Thursday
May212015

Trust meeting with Fulham CEO, May, 2015

On 5.v.2015 at 10.30, three of the Trust Board (Dan Crawford, Gerry Claydon and Neil Springate) met with Alistair Mackintosh (AM, Chief Executive Officer), Sarah Brookes (SB, Communications and Marketing Director) and Peter Limbert (PL, General Counsel) from Fulham FC at the Club’s headquarters, Motspur Park.

1) Assessment of the 2014/2015 season

How did the club believe they had fared in the season just finished? AM said that he had spoken with Chairman, Shahid Khan (SK), as soon as the season had ended and it was accepted that the Club had learned much since being relegated from the Premier League.

The pre-season expectations among the management had been high, but very disappointing early season form dispelled them and avoiding relegation became vital.

The Trust expressed its concern that, without a thorough re-assessment and acknowledgment of the many failures that had occurred within the Club during the previous season, the next would result in a repetition and possible relegation.

AM said that, financially, the Club was in a good state and that a review with SK of all posts, including that of the manager, would take place and with a view of how to recruit players of sufficient quality to ensure a top six finish in the forthcoming season.


2) Season tickets and pricing

AM thought that sales of season tickets had been good thus far, that the reduced prices for junior tickets had proven popular and that the Club was hoping to reach as many fans as possible. The Club intended to press ahead with a weekend and a midweek price for casual purchases, rather than pricing according to match category. Although Fulham’s fans had travelled in large numbers to some away matches, the Club was reluctant to pursue reciprocal pricing arrangements with other clubs in order to encourage greater numbers of our fans to travel.


3) Riverside Stand re-development

At the time of the meeting, AM said that he was unaware of any objections regard to the granting of the River Works Licence in February, 2015. The 3.v.2015 deadline had passed, but this had fallen on a Bank Holiday weekend, so the possibility existed that an objection (or objections) had arrived at the Port of London Authority (PLA) that weekend, but that it might take some time to be processed. The Club needs to secure a works licence from the Marine Management Organisation, a body responsible for regulating depositing or removal of substances or objects from the seabed or elsewhere in tidal waters under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.

Within the overall development of Craven Cottage, the Club intended to include restaurants in the Riverside and Johnny Haynes stands.

SB said that, although the Club was investigating the possibility of wi-fi coverage in the ground, this was an expensive option.


4) Pre-season fixtures

AM said that there would be a pre-season tour, most probably abroad, but, since the previous season had only just finished, few details or fixtures (including matches in the UK) had been confirmed.

 

5) Fixture changes

The Trust asked that the maximum advance notice be given to the fans in the event of fixtures, particularly those in midweek, being switched to, for example, Fridays (due to the demands on television coverage) in order to permit those who needed to offer assistance or care to elderly or disabled fans who wished to attend the matches to make suitable arrangements.

AM said that, due to the different demands placed on the Club, in terms of staffing, for evening fixtures, it was in its interests to notify both fans and personnel as soon as possible after a fixture change was announced.

 

Meeting closed at 11.40

ark.

Sunday
May032015

May Meeting with Fulham

The Trust has arranged to meet the Club’s Chief Executive Officer, Alistair Mackintosh, on Tuesday, 5th. May, 2015, at Motspur Park.

Items on the agenda for discussion, agreed at a recent meeting of the Trust Board, include (i) the continuing delay over an announcement regarding the works on the Riverside Stand, (ii) the contract situation of manager, Kit Symons, and review of the previous season’s performance, (iii) the releasing of players from contract, (iv) plans for pre-season tour and fixtures and (v) wi-fi connections at Craven Cottage.

We welcome suggestions from our members of additional topics for discussion.

The Trust Board may be contacted at:  info@fulhamsupporterstrust.com

Saturday
Apr182015

Trust meeting with Fulham CEO, April, 2015

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.

Monday
Apr062015

April Meeting with Fulham FC

Memebers of the Trust’s Committee will be meeting the CEO on Friday 10th April

Trust members are encouraged to contact the Committee by e-mail (info@fulhamsupporterstrust.com), with comments or questions they would like the Trust to put to the club.

Friday
Apr032015

TOOFIF Celebrates FA Cup Final With Bumper Edition

The season's final issue of TOOFIF goes on sale today - as usual we can expect it to be full of marvellous Fulham content - but the end of the season also marks 40 years since Fulham reached Wembley in what is our only FA Cup Final to date, and to recognise this marked achievement in our history TOOFIF celebrates with an extra-huge edition.
There'll be interviews and images galore honouring the occassion and those behind it, so make sure you go and pick up a copy: it's longer/better/funnier than a programme, and you'll be supporting a true Fulham institution, a publication made by fans for fans. You can find it being sold for just a fiver outside the Hammy End - or just follow the sound of 'There's Only One F In Fulham' being bellowed from outside the ground!
Here's what to expect in the issue from the man behind the fanzine, David Lloyd:
Forty years ago Fulham reached the 1975 FA Cup final. Being Fulham, they naturally took the most torturous, most meandering and, let's be honest, the most thrilling pathway to the Twin Towers. Replay after replay, away victories galore and, yes, ultimately a glorious failure once we'd reached Wembley (via the High Court). No point celebrating a defeat, even if it was a hell of an achievement for Second Division FFC to defy the odds and get to the final. No point celebrating a defeat, even if it was still one hell of a tale that West Ham and England legend Bobby Moore should have one last hurrah for the Whites against... West Ham! No point at all...

Actually there was a hell of a lot lot worth celebrating back in 1975 and, in fact, today - even if not the 2-0 defeat itself. Our route to Wembley was full of twists and tales and our set-up was awash with characters, one or two, alas, no longer with us. So why not? Late's give it a go. And with that, TOOFIF took the plunge and decided to go for it. On a fairly minor scale, of course – no point in simply regurgitating all the (excellent) stuff that had been written before. No, best to keep it fairly modest, although as punchy as possible.

And then the whole bloody thing took off! It's been utterly extraordinary as to how the word got around – and the response has been every bit as wonderful. It's been great fun interviewing the guys today about the events of forty years ago. But more than fun, it's been illuminating too. No one has been more open about the events of the big day than John Cutbush, tracked down after 20 years of unintentional exile from his former teammates. Although Peter Mellor comes close! The latest on Jimmy Conway is tough to read while John Mitchell recounts his high points with Aussie-based Fulham fan Paul Steele. Alec Stock's daughter Sarah champions her Dad's footballing exploits, not least leading Fulham to Wembley while Les Strong underpins the whole thing by popping up here there and everywhere. Except, sadly, on the famous Wembley turf in 1975.

So “fairly modest yet punchy" became a bumper special, and the biggest-ever TOOFIF given its 128 pages and upscale in dimensions (it's a perfect bound B5 issue, rather than A5 for those who know about such things). And graced by the wonderful photos of Ken Cotton and supreme artwork by Paine Proffitt (check out the front cover for starters!). The enthusiasm for the project by all those who've contributed - not least the players of the day (including those from West Ham) plus former coaches and Sarah Stock – pushed the the wow factor to seriously high levels. I'm not normally one to crow, but I'm seriously proud of this particular effort - and it certainly was an effort getting everything together in such a short time-frame. However, I'm pretty sure that the enthusiasm of all those concerned shines through and makes for a seriously good read. Not that Strongy is ever serious. He probably did a stand-up routine in the High Court on the morning of the big match.

Great that the FST came aboard, and their ad graces the inside back cover opposite Ken Coton's classic image of Mooro and Mullers consoling each other as they headed for the Wembley dressing-rooms.