On 10.iv.2015 at 10.30, three of the Trust Board (Dan Crawford, Mike Gregg and Neil Springate) met with Alistair Mackintosh (AM, Chief Executive Officer), Mark Taylor (MT, Director of Sports Medicine and Exercise Science) and Steven Day (SD, Chief Executive at Fulham FC Foundation) from Fulham FC at the Club’s headquarters, Motspur Park.
1) Riverside Stand re-development
AM said that the Club was waiting for an early May deadline to pass with regard to objection(s) to the granting of the River Works Licence in February, 2015 had been received to date. It was hoped that works would begin in the summer of 2016. Some aspects of the plans had been revised, but these were not specified. Also, the Club are looking at there being a consultation with the fans during the summer regarding the plans. Works on a smaller scale were intended at the Hammersmith End and to the roof of Craven Cottage, the latter where the Club has been in contact with English Heritage.
2) Match-day facilities
The trust enquired about the Club’s plans for facilities for fans, both prior to and after matches. AM said that two match-day restaurants were planned, with priority given to the ‘higher end’ season ticket holders. There was also the possibility of ‘knocking through’ a pair of the season ticket boxes at the Hammersmith End to provide a bar.
3) Season ticket pricing for 2015-2016
Prior to prices being released and season tickets made available for sale on 13.iv.2015, the Club had made a statement on its web site. The reductions mentioned on the site would apply only to the ‘Early Bird’ dates of sale. In order to promote season ticket sales, a letter from Chairman, Shahid Khan, would be published. Match-day ticket prices will change, based around weekend and weekday match rates, although this was not specified further. It was unclear whether the unpopular match categorisation policy used by both Premier and Football Leagues, subject of an ongoing campaign by the Football Supporters’ Federation, would be dispensed with entirely. The Club was starting a ticket sales contract with Ticketmaster.
4) The contract situation of manager, Kit Symons and appointment of Alan Curbishley
AM said that Kit Symons had requested the assistance of Alan Curbishley until the end of the current season, although this arrangement may continue. The Club would conduct a review of management in the close season. AM confirmed that Chief Football Officer (CFO), Mike Rigg, would attend one of the forthcoming meetings with the Trust. Once again, It was confirmed that the manager reports to the CFO and then the CFO reports to the chairman.
5) Use of analytics
Comments made by the Chairman’s son, Tony Khan, on his Twitter site with regard to the greater use of analytics, since this was very much à la mode in estimating player quality and indicating potential purchases within football, had raised concern among fans. AM confirmed that Tony Khan was not employed by Fulham FC, nor was his company contracted for their services. However, they are part of the overall way the two sporting clubs work together and if relevant data is put forward it would be considered. There were staff at the Club who performed statistical analysis of data gathered from its players.
6) Plans for the youth team
The current level of investment in the team and coaching structure would be maintained.
7) Injuries to players in the first team
Mark Taylor answered some questions on the current season and the number of injuries sustained by Fulham’s players. It was considered this figure was below average but that there may have been a greater number of contact injuries for the younger players. All players are monitored on a daily basis with regard to their fitness.