Friday
Feb232018

Trust February meeting with Fulham Football Club

Tom Greatrex and Dan Crawford of the Fulham Supporters’ Trust met with Alistair Mackintosh (AM, chief executive officer), Casper Sylsvig (CS, chief revenue officer), Carmelo Mifsud (CM, communications media relations manager), Sean O’Loughlin (SOL, finance director), Tony Khan (TK, vice-chairman and director of football operations), Huw Jennings (HJ, academy director), Mike McKinsey (MM, Fulham Foundation chief executive), Katy Brecht (KB, head of ticketing) and David Daly (DD, non-executive director) of Fulham Football Club at Motspur Park on Thursday 15 February

AM welcomed everybody to the meeting and explained that several Club representatives were in attendance at this meeting as they wanted to receive feedback and answer questions from the Trust and the Fulham fanbase around a number of issues.

CRAVEN COTTAGE REDEVELOPMENT PLANS

SOL confirmed that the extension to the public consultation period for Fulham Football Club’s planning application to redevelop the Riverside Stand had come about following a request for further information to be provided by the Port of London Authority. He confirmed that the extension in the public consultation would not materially affect the determination date scheduled for the planning application with Hammersmith and Fulham Council, and the Club was still confident that the application would be heard in March, prior to the purdah period ahead of the 2018 local council elections.

In response to questions from the Trust, SOL confirmed that, in the event of the planning application being successful, the Club would like to begin work on redeveloping the Riverside Stand at the end of season 2018/19. The precise timetable for the works would be dependent on the detailed preparatory work carried out by a contractor and SOL said that there had been a number of expressions of interests from particular contractors to earn the tender. He hoped that the Club would be in a position to formally appoint a preferred contractor by July 2018.

Both SOL and AM reaffirmed, in response to questioning from the Trust, that the plans were intended to proceed regardless of which division Fulham would be playing in next season. SOL reiterated that there was no intention to leave Craven Cottage whilst this work was being carried out and initial indications were that the capacity of the ground would be around 17,000 seats whilst the work was undertaken. Both SOL and AM confirmed that the Club were looking at what improvements could be made to the Hammersmith and Putney Ends of the ground, although the extent of what work would be possible would become clearer when the Club’s preferred contractor had specified their building plans for the Riverside Stand in event that the planning application was successful.

CM thanked the Trust for their help in putting together the Riverside Stand frequently asked questions that are now available on the Club’s website. Both SOL and AM confirmed that the Club were still in discussions with local residents as well as the various residents’ groups and associations and Trust representatives repeated the Trust’s commitment to try and secure support for the proposals from Fulham supporters, especially those fans who lived in the London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. AM, SOL and CS said that the Club were keen to discuss the precise plans for those supporters who currently hold season tickets in the Riverside Stand as soon as possible and the Trust agreed to help facilitate that engagement

TICKETING MATTERS

KB confirmed that the Club were still discussing Ticketmaster’s scheduled improvements to the official website’s ticketing platform. In response to several queries from Trust members regarding the continued presence of a booking fee for coach tickets booked through the Club website, she confirmed that the Club had asked Ticketmaster to remove this and that she would ensure there was done as swiftly as possible. KB further commented that the Club were continually working to improve the coach service to away fixtures for Fulham fans. AM also invited the Trust’s comments about season ticket pricing for the  2018/2019 as had been provided in previous seasons and the Trust representatives would offer their feedback following consultation with Trust members and supporters.

KB and AM were pleased with the strong ticket sales for recent home matches, especially the Aston Villa fixture. In response to a question from the Trust surrounding the number of away tickets provided for fixtures towards the end of the season – especially the local derby against Brentford – AM confirmed that it remained his desire to sell as many tickets as possible to home supporters and that additional away tickets would be offered in the Putney End only if they remained available closer to the game.

On the broader question of the continued adoption of the neutral section within the Putney End, AM felt that the neutral end had worked work as an opportunity to introduce football fans to Fulham and Craven Cottage, with many supporters who had attended games there going on to come to further fixtures and even purchase memberships and season tickets. AM and KB said that the neutral end is reviewed as a matter of course every season and AM recognised that there could be a higher demand for tickets should the club win promotion.

FULHAM FOUNDATION

MM said he had wanted to attend this meeting to personally thank the Trust for their support of the Fulham Foundation’s activities and explore ways that the Trust and the Foundation could work together. He thanked Trust members for their generous donations to the Foundation’s charity matchday last November and reported that the Foundation had experienced a significant rise in donations from supporters when purchasing tickets online as well as merchandise at the stadium store in Stevenage Road.

The Trust representatives commented that the Foundation’s work was exceptionally well received by Fulham fans and that Trust members would like to see the Foundation’s visibility increased so that the good work undertaken by the Foundation in the local community was more widely acknowledged by the supporters. MM, AM and CM replied that the Foundation and the Club were currently discussing how more information about the Foundation’s activities could be shared across the Club’s media platforms.

TRANSFER WINDOW

TK thanked the Trust representatives for the opportunity to talk about the transfer window, which he felt had served to strengthen Slavisa Jokanovic’s squad. He insisted that the Club had never entertained selling any of their key players and that Tom Cairney and Ryan Sessegnon remained pivotal to Club’s future prospects.

TK recognised that it would have been more ideal to be able to integrate January signings into the first-team squad from earlier in the month, but that often in this window, the successful completion of deals was often dependent on the selling club signing a replacement. He said that Matt Targett had been on the club’s radar for some time as a young, talented English player who was not getting regular games at Southampton. Targett’s arrival had strengthened the squad at left back and his successful introduction into the first team had allowed Ryan Sessegnon to operate as a left winger as well.

TK commented that the deadline day signing of Aleksandar Mitrovic on loan was a huge boost to the club. The player had a strong relationship with Slavisa Jokanovic and Fulham moved quickly bring him in from Newcastle once he proposed move to Anderlecht had fallen through. He offered a different option to the strikers already in the first team squad and has an excellent goalscoring record in domestic, European and international football as well as experience of the Championship. TK also commented that Aboubakar Kamara and Rui Fonte have improved as they have adapted to the Championship and gained more first team experience.

TK also said that Fulham were very pleased to have signed Cyrus Christie as he was a strong player with a good Championship pedigree who had only moved clubs relatively recently. He said that AM had secured a very good financial deal for Christie and that the player provided additional depth at right back as well as real competition for Ryan Fredericks.

TK felt the transfer window had helped to provide much-needed strength in depth in three crucial positions and believed that the club now had a genuine chance of promotion. Both TK and AM confirmed that two plans were in place for the summer already depending on which division Fulham would be competing in and they had hoped for a strong end to the season.

MATCHDAY EXPERIENCE

The Trust representatives raised feedback from supporters about the difficulty of gaining refreshments and poor levels of service on matchdays in the Johnny Haynes Stand and the Hammersmith End. CS asked for details of this and assured the Trust that all reports of poor service are investigated. CM confirmed that, following correspondence between the Trust and the Club, that extensive testing of the public-address system was underway at Craven Cottage after complaints that supporters could not hear a number of the announcements and the recent half time interview with Brede Hangeland. The Trust and the Club are keen to work together to improve the matchday experience at Craven Cottage and will be planning to hold further meetings to facilitate this.

 

DD confirmed that there were a number of planned appearances of former Fulham players at the remaining home fixtures this season, and that the Club was keen to have former players return to the Club and make on pitch appearances. He explained that some players prefer not to be interviewed on the pitch.

MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS

The Trust representatives congratulated the Club on winning the Programme Monthly’s Championship programme of the year award for the second time in the last three seasons. CM thanked the Trust on behalf of the Club’s media for their kind words as well as the positive feedback from the Fulham fans.

In response to questions from the Trust about Fulham FC TV, CM said that the Club were pleased with the product to date, although they were always seeking ways to improve their output. The Trust put forward a number of suggestions gleaned from our members about potential future content. CM, SOL and AM said that the Club were very pleased with the success of the match pass and season pass options for overseas fans, revealing that the Club’s sales levels were the second highest in the Championship, after Nottingham Forest. CM felt it had been right decision to decide to implement the Club’s own subscription service instead of adopting the EFL’s IFollow System and confirmed that there would be a full review at the end of the season. He also confirmed that if Fulham were to be promoted, then the overseas and other rights situation was different and would impact upon what can be broadcast through the Club’s platform.

FULHAM ACADEMY

HJ thanked the Trust and the Fulham fans for their continued support of the Club’s academy programme and the interest in the progress of the age group sides. He was delighted by the Under 18s FA Youth Cup quarter final victory at Plymouth, highlighting the contributions of Steven Sessegnon, who played at centre back, Nicolas Santos-Clase and Fabio Carvahlo. The Under 18s will now face Chelsea in the quarter final, which will be played at Craven Cottage on Tuesday 27 February, kicking off at 7.05pm. HJ stressed that whilst the Club were delighted with the achievements of the Under 18 side in the FA Youth Cup this year, he still saw the Club’s key role as helping to develop players – and was very pleased with the progress of so many young players along the pathway to Slavisa Jokanovic’s first team this season.

HJ commended the achievements of several Fulham young players currently out on loan, in particular the progression of Marek Rodak at Rotherham, which has been reflected by his recent signing of a contract extension, Elijah Adebayo with Cheltenham Town and Mattias Kait’s impressive start at Ross County. HJ admitted it was sometimes difficult to judge exactly when to loan out a player but said that the Club work extremely hard to source the right development opportunities for their players.

HJ said he was indebted to the work of the Club’s staff right across the academy and their commitment to excellence as well as the generous support of the chairman and AM. He was encouraged by a number of promising players coming through the younger age group ranks as well as Fulham’s successful retention of their most talented players.

The meeting finished at 11.58am

Wednesday
Feb212018

Awayday Guide: Bristol City

TICKETING INFORMATION
Fulham fans should note that there are no away tickets available for purchase on the gate at Ashton Gate this evening. Those supporters currently without tickets should call the Fulham FC ticket office on 0203 871 0810 immediately as tickets will go off sale at 3pm this afternoon. Tickets are priced at £27 for adults, £24 for senior citizens and under 25s, £21 for under 22s, £15 for under 19s and £12 for under 12s.

GETTING TO ASHTON GATE

BY CAR
Exit the M5 at Junction 18 and travel along the Portway (A4) following signs for the Bristol Airport/Taunton (A38). As you go over the swing bridge (Brunel Way), branch left into Winterstoke Road, and you will see the ground on your left. There is no parking at the ground so you will need to park in surrounding residential streets or Bedminster Cricket club on Clanage Road (A369) at a cost of £5.

BY TRAIN
Bristol Temple Meads station is around two miles from Ashton Gate. Supporters can get a taxi (about £8) or join one of the shuttle service buses from the station to the ground (£2 return). The closest station to Ashton Gate is Parson Street, which is served by an hourly train from Temple Meads. Parson Street is about a mile from the ground.

AWAY PUBS

A number of pubs in Bristol have been recommended for away fans.

The Knights Templar (1 The Square, Bristol BS1 6DG), a Wetherspoon’s near Bristol Temple Meads station, is a two minute walk from the station.

The King Street Brew House
(Welsh Back, Bristol, BS1 4RR) is a family friendly microbrewery handily located near the station, serving eighteen different ales, food and offering Sky Sports and BT Sport on its TV screens.

The Nova Scotia by the waterfront (Nova Scotia Place, Bristol BS1 6XJ), is a historic nineteenth century pub that welcomes visiting supporters.

The Cottage Pub
, in Baltic Wharf, (Cumberland Road, Bristol BS1 6XG) is also situated on the waterfront and serves real ale from the Butcombe Brewery.

The Tobacco Factory
(Raleigh Rd, Bristol, BS3 1TF) is about five minutes walk from the away stand entrance, welcomes visiting supporters and serves good food.

The Orchard Pub
(Hanover Place on Harbourside) is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and was voted Britain’s best cider pub in 2009. It has a number of ales and 24 ciders available.

The afore-mentioned Bedminster Cricket Club on Clanage Road also welcomes away fans to drink in their popular and welcoming bar.

Alternatively, alcohol is available within the Ayteo Stand at Ashton Gate itself, including Heineken (£4.50), Fosters (£4), John Smiths (£4), Butcombe Bitter (£4), Guinness (£4.50) and Thatchers Cider (£4).

LOCAL ATTRACTIONS
Supporters arriving early in Bristol might wish to view first iron hulled, screw propeller-driven steamship, the SS Great Britain, which is moored at the docks. The Clifton Suspension Bridge that overlooks Ashton Gate is well worth a look and outside the ground itself is a statue, designed by Tom Murphy and largely funded by our friends at the Bristol City Supporters’ Trust, of City’s record goalscorer, John Atyeo, who scored 351 goals in 645 appearances for the club between 1951 and 1966.
Friday
Feb092018

Awayday Guide: Bolton Wanderers

TICKETING INFORMATION
Fulham have sold over 800 tickets for tomorrow's trip to the Macron Stadium. Fulham fans making a late decision to support Slavisa Jokanovic's side in the north west tomorrow can buy tickets on the day, with cash sales only available from the turnstiles at Block F of the Franking Sense South Stand priced at £32 for adults, £26 for supporters aged over 65 and under 23, £20 for serving members of the armed forces, £11 for supporters aged under 18 and £9 for under 12.

GETTING TO THE MACRON STADIUM

BY CAR
It is around 220 miles from Fulham to the Macron Stadium. Head up towards Bolton on M6 to Junction 21a, take the eastbound M62 and leave at Junction 12. Follow the Bolton/Preston signs for M61 and exit at Junction 6. You will be able to see the stadium from this junction and signs will guide you for the rest of your journey. There is some car parking at the stadium for £7 - alternatively, you should be able to park nearby along Chorley New Road.

BY TRAIN
Supporters are advised that Northern Rail services are significantly disrupted by rail improvement works tomorrow. There are no trains serving Horwich Parkway and, although a replacement bus service will be in operation, the number of buses will be limited and this could add at least an hour to some journeys. Fulham fans still planning to travel by train are advised to consider completing their journey from Manchester Piccadilly or Preston by cab, which would take around half an hour.

BY COACH
The official Fulham coaches leave Craven Cottage and West Barnes Lane - opposite Motspur Park railway station at 7.30am.

AWAY PUBS
The established away pub at Bolton is The Beehive (991 Chorley New Rd, Horwich, Bolton BL6 4BA), a Greene King popular pub and restaurant, serving a good selection of ales, beers and food, with a tailored kids' menu. Patrons can also use the pub's car park for the duration of a match day.

The Barnstormers
(Lostock Lane, Lostock, Bolton BL6 4BL) is also a good option as a popular gastropub that will welcome visiting fans close to the ground. This gastropub serves a wide selection of beers, with excellent pies, milkshakes and sandwiches and shows televised sport on big screens.

Fulham fans should note that most of the other pubs and bars on the Middlebrook Retail Park operate an admittance policy for away fans at the discretion of the doormen and some will request to view a home match ticket or season ticket prior to entry.

Alcohol is available inside the stadium, including Worthington's (£3.40), Carling (£3.50), Magners (£3.70), Guinness (£3.80) and red or white wine (£4), and Bolton have previously operated a voucher system to enable pre-ordering of half-time drinks.
Friday
Jan262018

Awayday Guide: Barnsley

TICKETING INFORMATION

Fulham's final fixture in January sees Slavisa Jokanovic's side travel to Oakwell to face Barnsley tomorrow afternoon. There are still tickets available - with three loyalty points on offer to supporters who fancy making the trip to South Yorkshire. Tickets have now gone off sale online, but can be ordered by calling the Fulham ticket office on 0203 871 0810 - and supporters will need to specify whether they wish to collect their tickets from the Fulham ticket office on Stevenage Road or at Barnsley prior to kick off. Tickets are priced at £23 for adults, £16 for supporters aged over 65 and between the ages of 16 and 21, £10 for supporters aged between 12 and 16 and £5 for under 12s.

Tickets will go off sale completely at 3pm this afternoon, although Barnsley will sell away tickets at Oakwell on matchday (junior tickets must be booked in advance). On the day prices are £25 for adults, £18 for supporters aged over 65 and between 17 and 21.

HOW TO GET TO OAKWELL

BY CAR

Exit the M1 at Junction 37 and head along A628 towards Barnsley. Continue on this road, following the signs for Barnsley FC, and the ground will come into view on the right. There are car parks at Oakwell, but these are largely for permit holders only. Between the ground and the MetroDome is a car park for visiting supporters, called Queens Ground, which costs £5. The MetroDome also offers parking at its own car park - although supporters should be warned that it can become congested and lead to long queues after the final whistle. There is also street parking around the MetroDome.

BY TRAIN

Barnsley Railway Station is about a ten minute walk away from Oakwell - and supporters heading up from London will likely need to change at either Sheffield or Leeds. Upon exiting the train station, turn left and walk towards the bridge beneath the dual carriageway. Head under the bridge, turn left at the slip road and take the first right walking down the MetroDome complex at the top of the hill and you will be able to see the ground directly in front of you.

BY COACH

Fulham's official coaches will leave Craven Cottage and West Barnes Lane opposite Motspur Park train station at 8.15am. Spaces on either coach need to be booked in advance by calling the Fulham ticket office on 0203 871 0810. Coach tickets are priced at £20 for adult season ticket holders and members, £15 for junior season ticket holders and members, £25 for adult non-season ticket holders and members and £20 for juniors non-season ticket holders and members.

AWAY PUBS

The Rigby Lounge in the MetroDome Leisure Centre has been a regular haunt for away fans as it is located within easy walking distance of Oakwell. 

The Dove Inn (102 Doncaster Road, Barnsley S70 1TP) is a regular in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and welcomes away fans alongside Barnsley supporters. Five minutes walk away the ground, the pub offers traditional bitter from the Old Mill brewery alongside other session beers, a good selection of food as well as large screen televisions, a beer garden and a pool table.

The Barnsley East Dene Working Mens Club (111 Doncaster Rd, Barnsley S70 1UD) will also welcome visiting fans and children for the price of a small donation. There is also on-site parking available for £2 and it is around a ten minute walk to the ground. The Harbour Hills Working Mens Club (14 Vernon Street Barnsley S71 1BW) has also been very welcoming to Fulham fans in the past.

The Joseph Bramah (15 Market Hill, Barnsley, S70 2PX) is the bigger of town centre's two Wetherspoon's. The Old Number 7 (7 Market Hill, Barnsley S70 2PX) has been a regular haunt for Fulham fans on our previous visitis, located close enough to Barnsley train statement, and serving eight real ales from Acorn and other micro breweries and a choice of real ciders and perry, also a wide range of continental bottled beers and lagers.

PAYING TRIBUTE TO PATRICK CRYNE

Saturday's game is Barnsley's first home fixture since the sad death of the Tykes' former chairman, Patrick Cryne, from cancer at the age of 66. Cryne, a local businessman, saved Barnsley from extinction around a decade ago and invested heavily in the side year after year. After writing an emotional open letter to fans revealing his terminal cancer diagnosis, he recently sold the club to a Chinese consortium of investors that also includes the American 'moneyball' supremo Billy Beane. The Barnsley Supporters' Trust have asked if the travelling Fulham fans can join in a planned tribute to the late Mr. Cyrne in the 66th minute by standing and applauding as well as shining their torches or lights on their mobile phones.

 

 

Wednesday
Jan172018

Trust urges Fulham fans to support Riverside Stand planning application

The Fulham Supporters' Trust is urging all Fulham fans to express their support for Fulham Football Club's plans to redevelop the Riverside Stand to Hammersmith and Fulham Council before the close of the public consultation on Friday.

Fulham Football Club's full planning application can be viewed on the Hammersmith and Fulham Council website here.

The Trust have submitted a formal submission to the Council, which can be read here, and have written to all our members and supporters outlining the reasons why we believe the latest iteration of Craven Cottage redevelopment plans are worthy of public support, including:

  • improvement of spectating and matchday facilities
  • improved look of ground
  • enabling historic Craven Cottage site to continue to be used for high level professional football, enhancing value of listed buildings continuing being used for the primary purpose
  • opening up of river walk, completing stretch from Hammersmith to Putney, benefit to wider community and environment
  • amenity provided for residents on non-matchdays in that part of Fulham

The Trust would urge supporters to sign the petition hosted on the Club's website, but, if you are able to write to the Council, individual letters detailing your reasons for support, tend to have greater credence with planners than standard, or form, letters. You can write to Hammersmith & Fulham Council, King Street, London W6 9JU, citing application reference 2017/04662/FUL, or submit your comments via the Council's online planning portal here.

Following the end of the publication consultation, it is expected that the Council will make a decision on the application by the end of April.