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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.

Thursday
Dec242015

Statement regarding Fulham Football Club's Transfer Embargo

The Fulham Supporters Trust (“FST”) are disappointed with today’s announcement that Fulham Football Club (“the Club”) are to be subject to a transfer embargo during the upcoming January transfer window. 

FST holds monthly meetings with the Club’s CEO Alistair Mackintosh.  The subject of Financial Fair Play (“FFP”) has been consistently raised by FST during these meetings.  FST was informed by the Club of the impending transfer embargo at our monthly meeting on 1st December 2015.  Prior to this FST had been assured on a number of occasions that the Club had been working within FFP guidelines  and so this news is both surprising and doubly disappointing. 

FST strongly supports the Football League in implementing and maintaining of the standards and principles set out under FFP regulations and hope that there will continue to be no clubs who feel themselves exempt from FFP, including our own.  It is our hope that the Football League ensure any and all clubs who have breached FFP are treated equally in receiving punishments in accordance with the levels of their offence. 

As fans we would like to know how this was allowed to happen and will be pressing the Club for answers. 

Saturday
Dec192015

Jimmy Hill 1928-2015

The Fulham Supporters Trust is saddened to hear of the death of former player and Chairman Jimmy Hill and our heartfelt condolences go out to his family.

Jimmy Hill played nearly 300 games between 1952 and 1961 for Fulham Football Club.

He had a diverse career in football from being a player, manager, chairman, Television broadcaster, PFA chairman who helped abolish the maximum wage and also one time linesman from the stand.

My own personal memories of him are from 1987 onwards and how he was a central figure in brining groups together to help stop the merger with QPR and save Fulham Football Club from being just a name in the history books.

As a committee member of the old Supporters Club I was a representative who attended a number of meetings with the club and Jimmy Hill. While he was difficult at times to deal with you always knew that he had the club and football at heart first and foremost. But it was always a pleasure to hear his views and ideas on the game, no matter how bizarre some of them were. His love of the game and club was infectious.

Along with the Muddyman family Jimmy Hill saw Fulham through the tricky years until Al Fayed came on the scene and bought the club.

Without Jimmy Hill I truly believe there would be no club now. All Fulham fans owe him a debt and I personally thank him for his hard work over such a troubled period of our history.

Michael Gregg

R.I.P. Jimmy Hill