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Thursday
Oct292015

Bristol City Away travel and ground information

Visiting Bristol City FC

Ashton Gate

Having been many years since Fulham last visited Ashton Gate, those who remember it will be impressed by the rapid redevelopments that have taken place in recent years. This was a trip ear-marked by many as one to make. Although the allocation of 1400 is not the largest, the away end is said to allow for a fantastic atmosphere, which is enhanced by sharing a stand with home fans, something not seen too often in this league. A note for anyone travelling is that the stand is generally unreserved seating so, if you do want to sit in a particular area, it will be better to arrive slightly earlier.

http://www.footballgroundguide.com/leagues/england/championship/ashton-gate-bristol-city.html

http://www.ashtongatestadium.co.uk

Getting to the ground – Train

Bristol Temple Meads is the main station serving Bristol and can be reached by direct trains from London Paddington. The ground itself is approximately 2 miles from Temple Meads and the city centre, so a relatively short train journey of about 5 minutes can be made from Temple Meads to Parson Street, from where the ground is approximately a 20-minute walk. Although this is a viable option, there are only 2 trains an hour servicing Parson Street and many can find them very busy. Your best option is probably to remain in the city centre and grab a taxi to the ground, which costs approximately £8.

Getting to the ground – Bus

The ABus faresaver runs from Brislington approximately one hour before kick-off. Stops at all stops on Bath Road, Temple Gate [for Temple Meads Station], Temple Way, Old Market [Bond Street], Haymarket, Centre [St Augustine’s Parade], Anchor Road and Hotwells Road. Fares are £2 single or return. Concessionary card holders travel free.

http://www.bcfc.co.uk/club/find_us/

http://www.abus.co.uk

Mindful that many fans will have chosen the ‘Plus Bus’ option when purchasing their rail tickets, bus service numbers 24 and 25 operate from Horfield, Bristol city centre and through to Ashton Vale. The closest stops to Ashton Gate stadium are Frayne Road, Bath Street and Durnford Street, all less than five minutes walk from the stadium.

http://www.firstgroup.com/uploads/maps/24_29march.pdf

Getting to the ground – Car

Parking at Ashton Gate has recently become far more difficult, parking in the stadium is restricted to permit holders only and many of the surrounding streets have been changed to double yellows. There is the Bedminster Cricket club on Clanage Road (A369) offers parking at a cost of £5 per car and is about a 10 minute walk from the ground but this can be very busy. The only other alternative is to look carefully for on street parking where single yellows are still in force.

Where to drink

If travelling in by train then your best option as usual is to remain in the city centre where there are a number of options. ‘The Knights Templar’ pub is a 2-minute walk straight ahead out of the station and is the local Wetherspoons. If you fancy a more scenic drink then ‘The Cottage’ in Baltic Wharf is a friendly mixed pub located on the riverside. Be wary of pubs near to the ground, many of them are home fans only and should be avoided by visiting fans. Locals often direct away fans to the Tobacco House bar, which is a 5-minute walk from the road behind the away end next door to an Aldi store. Alongside the ‘Tobacco Factory’ bar, for those who do not fancy a trip in to the city centre, the Bedminster Cricket Club which is away-friendly and located a 15-minute walk from Ashton Gate.

http://www.jdwetherspoon.co.uk/home/pubs/the-knights-templar

http://www.cottage.butcombe.com

http://www.tobaccofactory.com

http://bedminstercc.co.uk

As befits a large city port, Bristol has no shortage of CAMRA-rated and micro-brewery pubs. Thankfully, The Guardian has reviewed the craft beer outlets and listed their 10 favourites:

http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2014/may/26/top-10-craft-beer-pubs-bristol

A further 5 are recommended by Bristol CAMRA:

Robin Hood (56, St Michael's Hill): http://whatpub.com/pubs/AVN/277/robin-hood-bristol

The Gryphon (41, Colston Street): http://whatpub.com/pubs/AVN/154/gryphon-bristol

Quinton House (2, Park Place): http://whatpub.com/pubs/AVN/262/quinton-house-bristol

The Sugar Loaf (51, St. Marks Rd, Easton): http://www.sugarloafpub.co.uk

Bag O Nails (141, St Georges Road, Hotwells): http://whatpub.com/pubs/AVN/46/bag-of-nails-bristol

Culinary Bristol

Although hailing from Cardiff, Clarks has three outlets in Bristol: 2, Haymarket Walk; 114A Church Road and 259 North Street. The beef and potato pie is highly rated, as is their meat and vegetable pie.

http://www.clarkspies.co.uk

Equally well thought of is Pieminister, who operate from 24 Stokes Croft, and Corn Street, Corn Exchange, and offer seven types of pie and another three ‘open top’ varieties, with their steak and ale pie scoring heavily with the experts.

http://www.pieminister.co.uk

Since it’s known that a few fans will be making a weekend out of the trip to the West Country, we’d recommend investigating:

Leisure Café (58 Stapleton Road) for Sudanese, Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine.

Senegambian (406 Stapleton Road) for a variety of West African dishes.

Shiraz Restaurant (275 Hotwell Road, Clifton) for Persian cuisine

http://www.shirazpersianrestaurantbristol.com/restaurant/

For those of us who simply cannot countenance an away trip without a large doner and the possibility of nuclear-powered chili sauce, The Kebab House (6 St Michaels Hill) and Antalya Kebab (3 Marsh Lane) for, respectively, Greek Cypriot and Turkish grills.

Cultural Bristol

Located on Queens Road just off Park Street, only a five to ten minute walk from the city centre is the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery (10.00-18.00 on Saturdays).

http://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/bristol-museum-and-art-gallery/

It’s three floors of just about everything, including Egyptology, natural history, glassware, ceramics and fine art. Somewhat appropriately timed with Fulham’s visit on 31st. inst., and as part of their ‘Death: the human experience’ exhibition, is their celebration of “Dia de los Muertos’, the Mexican ‘Day of the Dead’.

Despite Bristol’s long, varied and successful maritime history, there is no maritime museum as such, although the ‘M-Shed’ on Princes Wharf, Wapping Road, has working exhibits and displays on the development of the city.

http://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/m-shed/

Friday
Oct092015

Non-League Day 2015

The Fulham Supporters’ Trust gives its full support to this year’s Non-League Day, which is scheduled for Saturday, 10.x.2015. In the absence of any programme of matches in the top two divisions of English football, we urge our members, and fans of Fulham FC in general, to attend a match of their local non-League club.

The Non-League Day web-site is: http://www.nonleagueday.co.uk/ This includes a match-finder which will enable you to locate the nearest game(s) to you on Non-League Day.

Always scheduled to coincide with an international break, Non-League Day provides a platform for clubs to promote the importance of affordable volunteer-led community football while giving fans across the country the chance to show support for their local non-league side.

Many non-league clubs are almost exclusively volunteer run, with money taken at the turnstiles often funding thriving youth set-ups, projects and facilities which are of benefit to the whole community. The grounds themselves range from fairly modern, through quaint and antiquated to simply dilapidated, but represent a pleasant alternative to the ‘Identikit’ and anodyne stadia encountered frequently in the top two divisions. The vast majority of games still kick off at 15.00, ticket prices are realistic, you can often stand (and drink!) anywhere in the ground and will always be guaranteed a warm welcome by people who run their clubs for the love of the game.

There are around 60 matches within the M25 area and 25 within relatively easy reach of SW6 and SW15. Local matches in the National, Ryman, Southern and county leagues include Colliers Wood v. Windsor, Kingstonian v. Billericay Town, Hampton & Richmond Borough v. Hendon and the derby between Molesey and Walton & Hersham.

In addition, there are a number of Third Round Qualifying matches in the F.A. Cup, which includes Wingate & Finchley v. Weston Super Mare and Hanwell Town entertaining our Essex chums from Grays Athletic.

Please offer your support to Non-League Day, 2015.

Saturday
Oct032015

Charlton Athletic: Travel and matchday information

Public transport

Rail: Charlton lies on the Woolwich line, served, under normal circumstances, by trains from Charing Cross and Cannon Street. However, Southeastern railways has announced that there will be engineering works between Plumstead and Slade Green, closing all lines, with no services running to Charlton on the day. 

South West Trains’ services are disrupted severely between Barnes and Clapham Junction on Sunday: http://www.southwesttrains.co.uk/OctEng2015.aspx#172865

Underground: The nearest underground station is North Greenwich on the Jubilee Line.

Bus: For the majority of our fans, traveling from the west or south-west of London, getting to Charlton by bus is no easy matter. Reference should be made to the following schematic map of services:

https://tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/documents/bus-route-maps/north-greenwich-160615.pdf

Our recommendation is to use the Jubilee Line to North Greenwich and then any of the 161, 472 and 486 bus services to Charlton.

Road: We would not recommend traveling by car. Parking at the ground is for permit holders only. There is street parking, but due to a local residents parking scheme, not in close vicinity to the ground or Charlton railway station. However as you come off the A2 onto the A206, there is some street parking to be had on your right, in a couple of streets, before you reach the ‘Rose of Denmark’ pub (q.v.).

Pubs in Charlton

All of the local hostelries do not open until mid-day on Sunday, with the exception of the ‘Royal Oak’, but this is a Charlton fans’ pub, so best eschewed. The ‘Antigallican’ is the pub for ‘away’ fans, although its selection of real ales is limited.

http://whatpub.com/pubs/SEL/10899/bugle-horn-charlton

http://whatpub.com/pubs/SEL/10898/white-swan-charlton

http://whatpub.com/pubs/SEL/10892/rose-of-denmark-charlton

http://whatpub.com/pubs/SEL/10894/anchor-hope-charlton

http://whatpub.com/pubs/SEL/10895/royal-oak-charlton

http://www.fancyapint.com/Pub/london/the-antigallican/1952

The ‘Charlton Kebab House’ (41, Charlton Church Lane), diagonally opposite the station’s entrance, is highly-rated.

CHARLTON ATHLETIC: Sunday, 4.x.2015

 

AWAY TRAVEL INFORMATION

 

Public transport

 

Rail: Charlton lies on the Woolwich line, served, under normal circumstances, by trains from Charing Cross and Cannon Street. However, Southeastern railways has announced that there will be engineering works between Plumstead and Slade Green, closing all lines, with no services running to Charlton on the day. 

 

South West Trains’ services are disrupted severely between Barnes and Clapham Junction on Sunday: http://www.southwesttrains.co.uk/OctEng2015.aspx#172865

 

Underground: The nearest underground station is North Greenwich on the Jubilee Line.

 

Bus: For the majority of our fans, traveling from the west or south-west of London, getting to Charlton by bus is no easy matter. Reference should be made to the following schematic map of services:

 

https://tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/documents/bus-route-maps/north-greenwich-160615.pdf

 

Our recommendation is to use the Jubilee Line to North Greenwich and then any of the 161, 472 and 486 bus services to Charlton.

 

Road: We would not recommend traveling by car. Parking at the ground is for permit holders only. There is street parking, but due to a local residents parking scheme, not in close vicinity to the ground or Charlton railway station. However as you come off the A2 onto the A206, there is some street parking to be had on your right, in a couple of streets, before you reach the ‘Rose of Denmark’ pub (q.v.).

 

Pubs in Charlton

 

All of the local hostelries do not open until mid-day on Sunday, with the exception of the ‘Royal Oak’, but this is a Charlton fans’ pub, so best eschewed. The ‘Antigallican’ is the pub for ‘away’ fans, although its selection of real ales is limited.

 

http://whatpub.com/pubs/SEL/10899/bugle-horn-charlton

 

http://whatpub.com/pubs/SEL/10898/white-swan-charlton

 

http://whatpub.com/pubs/SEL/10892/rose-of-denmark-charlton

 

http://whatpub.com/pubs/SEL/10894/anchor-hope-charlton

 

http://whatpub.com/pubs/SEL/10895/royal-oak-charlton

 

http://www.fancyapint.com/Pub/london/the-antigallican/1952

 

The ‘Charlton Kebab House’ (41, Charlton Church Lane), diagonally opposite the station’s entrance, is highly-rated.

Friday
Oct022015

Mayoral and LLDC responses to Information Commissioner’s demand to publish full terms of Olympic Stadium deal

Prior to the Mayor’s question time at the Greater London Assembly on 16th. September, 2015, Andrew Dismore (Labour & Co-operative) and Jenny Jones (Green Party) had submitted written questions on the Olympic Stadium.  Following considerable disruption inside the Assembly chamber deriving from other matters, the Mayor gave somewhat convoluted replies, in essence advocating public knowledge of the agreement between the LLDC and West Ham United FC.

http://www.andrewdismore.org.uk/home/2015/09/18/dismore-challenges-mayor-over-west-ham-olympic-stadium-deal/

1) Later the same day, a press release from the informal grouping of supporters’ trusts read:

“The coalition of supporters' trusts notes the response of Boris Johnson at Mayor's Question Time to the Information Commissioner's order to disclose in full the terms of the deal granted to West Ham United FC.

Whilst we are pleased at the Mayor's response, we note that, as he is no longer chair of the LLDC, we need to await their official response, and that of other parties to this.”

2) On 1st. October, 2015, the following, perhaps predictable, statement was issued by the LLDC in response to the Information Commissioner's judgement:

“We are lodging an appeal against the Information Commissioner’s judgment. This follows careful consideration, informed by legal advice, and is limited to a smaller number of redactions. The appeal relates only to information which if released could significantly reduce the level of financial return to the taxpayer as it would undermine negotiations with future users of the stadium and other partners.  We have listened to the Commissioner’s comments and as a public body are committed to maximising transparency. As a result we will shortly publish more details of the agreement with West Ham United in all areas that fall outside the scope of our appeal.”

The deadline for any formal appeal by the LLDC to the ICO will be next Thursday, 8th. October, 2015.

3) Notes:

(i) Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, resigned as Chairman and as a member of the London Legacy Development Corporation Board on 5th. May 2015.

(ii) Full details of the Information Commissioner’s decision may be found in:

https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-taken/decision-notices/2015/1432468/fs_50556618.pdf

(iii) Further media reaction to the Information Commissioner’s decision and the Mayoral response may be found in:

http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/sep/16/boris-johnson-happy-west-ham-olympic-stadium

http://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/west-ham-and-lldc-considering-appeal-over-olympic-stadium-deal-claims-boris-johnson-a2949116.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/34272622

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/west-ham-stadium-latest-olympic-stadium-move-details-set-to-be-revealed-10503206.html

http://www.24dash.com/news/local_government/2015-09-16-Boris-Johnson-challenged-over-West-Ham-Olympic-Stadium-deal

4) The coalition of supporters’ trusts will meet on 6th. October, 2015. In the interim, we await further media comment on the LLDC’s statement released earlier today.

 

 

Thursday
Sep172015

Trust Meeting with Fulham FC CEO, September, 2015

On 15th September, 2015 at 10.30, three of the Trust Board (Dan Crawford, Mike Gregg and Gerry Claydon) met with Alistair Mackintosh (AM, CEO) and Sarah Brookes (SB, Communications and Marketing Director) at the Club’s headquarters, Motspur Park.

1) Ground redevelopment

AM confirmed that target start date of May 2016 was still on course and that currently the club were working with all parties involved to be ready this date.

AM also explained that while some internal changes had been made to the plans, the basic footprint and design are still the same.

With regard to the actual Craven Cottage, work will commence close to or at the end of the season on repairs and upkeep to it. First priority will be the removal of the roof tiles for them to be repaired and cleaned.

The façade of the Johnny Haynes stand is also to have work done to it during the next close season.


2) Transfer window and players

AM explained that the club felt it had been a very good window with regards the incoming players. AM was particularly happy with the last pair of signings as they were unexpected and also very good deals for the club.

While the sale of Pat Roberts had been disappointing, it had helped the club show a balanced figure on actual transfer fees.

Talks are ongoing with players whose contracts the club is looking to extend.

Kit Symons has expressed the view that we now have the players to challenge and, while they would keep their options open, there were no immediate plans to sign anyone on loan. Although, bearing in mind the size of the squad, we may look to loaning out a couple of fringe players during this loan window. AM explained that it had been the club’s policy this year to have a slightly larger squad than usual, partly for playing purposes and also FFP reasons.

3) Ticketing and Website issues

The trust raised an issue which a few fans had encountered regarding the sending out of tickets purchased on the website, but when collection at the ground had been selected. SB would investigate and report back.

The Trust also discussed the Putney End and the large gaps behind the goals at games where the crowd is low. The Trust felt this sends out a poor image of the club, particularly when on TV. Ideas for moving more fans (be it home or away fans) into a more central area were discussed and AM said he would look into a more flexible approach at games where the crowd at the Putney end is so low.

The issue of some over-zealous stewarding in that end of the ground was also mentioned and would be reviewed.

The clubs policy of selling tickets to away fans in the Putney end will continue, in that if we have unsold seats and they require more then they will be supplied. This is an income-related decision and, while the club would prefer the stand full of Fulham fans, they have to realistic.

The Trust also warned the club of potential issues at the QPR away game later in the season, where they seem only to be offering the top tier of the away end to visiting fans. AM would contact QPR to find out if this is correct since they had not yet been notified of their allocation.

Season Ticket sales have been above their main target and the Club is fairly happy with what has been achieved in that area.

 

4) Financial Fair Play

The club and the rest of the league had still not heard from either party in the QPR/Football League issue and as far as they know its still being discussed by lawyers. The £8M figure for a fine that was mentioned in the press recently had not been mentioned in any league meetings.

5) Website interviews and coverage

The Trust praised SB and her team on the interviews and coverage that has been on the website since the summer. The club has employed a new member of the team and this has helped drive more coverage across all the teams.

After Josh Smile’s interview, last week SB confirmed that they would look to have more interviews with Under-21 players as long as the coaching staffs were happy with them.

SB said that the club was looking at other ways to interact with fans on the social media side of things, and that Matt Smith would be doing a Twitter Q&A this week.