about memories from playing and managing Fulham whilst in conversation with Trust chair Tom Greatrex.

The last few tickets are available to purchase here, but we would advise supporters interested in attending to purchase as soon as possible, with sales due to close.

Tuesday
Nov212017

Notes from November meeting with Fulham Football Club

On Tuesday 14 November 2017, Dan Crawford, Mike Gregg and Gerry Pimm of the Fulham Supporters’ Trust met with Alistair Mackintosh (AM, Chief Executive Officer), Casper Stylsvig (CS, Chief Revenue Officer), Carmelo Mifsud (CM, Media Relations Officer) and David Daly (DD, Non-Executive Director) of Fulham Football Club at Motspur Park as part of the Trust’s ongoing structured dialogue with the Club.

CRAIG KLINE, RECRUITMENT AND TRANSFERS
The Trust representatives opened the meeting by asking about the recent departure of Fulham Football Club’s former assistant director of football operations and head of statistical research and the reports that followed in the national press. AM replied that the details of Mr. Kline’s departure would need to remain confidential, although he would try to answer as many of the questions as the Trust and supporters had put to the Club in as much detail as possible.

AM confirmed that, since Tony Khan had been appointed as the Club’s director of football operations last spring, Fulham’s recruitment and transfer policy had been closely aligned to analytics following the ‘two boxes ticked’ approach that has been discussed at these meetings previously. AM reiterated that both conventional scouting and data analysis play a part in drawing up a list of around 20 plus players per position that form the initial basis of the Club’s recruitment strategy. AM commented that, given that there are financial inputs as well as the opinion of the head coach Slavisa Jokanovic to be considered prior to the signing of a player, he prefers describing this as a ‘four boxes ticked system’.

In response to questions from the Trust, AM confirmed that both data and scouting approval of a target would be required into order to commence recruitment. In the event that a potential signing did not feature on the Club’s statistical database, the system was flexible enough to allow for the Club to request scouting reports and further analysis on a player.  AM offered the example of the signing of Stefan Johansen, for whom comprehensive SPL analytical data was not available last summer, to illustrate how the process worked in practice.

AM confirmed that, following Mr. Kline’s departure, James Lovell, who has fulfilled the first team analyst role at the Club since 2011 following his recruitment from Wolverhampton Wanderers, had been appointed as an interim assistant director of football operations and head of statistical analysis. Mr. Lovell is a popular member of the Club’s staff who works with the first-team coaching staff on a daily basis and will continue in this role for the foreseeable future. In response to questions from the Trust, AM said that the Club regularly reviews its transfer and recruitment policy and confirmed that Tony Khan would continue in his current role working alongside Mr. Lovell, Brian Talbot and Slavisa Jokanovic as the Club prepared for the January transfer window.

AM also confirmed that the Club has introduced a recommendation that they should not sign outfield players over the age of 28 except at Tony Khan’s discretion, where it was felt that they would add immediate value to the first-team squad. He also confirmed that, since the summer transfer window, Danny Talbot had joined the Club as one of several senior Club scouts reporting to Brian Talbot, although it was inaccurate to describe him as the Club’s new head of European Scouting as some press reporting had done.

The Trust representatives commented that the Fulham fans had been greatly concerned by the reports of disharmony that followed Mr. Kline’s departure and that some of the reporting raised concerns about governance. AM acknowledged that this had been a difficult period for the Club, but that period is now over and he hoped Fulham and the first-team could move forward without any further distractions. 

SUPPORTERS DIRECT ENGAGE DOCUMENT
Following previous discussions between the Trust, the Club and the football authorities around structured dialogue, the Trust representatives presented Supporters Direct’s recently published ‘Engage’ document on best practice between Clubs and their supporters. The document featured Fulham Football Club’s current dialogue with the Fulham Supporters’ Trust in a case study as one of the most successful in British football. AM, DD and CS all spoke about the benefits that the current structured dialogue had delivered for the Club and the Trust representatives expressed their view that these meetings had become a useful forum for the fans to table issues of concern and request further information. It was noted that the regularity of these meetings, the attendance of senior Club officials and the items discussed within them went well beyond the minimum requirements specified by the EFL regulations and both parties agreed to discuss formalising this dialogue at their earliest possible convenience.

RIVERSIDE STAND REDEVELOPMENT
The Trust representatives offered feedback from our members and the Fulham fans following the two consultation events held at Craven Cottage about the Club’s plans to redevelop the Riverside Stand. In the Trust’s view, the fans welcomed the opportunity to be given further insight into the Club’s proposals and supporters were in favour of the new plans put together by local architects Populous.

The Trust raised concerns expressed by supporters about the tightness of the proposed schedule of works should the plans be approved by Hammersmith and Fulham Council as well as the impact on existing Riverside Stand season ticket holders, who would need to be relocated whilst the new stand was constructed. Many Trust members and Fulham supporters had also offered comments on the type of facilities that should located within the new Stand and it was agreed that the Trust would summarise these suggestions in a briefing document.

AM confirmed that the Club were planning to formally submit their application to Hammersmith and Fulham Council next week and remained confident that a decision would be reached by the local authority prior to the purdah period before the 2018 local elections. The Club felt that the consultation was very well-attended, and that preliminary analysis of the feedback submitted both in person and online suggested that the vast majority of Fulham fans and local residents supported the proposals.

MICKY ADAMS EVENT
The Trust thanked the Club for their assistance in facilitating the supporters’ evening with former Fulham player and manager Micky Adams to be hosted in McBride’s at Craven Cottage on Thursday 30 November.
CM and DD confirmed that Micky Adams and several members of the 1996/97 Division Three promotion winning side would be guests of the Club at the forthcoming home fixture with Derby County on Saturday 18 November. CM further revealed that Adams would be signing copies of his recently released autobiography in the Stadium Store on Stevenage Road prior to kick off and that Adams and the players would be presented to supporters on the pitch at half-time.

DD revealed that the Club planned to invite a number of former Fulham players to forthcoming home fixtures and that details would be announced shortly.

JOHNNY HAYNES SHIRT
The Trust raised the relocation of Johnny Haynes’ England shirt from the Johnny Haynes longue, where it had been temporarily placed towards the end of last season, to a place where Fulham fans could more easily view it on a regular basis. It was agreed that the most appropriate location would be in the ticket office on Stevenage Road and the Club undertook to begin the feasibility and moving process as soon as possible.

STADIUM STORE
The Trust representatives shared some feedback from fans on the recently refurbished Stadium Store in Stevenage Road. Both AM and CS stated that the Club had been pleased by the reaction of supporters to the reopening of the store and reported that there had been significantly higher sales receipts when compared with last October. CS also drew supporters’ attention to a number of new lines in the shop and confirmed that a set of new ranges were due to be unveiled before Christmas. CS also commented that the retail section on the Club’s website had been redesigned to provide an easier viewing and purchasing expe      rience – and that the Club would welcome feedback on these changes.

The Trust representatives raised the continuing popularity of the Club’s heritage, retro kit ranges and historical items amongst the Fulham fans. The Trust also passed on suggestions from our members about potential additions to these lines as well as further merchandise that could be considered and it was agreed that these would be discussed at a special meeting to be convened between Club officials and Trust board representatives.

AWAY TRAVEL
The Trust thanked the Club for arranging free coach travel to forthcoming fixtures, but commented that the coaches laid on for this month’s away match at Sheffield United had been announced after many supporters had already purchased train tickets. CS, CM and AM noted these concerns and confirmed that the Club were in talks with their main sponsor about further free coach travel options.

The Trust also raised the difficulties experienced by a number of supporters both before, during and after the recent away fixture at Wolverhampton Wanderers. Many Fulham fans were left with unrefundable travel tickets following the moving of this fixture to a Friday night by Sky Sports, whilst disabled and mobility-impaired supporters were greatly inconvenienced by the failure of Wolves’ stewards to direct them to a lift instead of the stairs up to the Stan Cullis stand at Molineux. This issue was raised with the Wolves disabled supporter liaison officer immediately by the Trust representatives in attendance – and was rectified closer to kick off.

Following the final whistle, Fulham fans emerging from Molineux to board the away coaches back to London found that they had been moved away from the established drop-off and pick-up point to the other side of the ring road. Wolves subsequently suggested that an announcement had been made over the public address system during the game, but neither the Wolves stewards nor the local or Metropolitan Police appeared aware of the change.

The Trust had subsequently made Wolves, the EFL and the police aware of the impact this lack of communication had on Fulham supporters and the Club communicated its disappointment. The Trust representatives also pointed out the supporter liaison officer case studies included in the afore mentioned Supporters Direct Engage documentation and it was agreed that the Trust should meet with members of Fulham’s supporter relations team to discuss how best practice can be best implemented.

MATCHDAY EXPERIENCE
CS confirmed that the Club were still undertaking a scheme work designed to improve the matchday experience for home fans at Craven Cottage. Following on from previous discussions on this topic, he revealed that the Club had been in discussions with Carlsberg about providing more promotions ahead of kick off and had ensured that the main Riverside bar now remained open for longer following the final whistle.

The Club also shared with the Trust representatives a recently commissioned report on the matchday atmosphere and acoustics at Craven Cottage, which the Trust undertook to share with our members and Fulham fans as soon as possible. The Trust shared a number of suggestions from supporters designed to improve the matchday atmosphere and experience and both parties agreed to further this discussion through separate meetings to be arranged as soon as possible.

The meeting closed at 12.36pm
Monday
Nov202017

Awayday Guide: Sheffield United

TICKETING INFORMATION

Fulham have been allocated more than 2,000 tickets in the lower tier of the Bramall Lane stand. Tickets are available on general sale for personal callers to the Fulham ticket office at Craven Cottage until 1pm tomorrow (Tuesday 21 November). They are priced at £22 for adults, £15 for supporters aged over 60, £13 for students or those supporters aged between 18 and 21 and £11 for under 18s. There will be cash sales on Tuesday night from the away ticket office next to the Bramall Lane stand away entrance, but these tickets will cost £24 for adults, £17 for supporters aged over 60, £15 for students or those supporters aged between 18 and 21 and £13 for under 18s.

GETTING TO BRAMALL LANE

BY CAR

Exit the M1 at Junction 33 and take the A630 into Sheffield City Centre. When you get to the inner ring road follow signs for A621 Bakewell and the ground is located a quarter a mile on the other side of the city centre. There is no parking available at Bramall Lane itself and very limited street parking near the ground. Fulham fans who will be driving are advised to park at the multi-storey car park in Eyre Street, which will cost £3.50 on production of your match ticket. Supporters could also park at Meadowhall Railway Station, which is free, from where you can take a tram to the ground (£4 return).

BY TRAIN

Sheffield railway station is located about ten minutes away from Bramall Lane. Direct trains run from London St. Pancras or via Doncaster from London Kings Cross. The last train back to London on Tuesday evening leaves Doncaster station at 21:54. You can get a taxi from the Sheffield train station to the ground for around £4-£5).

BY COACH

The Club and Grovesnor Casinos are running free coaches from Craven Cottage and West Barnes Lane opposite Motspur Park train station from 1.45pm tomorrow. All ticket holders are able to take up the free coach travel by contacting the Fulham ticket office.

AWAY PUBS

Most of the pubs in the direct vicinity of Bramall Lane are designated as home fans only.

The closest pub to the ground welcoming away fans is likely to be the Sheaf Island on Ecclesall Road, which is a Wetherspoons chain (Ecclesall Road, Sheffield S11 8HW). Behind the Waitrose on Cemetary Road is The Beer Engine (7 Cemetery Road, Sheffield S11 8FJ), which offers an excellent range of craft beers and food. The Devonshire Cat (49 Wellington Street, Sheffield S1 4HG), which regularly features in the CAMRA good beer guide, serves at least twelve real ales as well as a wide food menu and has a large TV screen showing live sport is also highly recommended.

There are a number of options closer to Sheffield train station, including The Globe (54 Howard Street, Sheffield S1 2LX), which offers an excellent selection of ales. Also on Howard Street is the appropriately named The Howard (Howard Street, Sheffield S1 2LW), a mock-Tudor fronted pub that welcomes away fans. Inside the station itself, the Sheffield Tap (1b Sheffield Station, Sheaf Street, Sheffield S1 2BP) is a popular Edwardian bar that brews on-site real ale, although they may turn away fans who refuse to cover up their colours. 

Supporters opting to walk towards Bramall Lane may wish to visit the Rutland Arms (86 Brown Street, Sheffield S1 2BS), which serves a wide selection of real ales and has an atmospheric interior and beer garden. The Sentinel Brewing Company (178 Shoreham St, Sheffield S1 4SQ), which brews its own selection of local, British, European and American ales, is also well worth a visit.

86 Brown St, Sheffield S1 2BS
Sunday
Nov192017

Matchday Atmosphere Report

There is an ongoing debate at Fulham FC about the match day atmosphere. Why do the away fans always sound louder and the Hammersmith End losing crowd noise through the gaps in the stand are just two of the comments made.

Matchdays form an important and regular topic of discussion between the FST and the club. From food, drink, disabled facilities, toilets, stewarding, ticket prices and much more.  One area we keep revisiting is how to improve the atmosphere during a game.

The club have from time to time requested reports from companies who are experts in sound and noise within a stadium.

The club have kindly passed on one of those reports for the FST to publish. The report was undertaken in the autumn of last year at home game vs Norwich.

Here are some of the main points and summary from it.

  • Vanguardia were commissioned by Fulham Football Club to undertake an assessment of the crowd atmosphere on a match day and investigate ways in which the stadium acoustics may enhance the fan experience
  • This report describes the findings of the assessment in terms of architectural acoustics, usage of the sound-system and subjective impression of atmosphere.
  • Through a combination of complaint emails and fan forum engagements, Fulham FC supporters have indicated they are dissatisfied with the atmosphere at their home stadium. The majority of complaints have come from season ticket holders in the Hammersmith End. The complaints are largely related to the perception of crowd noise escaping from the open corners at either side of the stand.
  • Fulham FC have trialled various methods of improving the atmosphere during the 2016/17 season. This has included the introduction of cardboard clappers on the seats which were in use on the match-day assessed. The club have also trialled goal celebration music and live drummers in the stands, however it is understood these were not well received by fans.
  • The majority of vocal support for the team comes from the rear of the Hammersmith stand. The stand itself has a long, shallow seating rake, meaning that the fans towards the back are a relatively long distance – approximately 35-40m from the pitch. Conversely, the Putney stand has a steeper seating rake and shorter distance of only 20-25m from back row to the pitch-side.
  • For supporters seated towards the middle of the Riverside and Johnny Haynes stands, the away support in the Putney end is going to be more audible than the chanting from the back of the Hammersmith stand due to the shorter distances involved.
  • A notable feature of the architecture of the Hammersmith stand is the restricted view fans have of the other parts of the stadium. The view, and subsequently the propagation path of sound is obstructed by the hospitality boxes at either side of the stand. This may be a contributing factor to the perception that noise generated by fans in these areas of the Hammersmith stand does not transmit to the rest of the home support.
  • As mentioned, there is a perception among fans in the Hammersmith stand that noise they generate is escaping out of the open corners of the stand. During the match-day survey, it was observed that the majority of vocal support is based towards the back of the Hammersmith stand, in the centre of the seating. It is unlikely that the open ended architecture of the Hammersmith is stand is resulting in a significant reduction of sound energy reaching the rest of the stadium.
  • A number of measurements of crowd noise were taken in both the Riverside stand and the Hammersmith Stand.
  • Towards the middle of the Riverside stand, crowd noise levels of 80-82dBLAeq were measured. These consisted largely of the away supporters in the Putney Stand at a point in the match where the visiting team was in the lead.
  • In the second half, measurements were taken in the Hammersmith end. During home goal celebrations in the second half, crowd noise levels of up to 102dBLAeq were measured in close proximity to the vocal support. This represents a good level of crowd noise and is in line with measurements taken in other, similar stadia.

                                                                           SUMMARY

  • It is not felt that the open ends of the Hammersmith Stand are particularly detrimental to the build-up of crowd noise generated by home supporters. More noticeable was the longer distance from the pitch to the rear of the Hammersmith stand, where the most vocal home fans are situated.

 

 

 

The trust would welcome any comments back from this report to take back to the club so please contact by email at info@fulhamsupporterstrust.com