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Thursday
Oct192017

Awayday Guide: Aston Villa

Fulham's eighth away trip of the season sees Slavisa Jokanovic's side travel to Villa Park to face Aston Villa on the exact same weekend as when the Whites last lost in Birmingham last year.

TICKETING INFORMATION

Tickets for Saturday's game are on general sale until tomorrow (Friday 20 October) afternoon at 3pm priced at £30 for adults, £20 for over-65s, £20 for students or members of the armed forces, £17 for under-21s and £10 for under-16s. Supporters can purchase tickets via the Fulham FC ticket hotline on 0203 871 0810, but will need to collect them either from the Fulham ticket office in Stevenage Road or Villa Park on Saturday. Fulham have sold over 1,400 tickets and the away allocation is now divided between the Lower and Upper Tier of the Doug Ellis Stand. There will be no alcohol on sale in the upper tier on Saturday. A small number of upper tier tickets will be available to purchase on the day through cash sales only from the Aston Villa ticket office at Villa Park in Witton Lane

GETTING TO VILLA PARK

BY CAR

Exit the M6 at Junction 6 and take the slip road signposted Birmingham (NE). Take the fourth exit from the roundabout beneath the motorway (turning right), towards the City Centre/Aston/Star City and follow the signs towards Villa Park. Turn right along Lichfield Road onto Aston Hall Road, which will take you down to the ground.

BY TRAIN

Fulham fans can take a direct train from London Euston to Birmingham New Street and then take a ten or fifteen minute train to either Aston or Witton train station. Witton is the closest train station to the Doug Ellis Stand, which houses the away fans, and supporters are advised to turn left out of the station and head towards the roundabout into Witton Lane, where the away section is on the right. Aston is about ten minutes walk from Villa Park

Although extra trains are running on matchdays, the trains to and from Aston and Witton can be become extremely crowded both before and after the game. Fulham fans may find it easier to get a taxi back to Birmingham New Street, board one of the local buses or travel to Birmingham Moor Street station and continue their journey from there.

BY COACH

Fulham Football Club's official coaches will depart from Craven Cottage and opposite the Earl Beatty pub on West Barnes Lane at Motspur Park train station from 10am on Saturday. Seats on these coaches are still available and cost £17 for adult season ticket holders and members and £10 for junior season ticket holders and members or £22 for general sale adults and £15 for juniors.

AWAY PUBS

Most pubs in the vicinity of Villa Park or in Aston serve home fans only on matchdays and have bouncers on the door. The Witton Arms (458 Witton Rd, Birmingham B6 6SN) is divided between home and away supporters on matchdays, with a separate entrance for visiting fans, although you will be charged £2 for entry. The Yew Tree (Brookvale Road, Witton, Birmingham, B6 7AS) will also welcome away fans and is about 15 minutes walk from the ground. It does not serve real ale, but offers a wide range of other beers and Magner's on draft.

Supporters arriving with a bit of time to spare should visit one of Birmingham's best pubs the Bartons Arms (144 High St, Birmingham B6 4UP), which is a Grade II listed building and has one of the finest Victorian pub interiors in the country. A regular in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide, the pub has been in operation on this site for over a century and serves award-winning Oakham craft and cask ales, a wide range of drinks and outstanding Thai food.

Fans travelling in to Birmingham New Street station have a number of venues to choose from. Regular away pubs include The Shakespeare (Lower Temple Street, Birmingham, West Midlands, B2 4JD) directly outside the station and there are several more on nearby Bennett's Hill. These include the popular Wetherspoon's The Briar Rose (25 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham B2 5RE), The Sun on the Hill (23 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham B2 5QP), which has a wide selection of beers, food and shows live sport on their big screens, and The Wellington (37 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham B2 5SN), which serves a comprehensive range of real ale and, although it does not provide food, is happy for customers to bring in their own.

Supporters arriving or departing from Birmingham Moor Street Station might wish to try The Woodman (New Canal St, Birmingham B5 5LG) or The Windsor (33 Cannon St, Birmingham B2 5EE). The Centenary Lounge restaurant (Moor Street, Queensway, Birmingham B4 7UL) offers breakfast, lunch or snacks or tea to eat in or take away and is ideally located if you are coming off a train waiting for friends or have some time before your departure.

Tuesday
Oct172017

Aston Villa away ticketing update

The Fulham Supporters' Trust are very grateful to Katy Brecht, the ticketing manager of Fulham Football Club, for providing the Trust and Fulham fans with the following update on ticket sales and arrangements ahead of Saturday's trip to Aston Villa.

Fulham were intially allocated 1,1394 tickets in the Lower Tier of the Doug Ellis Stand for the Championship game at Villa Park. As of 9.30am this morning, Fulham had sold 1,317 tickets. Aston Villa requested that the lower tier should be sold first due to the far greater facilities for visiting fans in the lower tier and, following the excellent support, Fulham have requested and now received permission to sell 611 tickets in the upper tier of the stand. These tickets went on sale last night.

This leaves under 700 tickets now available for purchase priced at £30 for adults, £20 for those aged over 65, £20 for full-time students or those in the armed forces, £17 for under 21s and £10 for under 16s. The official club coaches depart from opposite the Earl Beatty pub on West Barnes Lane at Motspur Park or Craven Cottage from 10am on Saturday morning. Coaches places are priced at £17 for adult season ticket holders and members and £10 for junior season ticket holders and members or £22 for general sale adults and £15 for juniors.

You can buy tickets online, by visiting the Fulham FC Ticket Office in Stevenage Road or calling the ticket hotline on 0203 871 0810.

Thursday
Oct122017

Trust welcomes Brian McBride back to Craven Cottage

The Fulham Supporters' Trust are looking forward to welcoming former Fulham captain Brian McBride and his family back to Craven Cottage this weekend.

The revered Fulham and American striker and his wife Dina accepted an invitation from Fulham Football Club and the Trust to be guests of honour at Saturday's home fixture against Preston North End, who gave him his first taste of English football in 2000. McBride will make his first visit to the Riverside bar named in his honour when he joins Fulham fans for an evening of memories, questions and answers tomorow night before meeting supporters in the reopened stadium shop on Saturday lunchtime before being introduced to the Craven Cottage crowd at half-time of the afternoon's Championship clash.

Fulham Supporters' Trust chair Tom Greatrex said: 'We made the suggestion of bringing Brian back to Craven Cottage during our September meeting with Fulham Football Club. We are delighted that the Club have moved so quickly to make this happen and I know the fans are looking forward to welcoming Brian and Dina back this weekend. Brian's place in Fulham folklore was firmly established over his six years at Craven Cottage, culminating in his pivotal return from a serious injury to lead Roy Hodgson's team in the Great Escape in 2008'.

McBride, who was twice voted the club's player of the year, scored 40 goals in 153 appearances for Fulham and became the first American to captain a Premier League. Since retiring from professional football, the fourth highest scorer in US national history has set-up his own football academy, a company designed to help the next generation enjoy football and become a board member of Urban Initiatives in his home city of Chicago.

Wednesday
Oct112017

Notes from Trust's October meeting with Fulham FC

On Tuesday 10 October, Dan Crawford and Mike Gregg of the Fulham Supporters’ Trust met with Alistair Mackintosh (AM, Chief Executive Officer), Casper Sylsvig (CS, Chief Revenue 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.

The Trust representatives opened the meeting by formally thanking Fulham Football Club for facilitating the Trust’s hosting of last month’s Supporters Direct Board Member training day in the Johnny Haynes suite at Craven Cottage. The training day was well attended by representatives of football clubs and supporters’ trusts across the country and the Trust received positive feedback from both delegates and Supporters Direct.

RIVERSIDE STAND REDEVELOPMENT

AM confirmed that Fulham Football Club would be formally submitting a planning application to redevelop the Riverside Stand to Hammersmith and Fulham Council on Friday 24th November. In line with previous communications from the Club, AM outlined that the plans produced by Populous built on the existing planning consent granted in 2012 by proposing to extend the stadium’s capacity to 30,000, introduce a Riverside walkway that connects the ground with Bishops Park along to Putney Bridge and offers enhanced commercial and hospitality facilities that could be used on a non-match day.

AM reiterated that the Club would be undertaking two public consultation events with supporters at the Café at the Cottage on Thursday 12 October between 2pm and 8pm and, prior to the fixture against Preston North End, on Saturday 14 October between 9am and 1pm. These sessions, which would be attended by representatives of Populous and Fulham FC officials working on the proposals, are designed to gain feedback from the supporters about their views on the design and what fans would like to see included within the new stand.

AM explained that the new plans would deliver a single tier stand, with significant space for a variety of premium entertainment activity and community use, and a roof terrace. Should planning permission be granted by the Council, the plans would require  the demolition of the current Riverside stand and the building of its replacement. AM told the Trust that the Club were not expecting to vacate Craven Cottage to facilitate the construction of the new Riverside Stand. The Trust agreed to provide feedback from our members and Fulham fans on the proposals and send representatives to both of the consultation sessions. The Trust representatives also expressed their view that any new corporate facilities in the Riverside Stand should promote the Club’s rich history and be accessible to all supporters.

CRAVEN COTTAGE MATCHDAY EXPERIENCE

Following on from our previous discussions, CS confirmed that the Club were currently commissioning research on the fans’ matchday experience at Craven Cottage. A focus group with supporters was held prior to the recent fixture against Hull City and the Trust has been invited to join a Craven Cottage working party discussing how to improve the supporters’ experience. The Trust gave feedback around the reintroduction of the fan-produced flags and other suggestions on how to improve the atmosphere, food and refreshment offer that had been put forward by our members. CS and AM agreed to look at these suggestions and inform the Trust of progress.

BRIAN McBRIDE’S RETURN

The Trust thanked the Club for taking up our suggestion to invite former Fulham captain Brian McBride back to Craven Cottage for the forthcoming home fixture against one of his former sides, Preston North End. DD and AM informed the meeting that tickets for the evening event with Brian McBride in McBride’s on Friday were almost sold out, but that supporters would have the opportunity to meet Brian at a signing session in the Club shop from 12.30pm on Saturday 14 October. DD hopes that this evening event will be the first of many ways in which the Club seeks to honour the contribution of past players and managers.

FULHAMFCTV

The Trust raised the large volume of correspondence received from our international members with regards to ongoing problems with the viewing of the live streaming of Fulham fixtures via FulhamFCTV. AM and CS confirmed that the Club were aware of serious issues during the home fixture with Middlesbrough and steps had been undertaken to resolve the problem. The Trust reported that a large number of fans had been in touch saying that the instructions on how to access the live stream were unclear and that they had experienced significant problems with playing the video and hearing the commentary. The Trust suggested that the Club could amend the FAQ section on the official website to include clearer explanations around how to access the live streaming service and how to raise problems with the Club.

PLAYING MATTERS

In response to a question from the Trust about how he felt the season was going, AM said that he had been encouraged by the back-to-back away wins before the international break. He disclosed that Slavisa Jokanovic was happy with how the Club’s new signings had successfully integrated into the first-team squad, with Aboubakar Kamara’s two goals proving timely. AM felt that, in contrast to last season, Fulham had been unlucky with injuries early in the campaign, like the ones suffered by Tom Cairney, Lucas Piazon and Sheyi Ojo, but hoped Cairney’s imminent return would help to continue an impressive recent run of form.

FINANCIAL FAIR PLAY

AM confirmed that the Club had considerable headroom under the Championship’s Financial Fair Play regulations following the sales of the likes of Ross McCormack, Jozabed, Sone Aluko and Scott Malone, and that there would be funds to add to the first-team squad during the January window. He also confirmed that the Championship clubs had yet to be notified about the news of QPR’s case contesting FFP.

CATEGORY ONE STATUS AND MOTSPUR PARK

AM, CS and DD accepted the Trust’s congratulations on retaining Category One academy status on behalf of academy director Huw Jennings and chief operating officer Darren Preston following the summer audit under the Elite Player Performance Plan. AM said that the facilities provided at Motspur Park played a crucial part in retaining Category One status and that the Club was determined to continue making progress with its highly-regarded academy. In response to a question from the Trust, AM said that the Club had not yet finalised full plans for the use of the old BBC Sports Ground but would welcome suggestions from Trust members.

TICKETING ISSUES

The Trust thanked the Club for their continued dialogue over ticketing issues and the improvements currently being discussed with Ticketmaster. The Trust representatives raised feedback from Middlesbrough supporters about the £40 cost of away tickets for the recent fixture at Craven Cottage as well as the Club’s decision to reject reciprocal pricing arrangements for games against Reading, Ipswich Town and Barnsley. AM and CS said that these matters would be reviewed by the Club following the meeting.

EFL ENGAGEMENT AND NEW TV DEAL

The Trust representatives shared their disappointment at EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey’s recent comments on BBC Radio 5 Live that ‘deliberate scheduling decisions’ meant that away fans faced long-distance trips in midweek. Fulham fans have had to travel to Leeds United and Nottingham Forest in midweek during the first two months of the season having previously been promised that fans’ views would be taken in account by EFL chairman Ian Lenagan. AM said he sympathised with the Trust’s concerns and that the Club had arranged free travel for several midweek fixtures, including the games at Leeds and Sheffield United, thanks to main sponsor Grosvenor Sport. He also wished to convey head coach Slavisa Jokanovic’s and the players’ gratitude to Fulham’s loyal away supporters, who made such a difference at the City Ground and Loftus Road recently.

AM confirmed that the EFL clubs had agreed in principle to follow the Premier League in moving forward the closure of the August transfer window, with a formal vote is scheduled for January. Head coach Slavisa Jokanovic is in favour of this month, especially with the relaxing of the loan restrictions outside of the summer window. AM also confirmed the EFL have agreed a new five-year TV deal with Sky Sports worth around £600m. The deal, which starts in 2019, would allow domestic viewers to stream midweek league games that are not selected for broadcast by Sky Sports for the first time.

The meeting closed at 12.41pm

Monday
Sep252017

Awayday guide: Nottingham Forest

NOTTINGHAM FOREST v FULHAM

TICKETING ARRANGEMENTS

Fulham have been allocated 2,000 tickets in the Bridgford End for Tuesday’s trip to the City Ground. Tickets are on general sale, priced at £20 for adults, £14 for over 65s, £12 for under 18s and £6 for under 12s. Five loyalty points are on offer for this fixture. Supporters can purchase tickets by paying in cash at the City Ground tomorrow night. There are also eleven pairs of wheelchair tickets available priced as above, with the carer/personal assistant going free.

TRAVEL

BY CAR

Leave the M1 at Junction 24 and take the A453 towards Nottingham. Then take the A52 East towards Grantham and then onto the A6011 into Nottingham. The ground is situated by the A6011. Street parking near to the City Ground is very limited, so Fulham supporters are advised to either try the park and ride at Clifton South or the Nottingham City Council car parks. There is a matchday car park on the Victoria Embankment close to Trent Bridge cricket ground, for £5 an hour. This car park is situated around 2-3 minutes’ walk from the City Ground. There is also a council facility at the Eastcroft depot, priced at £4 per car. The depot is about 10 minutes’ walk from the City Ground, just off London Road.

BY TRAIN

Nottingham station is located around half a mile from the City Ground. You can get a direct train from London St. Pancras and there is the possibility of catching the 2307 from Newark North Gate to King’s Cross, although this will require a pre-booked taxi. Buses operate from the station and the city centre to the ground and a taxi should cost you £5.

BY COACH

The Club coaches will leave Craven Cottage and the Earl Beatty pub at Motspur Park at 2.30pm. Places are still available on either coach and they are priced at £17 for adult season ticket holders and members and £10 for junior season ticket holders and members. The general sale prices are £22 for adults and £15 for juniors.

AWAY PUBS

Most pubs near to the City Ground are designated as home supporters only. The exceptions are the Meadow Club on Meadow Lane, which is the Notts County supporters’ club, and the Nottingham Rowing Club on Trentside, which usually charges £1 per entry. The Stratford Haven on Stratford Road has enthusiastically welcomed away fans in the past and serves beers from the Castle Rock brewery as well as other drinks and food. Away from the ground, there are a number of pubs around the Waterfront complex, including the Company Inn, which is one of the best Wetherspoon’s in Nottingham. Fulham fans should be able to drink in a number of the city centre pubs and several offer a great selection of real ale, Castle Rock beers and other drinks including The Olde Trip To Jerusalem, The Castle (in Castle Street), Salutation Inn (on Hounds Gate), The Round House (in Royal Standard Place), the Canal House and the Vat and Fiddle, which is the Castle Rock brewery tap, on Queensbridge Road.