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.

Wednesday
Jun192013

Fulham Supporters' Trust Statement: End Of Season Meeting With Club Officials

On Tuesday 11th June, a delegation from the Fulham Supporters Trust (“FST”), led by Vice-Chairman Gerry Claydon, met with Fulham Football Club (“FFC” or “the Club”) at the team’s training headquarters, Motspur Park.

 

The FST were warmly greeted by Alistair Mackintosh, Club CEO, Sean O’Loughlin, the Finance Director and Sarah Brookes as Communications Director, together with Supporter Liaison Officer Tommy Guthrie.

 

The meeting was an opportunity for the Club to receive feedback from the FST on fan views and opinions on various off-field matters, and also presented a forum where the FFC could provide the FST with important updates on several Club and fan-related issues. Issues yet to be discussed will raised in further dialogue in the coming weeks.

 

Topics discussed included the landscape of Craven Cottage, progress of the Riverside Stand redevelopment, the club’s financial performance, financial fair play, fan initiatives and the supporter liaison role.

 

Craven Cottage

 

FFC is planning to use this off-season to continue the effort of recent seasons and upgrade various facilities at Craven Cottage. This upgrading will include works to improve the pitch, to increase the facilities available for the media and to improve the bathroom facilities across the stadium as a whole. This work follows last summer’s installation of a new video screen at each end and the refurbishment work to the roof of the Johnny Haynes Stand.

 

An initiative under consideration that was revealed to the Trust during the meeting is the use of an optional cashless payment system at Craven Cottage on match days. It is intended that this scheme will be trialled during the coming season and would allow fans to pay at concessions using money pre-loaded onto their season ticket or membership card.

 

On the issue of flares that were evident in the away end during the Liverpool FC game, FFC condemns those individuals that brought flares into the stadium. Security measures were in place before the game and the club did confiscate a large number of flares before kick-off. CCTV footage has been used to identify those individuals responsible and details have been passed onto Liverpool FC to consider disciplinary action.

 

Riverside Stand

 

The club is progressing plans for the Riverside Stand redevelopment, with the project having recently received formal sign-off from the Mayor of London. The initial phase of works will require an entire close-season and are intended to be commenced at the first available opportunity following final planning approval. There are still some technical planning and approval issues to resolve so, whilst there is no formal start date, yet, the Club wishes to re-affirm to fans that the scheme will go ahead as soon as legally and feasibly possible.

 

Safe Standing

 

The Club will follow the official Premier League stance on safe standing. Under modern safety regulations, the historic and intimate nature of Craven Cottage is likely to make accommodating safe standing a challenge. FFC have been told that there are health & safety concerns not easily remedied at the Cottage. The gradient of the Hammersmith and Putney Ends is such that, to accommodate safe standing, they would have to be altered, which would reduce the capacity of Craven Cottage. The Club would be unwilling to support safe standing at the Cottage at this stage if capacity would have to be reduced, for financial reasons.

 

Finances

 

The Club and FST would both like to thank the Chairman, Mohamed Al-Fayed, for his most generous gesture in converting into equity (or shares) his debt held with the Club. This conversion dramatically changes the Club’s financial balance sheet into one with no debt. The club is focussed on achieving long term self-sustaining finances, a goal that the FST wholly supports. FFC’s vote against the Premier League’s Financial Fair Play was a philosophical one: FFC did not wish to downplay the significance of the Chairman’s role as a benefactor in FFC’s recent historical rise, and felt that a ‘No’ vote symbolised the fairness of the current system in allowing other clubs to benefit as we did. The Club do not believe they will be negatively affected by FFP following its introduction.

 

Fan Initiatives

 

FFC asked the FST to investigate support for a pre-match flag that could be unveiled in the Hammersmith End before home matches as a way to generate an improved atmosphere. The FST has subsequently canvassed fan opinion on the matter which revealed overwhelming support for the initiative with 81% of those responding in favour. Design feedback has now been passed to the club for further consideration.

 

Supporter Liaison Officer

 

FFC have been forerunners in Supporter Relations, and the UEFA-mandated Supporter Liaison Officer role is one which FFC already have in place. For the 2012/2013 season, every Premier League club had a staff member in this role. The FST congratulates FFC on their forward-thinking approach to supporter relations.

 

Press

 

The club affirmed to FST that fans should not believe everything that is published in the newspapers. The Communications team at FFC work hard to ensure official news is released as soon as it is possible.

 

 

In conclusion, the FST would like to publicly thank FFC for meeting, and those individuals attending for their time and candidness throughout. The FST would also like to thank all those employed at Fulham Football Club for their continued effort and hard work throughout last season.

 

A further look at the topics discussed will be available in the FST’s next newsletter, available free of charge at the first Premier League home game of the season. 

 

The FST will be maintaining regular dialogue with the Club through Supporter Liaison Officer, Tommy Guthrie, on all relevant matters at all levels throughout the coming season. If you would like to join the Fulham Supporters Trust from as little as just £5 for the coming season, please visit the 'Join Us' section by clicking here or via the website navigation banner above.