Monday
Dec022013

Jol Departs; Muelensteen Head Of First Team Affairs

Following the 3-0 defeat by West Ham, Fulham FC yesterday announced the sacking of Martin Jol, who's role as head of first team duties is to be replaced by head coach Rene Meulensteen. Club owner Shahid Khan said:

“I spoke with Martin to thank him for his efforts on behalf of Fulham Football Club over the past three seasons and, in particular, since my becoming Chairman earlier this year. Martin was very gracious and I appreciate his understanding of the situation. There's no question Martin is an excellent football man and he has my utmost respect for the commitment he made to our Club.

“However, our poor form and results this season are undeniable, and Fulham supporters deserve better. With more than half the season still ahead, an immediate change was necessary.”

Accompanying the announcement, Jol said "It was a priviledge to manage Fulham", adding he knows "there are better days ahead". 

Meulensteen is in no doubt about what he needs to do after taking over:

"Don't even speak about getting into the top six, top 10, whatever it is. You need to make sure you close your ranks, and you make sure you start winning again. It's a massive challenge. But when you're faced with a challenge like this it comes down to making sure you get the basic things right. You need to stay mentally strong and make sure the fans are getting behind the team. We need to make sure the players are mentally strong and believe."

Today also confirmed a change around in coaching staff. Billy McKinlay leaves after 9 years at the club, alongside Jol appintements Cornelis Jol and Michael Lindeman. Promoted to the first team set-up is Kit Symons, who has been doing fantastic work with the U21 team. Jonathan Hill is also a new appointment, joining as first team coach after 10 years coaching at youth level with Manchester United, between which he was Technical Director at the FA and coach at Tromso and Manchester City.

The managerial change follows a run of six straight defeats in all competitions, and the Trust regrets that Martin Jol's reign at Fulham did not work out as we wished it would have done, but would like to thank him for his services to the club over the two-and-a-half years - especially the three wins over QPR (including the 6-0 hammering). With a fresh impetus provided by Meulensteen and the rest of the new set up, we and everyone else connected with Fulham will be hoping we recover and climb back up the table. Committee members Chris and Lorcan have penned some further personal words on HammyEnd.com for those looking for a deeper evaluation of where the club is at and where we can go from here.

Amended: After asking for clarification from the club, Rene Meulensteen remains head coach after Martin Jol's departure and does not take the title of manager. Jonathan Hill is First Team Coach, and not Head Coach.

Thursday
Nov142013

Fulham Appoint Rene Meulensteen As Head Coach

This week, Fulham Football Club announced the appointment of Rene Meulensteen as Head Coach. Meulensteen joins the Club with immediate effect working alongside Manager Martin Jol. Meulensteen had previously worked at Manchester United for more than a decade and alongside Sir Alex Ferguson during a second spell at Old Trafford between 2007 and last summer, and had been out of employment since David Moyes became Manchester United manager. Widely tipped to join the Qatar FA, no official agreement was ever reached, allowing for Meulensteen's new role at our football club.

Fulham FC Chief Executive Officer, Alistair Mackintosh said: “We’re all delighted to welcome Rene to Fulham. There was always going to be a battle for Rene’s services and, with the assistance of our Chairman Shahid Khan, we’ve been able to bring one of the best coaches in the world to Fulham.”
Following a concerning set of performances and results which amount to 37 points from the last 38 games, the Trust welcome the addition of Meulensteen to the coaching staff, who comes with praise from many respected figures in the game. 
The Trust have also contacted the club to ask for clarification on what this means for Jol's and previous head coach Michael Linderman's responsibilities at Fulham. 
Committee members Chris Gilbertson and Lorcan O'Connor have written some extensive personal comment on HammyEnd.com regarding the latest addition (Chris here and Lorcan here), for those interested in some analysis. 
Thursday
Sep052013

The Fulham Supporters' Trust supports Non-League day, 7/9

Fulham and Northern Ireland international defender Aaron Hughes has encouraged Fulham fans to support Non-League Day, which this year will be held on Saturday 7 September 2013 to coincide with the Internatonal break. The Fulham Supporters' Trust has been a constant supporter of Non-League Day since its inception back in 2010 - now an annual tradition - and we hope that Fulham fans will continue to support the grass-roots game in their locality next month, with Walton Casuals - whose chairman is former Fulham player Tony Gale - presenting a special offer for the day to Fulham season ticket holders and members, letting them in for free.
 
The day helps promote hundreds of clubs across the country, many of which are volunteer run and valuable community assets, but also requires a lot of dedication and hard work from its volunteers as well as retaining the sense of tradition and mutual appreciate between supporters and club which has to an extent been lost among the money at many professional clubs.
 
There are 60 matches listed within the M25 orbital, so Fulham supporters might wish to take in one of the following fixtures (Kingstonian v. Grays Athletic, Hampton & Richmond Borough v Maidstone United, Epsom & Ewell v Bedfont Sports, Staines Town v Eastbourne Borough, Raynes Park Vale v Holmesdale) or visit the Non-League Day website at www.nonleagueday.co.uk to find a match local to you. Alternatively, if you are a Fulham season ticket holder or member and would like more information on Walton Casuals where you can get free admission, visit their website at www.pitchero.com/clubs/waltoncasualsfc
Thursday
Sep052013

Camera In The Johnny Haynes Stand

Following the first home match of the 2013-14 season, versus Arsenal FC on 24th. August, 2013, the Trust received strong complaint from members, supporters and journalists about an obtrusive installation in the Johnny Haynes Stand for a television 'reaction camera' directed at the dugouts. Not only did this compromise the view of season ticket holders and supporters, who have paid for premium seats at Craven Cottage, but many felt that the warning they received prior to the fixture did not accurately describe the obtrusive nature of the camera.

 

On the same evening, the Trust contacted Tommy Guthrie (Supporter Liaison Officer at Fulham FC) asking for clarification on the following matters:

(i) the reason(s) for the emplacement of the TV camera at that location;

(ii) the very limited notification (48 hours only) to the season ticket holders that would (or could) be affected;

(iii) whether the camera will be in place for live televised matches only;

(iv) whether and how the club will compensate those affected and

(v) the Club’s plans with regard to both the camera and the affected fans for forthcoming matches.

The Trust has received a reply from Tommy Guthrie, stating that the Club has reviewed in detail the camera position feedback received from Trust members and fans in the Johnny Haynes Stand. These findings have been shared with their colleagues at the Premier League and a meeting had been set for yesterday (Wednesday, 3rd. September, 2013) with the Premier League and broadcasters.
The Trust has been contacted by Fulham FC, following their meeting. The message, partim, from Tommy Guthrie, the Club’s Supporter Liaison Officer reads as follows:

The shot captured from this position is needed for, potentially, every match and therefore forms part of the mandatory broadcast criteria that all football clubs in the league must comply with, as part of the new regulations imposed.
 
The Club has worked hard over a number of months with both of the above parties to try to reach a compromise that would position the mandatory camera angle in a location that has minimal impact on supporters.  Unfortunately, a solution that fulfils the precise specifications of these criteria has not been fully reached. However, the broadcasters and league have this week identified a potential position which, whilst it only partially fulfils the broadcast objectives, negates the need for the scaffold in the centre of the Johnny Haynes Stand.

Therefore, the removal of the scaffolding has been agreed and we have instructed this to happen prior to the next home match against West Bromwich Albion on 14th. September.The alternative position is being installed and tested on Monday 9th. September, for review with the safety officers of the Council. At this point, Season Ticket Holders that may potentially be affected will be contacted directly. We intend to then meet with these supporters prior to the match on 14th. September, to discuss any impact this position may have.

It is important to note that the camera will not be in operation at the West Bromwich Albion fixture and we will consult fully with the supporters affected to offer the opportunity to move seats or reach another agreement. Due to the cooperation of the broadcasters and the Premier League we believe this number will be minimal.

It is understood that season ticket and other ticket-holders, who were affected by the camera installation, have been offered a complimentary ticket for the forthcoming Capital One Cup match against Everton on Tuesday, 24th. September.

At the time of writing, it is not known where the Club proposes to locate the television camera. Tommy Guthrie confirmed to the Trust that the proposed location will not be released until it has been formally agreed and approved which follows a camera test and a sign off from local authorities to say it doesn't compromise health and safety.

The Trust will continue to consult and provide feedback with the club on the issue, and would like to hear the opinion(s) of our members on the alternative installation. Please email info@fulhamsupporterstrust.com or tweet us @FulhamSuppTrust

Friday
Jul122013

Trust statement on Fulham FC takeover

The Fulham Supporters' Trust would like to take the opportunity to welcome Mr Shahid Khan as the new owner of Fulham Football Club. The Trust would also like to extend the heartfeltthanks of all Fulham fans around the world to Mr Mohamed Al-Fayed for 16 wonderful years of progression under his stewardship.

The change of ownership presents an exciting, if uncertain time, for Fulham fans, but The Trust feels it is important to recognise the immeasurable contribution our outgoing Chairman has made to the history of our great club. For this, we would like to wish Mohamed Al-Fayed well in retirement and once again thank him for the journey that Fulham have taken over the last 16 years.

The Fulham Supporters' Trust welcomes the opportunity to continue its prosperous working relationship with Fulham Football Club under Mr Khan's leadership and eagerly look forward to the beginning of this next chapter in our club's history.