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Sunday
Dec242017

Awayday guide: Cardiff City

TICKETING INFORMATION

Tickets are still available for Fulham's trip to the Cardiff City Stadium on Boxing Day. Fulham fans wishing to make the trip to Wales can call the Fulham ticket office on 0203 871 0810. Pre-booked tickets are priced at £23 for adults, £19 for supporters aged over 60, £14 for supporters aged between 16 and 21 and £11 for supporters under 16. Family tickets - for two adults and two children - are also available priced at £36.

Tickets will be available from Cardiff City's away ticket office at the Cardiff City Stadium, located at Gate 12, on matchday but at the increased prices of £25 for adults, £21 for supporters aged over 60, £16 for supporters aged betwen 16 and 21 and £13 for supporters under £16.

Fulham are running free coach travel for supporters for this fixture from Motspur Park and Craven Cottage.

GETTING TO THE CARDIFF CITY STADIUM

BY CAR

Exit the M4 at junction 33 and take the A4232 towards Cardiff and Barry. Remain on the A4232 and leave the dual carriageway at the B4267 and, at the end of the slip road, turn left at the roundabout following the signs for the Cardiff International Athletics Stadium. The Cardiff City Stadium will be visible along this road on the right.

Parking in the nearby retail park is limited to 90 minutes and is in enforced. There are a small amount of parking spaces outside the away turnstiles (starting from turnstile 7) the Cardiff City Stadium priced at £8, but better value will be found at the nearby Gol centre (Lawrenny Avenue, Cardiff CF11 8BR, tel: 029 2037 5760) where Fulham fans are welcome to park at cost of £5, which is refunded in the form of a bar voucher (see away pubs section below). Limited free parking is available at the Canton Rugby Club (33 Lawrenny Avenue, Cardiff CF11 8BR) and you can park for £5 at the nearby Bessemer Road Wholesale Market.

BY TRAIN

There are no trains running on Boxing Day.

BY COACH

Fulham and the Club's official main team partner, grosvenorcasinos.com, are offering free travel for Fulham fans with match tickets. Coaches will leave Craven Cottage and West Barnes Lane, opposite Motspur Park rail station, at 9.45am.

AWAY PUBS

Most pubs in the vicinity of both the Cardiff City Stadium and the old Ninian Park are designated for home supporters only.

The nearest welcoming venues for visiting fans are the two that we featured above for car parking. The local Gol centre (Lawrenny Avenue, Cardiff CF11 8BR, tel: 029 2037 5760) has previously afforded Fulham fans a very warm welcome. It is about eight minutes walk from the ground and has a well-stocked bar as well as offering tea, coffee, hot dogs and other refreshments. The Gol centre also offers visiting children the chance to use their five-a-side pitches for free.

The Canton Rugby Club (33 Lawrenny Avenue, Cardiff CF11 8BR, tel: 029 2031 2125) has also welcomed Fulham fans in the past. The rugby club has a well-stocked bar with a large television screen showing live sport.

Alcohol and refreshments are also available inside the Cardiff City Stadium, including Fosters, Strongbow and Brains Bitter priced at £3.90 per pint, with small bottles of red and white wine available at £4.

Some pubs in the city centre will not admit away suppporters or away fans wearing colours. The three major recommendations are the Prince of the Wales (81-83 St Mary Street, CF10 1FA), the local Wetherspoons, which is about 25 minutes walk from the ground, The Cottage (11 Sanquhar Street, CF24 2AA), which serves excellent food and has a name popular with Fulham fans and The Walkabout (65-74 St Mary Street, CF10 1FA).

Wednesday
Dec202017

Fulham fans face furthest travel in Championship for festive football

Fulham fans will travel the furthest of all Championship fans to follow their team over the festive period, according to research released today by the Football Supporters' Federation.

Slavisa Jokanovic's side have been handed away games at Cardiff City on Boxing Day and Hull City on December 30th - meaning that Fulham fans will travel 748 miles to see the Whites in action and spend an average of £368 supporting their side, according to the data compiled by Virgin Media for the FSF. The EFL's festive fixtures mean that Fulham will be playing away on Boxing Day for the fifth successive season, with the home draw with Southampton in 2012 being the last time Craven Cottage hosted a post-Christmas fixture.

The Fulham Supporters' Trust have regularly raised this matter regularly with Fulham Football Club, the EFL, other football authorities and the local police, especially as Chelsea receive priority in terms of fixture selections. The EFL had previously said that they would take into account the feedback from fans ahead of allocating the festive fixtures, but Fulham fans face the third longest journeys of any team in the country over the Christmas period.

Trust communications officer Dan Crawford said: 'Fulham fans have had to travel to Boxing Day games for the last five years. This season's trip to Cardiff is only made possible for most fans by Fulham's free coach travel and is followed by another away game at Hull City. Such scheduling at Christmas is another unfortunate example of the fans being taken for granted by the football authorities'.

The FSF's chief executive Kevin Miles added: 'Despite money being tight around this time of year, supporters will be travelling up and down the country over Christmas and New Year to back their teams in remarkable numbers once again. Away fans are a huge part of our match-going tradition and that shouldn't be taken for granted, so clubs and sponsors can and should do more in making football as affordable as possible.'

Friday
Dec152017

DECEMBER MEETING NOTES WITH FULHAM FC

On Tuesday 12 December, representatives of the Fulham Supporters’ Trust board Dan Crawford (DC) and Michael Gregg (MG) met with Alistair Mackintosh (AM, chief executive officer), Peter Limbert (PL, general counsel), Darren Preston (DP, chief operating officer), Sean O’Loughlin (SOL, finance director) Carmelo Mifsud (CM, media relations manager) and Mike McSweeney (MM, chief executive, Fulham FC Foundation) of Fulham Football Club at Motspur Park. The Trust and Club representatives were joined by Ashley Brown (chief executive) and James Mathie (club development manager and head of England and Wales) from Supporters Direct.

SUPPORTERS DIRECT AND MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

The meeting began with the regular participants being introduced to the representatives from national umbrella group, Supporters Direct, who had been invited to see how structured dialogue worked at Fulham for the first time. Ashley Brown, the Supporters Direct chief executive and board member from the Portsmouth Supporters’ Trust, who until recently had been in ownership of Portsmouth FC, and James Mathie, Supporters Direct’s club network manager, said that they had followed with interest the progress made on supporter engagement at Fulham and thanked AM and the Trust for their presentations at the Supporters Summit earlier this year.

AM welcomed AB and JM to Motspur Park and said that the Club felt the monthly meetings had provided mutual benefits to themselves and the supporters. Having achieved a positive working relationship and, upon review of the Supporters Direct Engage document on how to further supporter engagement, the Club had agreed to draw up a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that would formalise the structured dialogue undertaken between the Trust and the Club since 2014.

This MoU was devised following consultation between the Club, the Trust, Supporters Direct, the EFL and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. It recognises the Trust as the democratically-constituted body that represents Fulham fans and commits to the regular exchange of information between the Trust and the Club, a monthly meeting between the parties and the furthering of the successful working relationship that has developed over the past three years. More information can be found in the statements released by the Trust and Supporters Direct as well as on the Trust’s website HERE

MG and AM then signed the MoU and the meeting proceeded with a discussion of a mixture of topics that had been raised by Trust members and Fulham fans.

RIVERSIDE STAND REDEVELOPMENT

SOL confirmed that the Club had formally submitted a new planning application to redevelop the Riverside Stand to Hammersmith and Fulham Council last night. Both SOL and AM believed the consultation events with supporters, which were organised following consultation with the Trust, were useful in terms of gauging fans’ feedback and generating ideas about the type of facilities Fulham fans would like in the new-look Riverside Stand should it be granted planning permission.

AM, DP and SOL reiterated that this planning application would help to secure Fulham’s permanent future at Craven Cottage for the fans. The new planning application builds on the 2012 planning consent that approved the extension of Craven Cottage’s capacity to 30,000 and incorporates significant benefits to the local community, including the opening up of the current River Thames walkway alongside the Riverside Stand to connect Hammersmith with Putney Bridge in full. SOL pointed out that the investment in the stand was not being prioritised over additional funds to improve the playing squad – and stated that this was seen as an investment with an identified financial return for the Club. The decision to redevelop the Riverside Stand was taken after detailed cost-benefit analysis and does not preclude renovation of the Hammersmith or Putney End stands in future seasons.

AM and SOL confirmed that there had been no significant material changes to the plans that were presented to the supporters in October. In response to a question from the Trust, SOL, AM and DP confirmed that the new plans included provision for nine apartments to be located on the footprint of the Riverside Stand, but that these were not for private sale. SOL pointed out that the previous planning schemes had included firstly six and then four apartments and it was confirmed that the inclusion of rentable apartments does not change the planning designation from that of a sports stadium. AM commented that the inclusion of apartments and living quarters within modern football stadiums was now commonplace.

The inclusion of the flats could deliver substantial income to the Club. The question of actual size of the flats in proportion to the previous planning was raised and SOL said that as actual floor space while the number of apartments has increased, the floor space or percentage of the stand is similar. The Trust will confirm further details shortly in future correspondence with our members. The Club did not include questions about the inclusion of apartments in their online survey because they were trying to capture the views of supporters about their current matchday experience at Craven Cottage and how a redeveloped Riverside Stand could shape this and both SOL and AM told the Trust that they had not received adverse feedback from the fans since the consultation events had taken place.

SOL and AM reiterated that the Club are committed to consulting with existing Riverside Stand season ticket holders about their seating options within Craven Cottage whilst the new stand is being built. Both the Club and the Trust had received feedback from season ticket holders within the Riverside Stand and AM confirmed that the Club are undertaking work to look at the best possible options for relocation within the ground.

In response to a question from the Trust, CM confirmed that the Club were considering providing further details of the specifics of the planning application in future matchday programmes and on the Club’s official website. AM revealed that, having submitted the application last month, the Club were hopeful of a decision during the scheduled March meeting of Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s Planning Applications Committee.

The Trust representatives also handed over feedback from the consultation event and a recent online survey which asked fans to offer suggestions as to what could be included within the new stand. The Club agreed to continue to discuss matters raised by supporters in respect of the Riverside Stand planning application before the January meeting.

MICKY ADAMS EVENT

The Trust thanked the Club for their assistance in the organisation, promotion and running of the successful Supporters’ Trust evening with Micky Adams at Craven Cottage last month. The Trust thanked the Club on behalf of the supporters and members of the 1996/97 Division Three promotion team for organising their attendance at the home fixture with Derby County and their presentation to the crowd at half time.

The Trust agreed to work with the Club and, in particular director David Daly, in respect of further work to promote the Club’s history and facilitating the return of more former players to Craven Cottage on matchdays.

MATCHDAY EXPERIENCE

The Trust thanked the Club for making available to the supporters their study of noise generated during their home fixtures. The contents of the report that generated a lot of feedback from Trust members, but there was still a feeling that the design of the Hammersmith End, especially at the back, allows sound to escape easily. The Club committed to providing as much non-confidential analysis as possible and invited Trust members to feed into the ongoing Club review of the matchday experience and atmosphere at Craven Cottage.

The Trust representatives raised reports received following Saturday’s home win over Birmingham City about stewards in the Johnny Haynes stand congregating on the gangways in the upper section and obscuring the view of supporters as a result. The Trust handed over pictures taken by Trust members at the time their view had been obstructed and the Club undertook to investigate this as a matter of urgency.

Representatives from the Trust shared several complaints about the public-address system not being audible within the Johnny Haynes Stand and DP, CM and AM said that, whilst the sound system was an ongoing issue around the stadium, the Club would come back with an update on this in due course.

During Saturday’s fixture against Birmingham City, supporters in the Johnny Haynes stand advised the Trust that all of the concession stalls had run out of burgers prior to half-time – and replacements only arrived towards the end of the half-time interval. Both AM and DP advised that the Club were aware of this issue and highlighted the difficulties of running concession stalls within the tight dimensions of the Johnny Haynes stand, but that steps would be taken immediately to ensure that this problem does not reoccur.

The Trust representatives also raised instances of prolonged huge queues at both the real ale bar and the coffee concession stand opposite the George Cohen statue on Saturday at half time. Many supporters were left unable to purchase their chosen refreshments and struggled to get back to their seats before the hour mark.

AM and DP told the Trust that this would be looked into as a matter of urgency and invited the Trust representatives or selected fans to take part in running a concession stall at a future home game. This offer was accepted.

CLUB SHOP MERCHANDISE

Following previous discussions regarding the range of products within the club shop, the Trust shared with the Club officials the results from a recent Trust run supporter survey that listed a number of items supporters would like to see in the revamped Club shop and in the online store. The Club agreed to analyse this feedback and discuss these proposals further with the Trust Board. 

PLAYING MATTERS AND THE JANUARY TRANSFER WINDOW 

AM told the Trust representatives that, despite the desperate disappointment of the derby defeat to Brentford, morale and belief remained high amongst the first-team squad following three league wins out of four, including two clean sheets at home. AM confirmed that recruitment is well under way for the January window, led by Director of Football Tony Khan and his interim assistant James Lovwell in consultation with head coach Slavisa Jokanovic who, as his recent programme notes detailed, has already identified a number of potential signings who could immediately strengthen the first-team squad.

AM reiterated that Club would have significant funds with which to support the head coach during the January transfer window and that the Club’s recruitment policy would remain the same as had been outlined during the Trust’s November meeting.

AWAY SUPPORTERS ISSUES, STEWARDING, AWAY COACHES AND FUTURE AWAY TRAVEL

Following on from last month’s discussion of issues faced by Fulham fans at Wolverhampton Wanderers, the Trust representatives raised the experiences of travelling supporters before, during and after the fixture at Sheffield United. AM and DP were concerned to hear reports of overzealous stewarding at Bramall Lane and asked the Trust to formally document any further information so that the Club could follow this up. The Trust has also raised these concerns about stewarding and policing with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Sheffield United, the relevant police forces, the EFL and the Football Supporters’ Federation’s case officers to provide each party with the full information.

AM, DP and CM confirmed that the Club do liaise regularly with the Metropolitan Police prior to first team fixtures and the Trust representatives agreed to discuss the recent policing and stewarding issues in their submission to the next Hammersmith and Fulham Safety Advisory Group meeting. In response to an enquiry about future away travel and coach arrangements, AM and DP advised that that the Club will examine any future changes before providing full details of the travel arrangements to supporters. The Club keeps their away travel arrangements under annual review and asked the Trust to facilitate feedback from Fulham fans about their experiences this season.

THE FULHAM FOUNDATION

MM introduced himself as the new chief executive of the Fulham FC Foundation, who has taken over from Steven Day following Mr. Day’s appointed to a new role at the Football Association. He said he was keen to build upon the Trust’s existing portfolio of work with the Foundation and offered a meeting with the Trust representatives to provide more details of the Foundation’s upcoming work and how this can be effectively communicated to the Fulham fans.

MM said that the initial feedback following the Club’s annual Charity day, this year held in support of the Foundation’s disability outreach programmes, had been very positive. The Trust members who had volunteered as bucket collectors enjoyed the experience and commented that it was great to be joined by Denis Odoi and Lucas Piazon before kick-off in Stevenage Road. It was thought that the bucket collections and ‘bring a pound to the ground initiative’ had raised at least £3,000, but the Club would provide full details in due course.

The Trust representatives thanked the Club and the Foundation for their ongoing support of the Fearless Foundation, set up in honour of the lifelong Fulham fan and former Daily Star football correspondent Danny Fullbrook, who sadly died of cancer aged 40. The Fearless Foundation held a charity fundraising evening which was a great success and MM said he hoped to be able to outline ways that the Fulham FC Foundation could support the Fearless Foundation’s aims and objectives over the coming months.

The meeting closed at 12:31pm.

Thursday
Dec142017

Awayday Guide: Sunderland

 

TICKETING INFORMATION

Tickets for Fulham's trip to the Stadium of Light, where the Whites will be reunited with Chris Coleman and Kit Symons, on Saturday are still available. Tickets have now gone off sale from Fulham directly, but Fulham fans will be able to purchase tickets from at the Stadium of Light from turnstile number 71.Tickets are priced at £25 for adults£19 for supporters aged over 65£16 for supporters under 22 and £10 for under 16s. Season ticket holders and members can earn five loyalty points for this fixture.

GETTING TO THE STADIUM OF LIGHT

BY CAR

Leave the A1 at Junction 62 - taking the Durham/Sunderland exit - and follow the A690 towards Sunderland. After approximately eight miles, take the left turn at the roundabout onto the A19 (Tyne Tunnel). Stay in the left hand lane and take the second slip road towards Sunderland (you should see signs for the Stadium Of Light, A1231 Sunderland). Follow the bridge over the River Wear and turn right onto the A1231 following the signs for Sunderland.

Head straight over four roundabouts into Sunderland and proceed through two sets of traffic lights (keeping in the left hand lane at the second set, going straight on towards Roker rather than the city centre) and you will see the Stadium car park on your right, about a mile after the traffic lights.
Fulham fans should bear in mind that there is very limited parking at the Stadium of Light and the surrounding street are in a residents' parking zone that will be in operation on Saturday.
Drivers are advised to park at the Stadium of Light Metro station for £4 or in the city centre and make the 10 to 15 minute walk to the stadium. There is a park and ride scheme run from Sunderland Enterprise Park, which you will find clearly signposted off the A1231. Buses leave the Enterprise Park every five minutes from 1.30pm and will continue to run after the game until everybody has departed.
BY TRAIN
There are some direct services from King's Cross to Sunderland. It is about a fifteen minute walk from the station to the Stadium of Light. Turn right out of the station towards the JJB Sports shop and go through the gap between JJB and a nail bar. Within 100 metres, the Stadium Of Light is clearly visible over the Wearmouth Bridge. Walk over the bridge, turn left into Millennium Way and you'll find the away fans' entrance directly in front of you. A taxi should cost around £4.
Several trains will take passengers from King's Cross to Newcastle. Fans coming from Newcastle should travel to the Stadium of Light or St Peter's metro stations, which are a short walk from the stadium. St. Peter's is closer to the away end.  
BY COACH
The official club coaches will depart from opposite the Earl Beatty pub on West Barnes Lane next to Motspur Park railway station and Craven Cottage at 6.30am on Saturday morning. Prices for adult season ticket holders and members are £30 for adults and £20 for supporters over 65 and under 16. For non-season ticket holders and members, the coach is priced at £35 for adults and £25 for supporters aged over 65 and under 16.

 

AWAY PUBS

Sunderland run a free fan zone from 12pm outside the south east perimeter of the stadium, with live bands, large screens, and plenty of food and drink outlets. 

Two social clubs within five minutes of the Stadium of Light welcome away supporters. The Sunderland Companions Club (39-41 North Bridge Street, SR5 1AH) and the New Democratic Club (34 North Bridge Street, SR5 1AH) , both located on North Bridge Street before the Wearmouth bridge, do get very busy on a matchday but they are friendly venues that serve an excellent selection of very reasonably priced beers.

 

The Albion (Victor Street, SR6 0EN) is a five minute walk from the ground and welcomes away fans, offering complimentary snacks and food after the game. The Colliery Tavern (12 Southwick Road, SR5 1EQ) - barely 100 yards from the Stadium of Light - has also previously welcomed away supporters. This pub has large screen televisions that show the televised games as well as a well-priced food offering.

The Harbour View (1 Benedict Road, SR6 0NX) is a little bit further away from the Stadium of Light but offers beautiful views of the coast and excellent real ale, regularly featuring prominently in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. You can enjoy an excellent selection of reasonably-priced food in a welcoming environment with large TV screens available.

The William Jamieson (30-32 Fawcett Street, SR1 1RH) is a popular Wetherspoon's in Sunderland and attracts a big crowd both before and after a game, although don't let that put off. The pub puts on extra staff on a matchday and keeps waiting times down to a minimum.

Wednesday
Dec132017

Sunderland away ticketing update

It is not too late to #followfulhamaway and join the 600 fans who will cheer on Slavisa Jokanovic's side at Sunderland this weekend.

Tickets for Fulham's trip to the Stadium of Light, where the Whites will be reunited with Chris Coleman and Kit Symons, on Saturday will go off sale to customers seeking to purchase online at 3pm tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon.

Supporters wanting to purchase tickets after 3pm are advised to call the Fulham Football Club ticket office on 0203 871 0810 and select option 2, but fans must make clear whether they wish to collect their tickets from the Fulham FC ticket office in advance or at the Stadium of Light ticket office adjacent to the East Stand on Saturday at the time of booking.

Tickets will go off sale to telephone and personal callers to the ticket office at 3pm on Friday afternoon, but Fulham fans will be able to purchase tickets from at the Stadium of Light from turnstile number 71.

Tickets are priced at £25 for adults, £19 for supporters aged over 65, £16 for supporters under 22 and £10 for under 16s. Season ticket holders and members can earn five loyalty points for this fixture.

The official club coaches will depart from opposite the Earl Beatty pub on West Barnes Lane next to Motspur Park railway station and Craven Cottage at 6.30am on Saturday morning. Prices for adult season ticket holders and members are £30 for adults and £20 for supporters over 65 and under 16. For non-season ticket holders and members, the coach is priced at £35 for adults and £25 for supporters aged over 65 and under 16.