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Friday
Sep102010

Trust to host FSF Southern Division meeting

As a long-standing affiliate of the Football Supporters' Federation, we're pleased to be able to host the first meeting of its Southern Division for the 2010/11 season. This will take place at 'The Dukes Head' public house, 8 Lower Richmond Road, Putney, London, SW15 1JN, on Sunday 12th. September, 2010. The meeting will start at 12.00 and should finish circa 17.00.

In addition to the round up from club delegates and the regularly amusing summary of, often idiosyncratic and sometimes criminal, happenings from the lower reaches of the football pyramid, topics for discussion at the meeting will include:

•The new 25 player Premier League squads - what will be their effect on the game?

•Fans’ Parliament 2010 – how was it for you and what changes, if any, would you like made for Fans’ Parliament 2011?

•The World Cup – where do England go from here? The legacy for South Africa - has the World Cup changed anything?

•Format of future Southern Division meetings - have your say on the set up of your local FSF Division.

Tuesday
Sep072010

Ashwater Press seeks your views

Fulham fans will be familiar with the collections of excellent and evocative photographs taken by Ken Coton and the painstakingly-researched and well-written tomes of Martin Plumb, both published by Ashwater Press. Their collaboration on the preparation of 'The Maestro' has resulted in the definitive biography of Johnny Haynes, the quintessential Fulham player and professional footballer. Ken is a long-standing member of the Trust and Martin has spoken at one of our AGMs. We urge our members and fans of Fulham at large to give support to Ashwater Press's ventures. The following message is from Ken and Martin, who wish your responses to Ashwater's current and projected publications:

We haven’t been in touch for a while as we have been busy contemplating where to go next. On the plus side, following an exchange of mails, we have met with Fulham Retail at Motspur Park and copies of Ashwater Books are once again being stocked and sold by Fulham FC. They have our two latest books The Micky Adams Promotion Season 96/97 and When Fulham went to Wembley. Sadly the club still feels that it is ‘unable’ to stock Johnny Haynes – the Maestro, for reasons remaining unclear to us. The club also felt that it would not be looking for other titles in 2010. The club is under new retail management, so in fairness they need a short time to consider what they would like going forward.
There is a proposed meeting with Fulham Retail in the early autumn to discuss a potential working framework and book titles for 2011. However, we are not totally clear what the club’s expectations are. They appear to require future works to be biased towards ‘recent history’. They have seemingly declined the future of the Tales from the Riverbank series, politely suggesting that, in their opinion, these works would be popular only with the ‘diehards and fanatics’ and they were also decidedly lukewarm even on such recent titles as Keegan’s Kingdom (a 10th anniversary of the 1998–99 season).
So we are not sure what the club mean regarding ‘recent history’ as there are only so many ways that you can dice and slice just the last few seasons. Maybe the future might lie in books spanning 50 years (1960–2010).
With Tales from the Riverbank it would be a great shame not to continue with the popular project as volume 3 (1969–70 and 1970–71, Barry Lloyd’s promotion season) has been complete since 2007 and volume 4 (1971–72 and 1972–73, arrival of Alec Stock) is underway. 40 years of Fulham in Colour is also in progress and the Keegan’s Kingdom book is also half written.
Fulham FC appear to now have a significant customer mailing database coupled with marketing resources and to be honest we need to integrate with that to raise the fans’ awareness of Ashwater and to increase our number of sales to make any enterprise worthwhile. We have found it increasingly difficult to distribute fliers and leaflets at the ground as so many supporters seem to arrive (in a rush) very close to kick-off time. 
Therefore it looks as if there will be no Ashwater titles produced in 2010. However, even without Fulham’s involvement we are still potentially willing to consider printing Tales from the Riverbank, volume 3 and 40 Years of Fulham in Colour this year. Tales from the Riverbank, volume 3 covers a very interesting and turbulent period in our history, and a summary of the book content can be found on the Ashwater website (www.ashwaterpress.co.uk) by the end of the week.
We would however view these as being produced only on a subscription basis. Each customer would get a numbered copy, signed if required, with their name printed inside the book. But we do need a significant number of subscribers to make this approach viable. We would also consider each book being sponsored by one or more personal or commercial sponsors. Each book would naturally contain company information, logos and promotional words, etc. Sponsors would of course receive a number of free copies. Please let us know if this sponsorship approach is of interest.
We have tried to keep book prices as low as possible, however we do have to contend with the continual ever rising printing and postage costs.
The list of our proposed books is as follows. These are our immediate thoughts, and not a definitive or final list.
 
  • Tales from the Riverbank Volume 3
  • Tales from the Riverbank Volume 4
  • Fulham behind the Scenes
  • 40 years of Fulham in Colour
  • Keegan’s Kingdom – a 10-year tribute to the champions of 1999
  • Mac’s Marvels – a 30-year tribute to Macdonald’s promotion side of 1981
  • Fulham Legends (eg Cohen, Strong, Gale, Morgan, Davies, Mitchell)
 
The ‘fifty year’ series (1960–2010):
 
  • 50 Years of Fulham and the FA Cup
  • 50 Years of Fulham and the League Cup
  • 50 Years of Fulham Strikers
  • 50 Years of Fulham Defenders
  • 50 Years of Fulham London Derbies
 
Others:
 
  • Gordon Davies – Our Ivor
  • Programme Covers – through the years
  • Ashwater Historical Christmas calendars (not a book)
  • Fulham – The Team (update to the book first produced in 1995)
 
Plus – we want to ask for your ideas too, please!  What other Fulham books would you like to see! (See the attached order form.)
 
We really do need to know what you, our supporters, want from us. You have supported us magnificently in the past and we are proud of the many books we have produced. We do ask you earnestly to respond to this e-mail, as if we don’t get sufficient subscriber numbers / sponsorship for the suggested two books for 2010 or if we fail to reach any agreement with Fulham for titles for 2011, then it is highly possible that there will be no further Fulham books from Ashwater Press.
We are now once again an established Premiership club with a rich and colourful history. Our stock is probably at its highest ever, with a host of new and younger fans clamouring to find out more about the eventful past of our wonderful club. We would be more than happy to continue producing books, but it must be on a worthwhile basis.
Therefore, please fill in the two-page order form attached to this e-mail and return it to us at Ashwater by end-September at the very latest and let us have your views.
Monday
Sep062010

FST to attend Parliamentary Adjournment Debate 

On Wednesday 8th. September, 2010, two members of the Trust's committee will attend a Parliamentary Adjournment Debate in Westminster Hall, the oldest existing part of the Palace of Westminster, titled the 'Role of football supporters in the governance of professional football clubs'. FST member, Tom Greatrex MP will be in attendance with the intention of participating in the debate.

Dave Boyle, Chief Executive of Supporters Direct, writes: “The debate has been requested by Steve Rotheram MP, a Liverpool season ticket holder and member of both Share Liverpool and Spirit of Shankly, the two groups who SD has helped unite to start the process of becoming the supporters' trust at Liverpool FC. We know Steve will be joined in speaking in that debate by other MPs who have personal involvement in trusts either in their constituencies, or through helping trusts at the clubs they personally support.

The debate will be in Westminster Hall, which is a relatively new innovation in Parliament. It's like an overspill area from the House of Commons where backbench MPs can instigate debates on issues which are often on more specialised and less 'knockabout' than the party-political issues that come up for consideration in the main House of Commons chamber. There's no proposal to be voted on, nor any concrete action proposed, but crucially, after backbenchers have spoken, the main opposition spokesperson gives the view of their party, and then the relevant Minister replies on behalf of the Government.

You'll hopefully be aware that following the commitment made by the parties in the election, the coalition government is committed to “encourage the reform of football governance rules to support the co-operative". We know Ministers aren't proposing to seriously look at this issue just yet, but when they do, we want them to be aware of the strength of feeling of the issue across the country. This is where you can help us all, and also help your trust.

Westminster Hall debates often attract a small number of MPs - sometimes you can count them on one hand. We think if Ministers saw a much bigger attendance than they would be expecting, it will send a powerful message that football governance and ownership is an issue that people want Government to take seriously. That will help counter the long-standing obstacle that when push comes to shove, Governments of all parties have taken the view that however much noise there is about football, it's a passing fad that isn't worth the time, energy and effort to really take seriously.

Better still, lots of MPs wanting to speak to talk about how their local Trust is a great example of local community action , about how the club would benefit from the trust being involved in the ownership and governance of the club, would give great credibility to the trust movement as a whole. Critically, as Westminster hall debates are a matter of public record with the proceedings recorded in Hansard. It's a great opportunity for a win-win - the Trust gets the boost from being cited approvingly by the local MP and the local MP gets something they can let the local paper know they have spoken about in Parliament.”

Thursday
Sep022010

Trust urges Fulham fans to support Non-League Day

Saturday, 4th. September, 2010 has been designated informally as 'Non-League Day'.

The Fulham Supporters' Trust asks its members to take advantage of there being no Premier League or Championship (i.e., Divisions One and Two in old money) programme and support their local non-league club (or any non-league club that takes their fancy). There is no particular drum being banged here, just a request for support for less glamorous end of British football, where much is run by utterly dedicated volunteers and on the most slender of shoestring budgets.

The Non-League Day website has helpful links to finding your non-league club and a list of fxtures all the way down to Step 6 of the English football pyramid, those in the F.A. Vase First Round Qualification and in Scotland. Some FST members will be attending the Isthmian League Division One - North fixture between Leyton F.C. and Grays Athletic F.C., which maintains our cordial links with the latter's supporters' trust.

Wednesday
Sep012010

TOOFIF interview with Tom Greatrex

The latest edition of TOOFIF carried an interview with former Fulham Supporters' Trust chair Tom Greatrex, who was elected as the MP for Rutherglen & Hamilton West at the general election.

The Trust are very grateful to David Lloyd and Bill Plummer for publishing the interview on the new TOOFIF website for Trust members and Fulham fans to read.

You can read the wide-ranging discussion by following this link

Subscriptions to TOOFIF cost £19 for five issues for those living in the UK, £24 for those in Europe and £28.50 if you live further afield. More information is available at the Subscriptions section of the TOOFIF website.