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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.

Tuesday
Sep152015

Fan coalition backs Information Commissioner’s demand to publish full terms of Olympic Stadium deal

Following discussions with members of the Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust at the Supporters Summit, held in Manchester in July, 2015, the Fulham Supporters’ Trust has been collaborating with an informal grouping of supporters’ trusts with regard to the deal struck between West Ham United FC and the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) over their possible use of the Olympic Stadium, sited in the London Borough of Newham.

Subsequent to the decision of the Information Commissioner’s Office to require the LLDC to publish the, until now withheld, commercial information, the supporters’ groups involved met in central London on 14th. September, 2015 and agreed a press release, which is appended below.

Fan coalition backs Information Commissioner’s demand to publish full terms of Olympic Stadium deal

Supporters’ trusts’ campaign results in successful Freedom of Information request

The coalition of 14 supporters’ trusts seeking clarity on the Olympic Stadium deal with West Ham United FC today called on London Mayor Boris Johnson and the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) to ensure the full publication of the commercial terms of the contract after a positive response from the Information Commissioner.

The Information Commissioner has responded to a complaint lodged by the group under the Freedom of Information Act, ordering full publication of the commercial terms of the agreement, as requested by the coalition, within 35 days from the decision notice date of September 3rd. 

The LLDC has 28 days in which to lodge an appeal but the coalition of groups has called on Boris Johnson, as head of the LLDC, to waive that right, saying: 

"The Information Commissioner's decision could not have been clearer, and it is equally clear to us that publication must follow. This campaign is publicly backed by 25,000 individuals, football supporters’ trusts from around the country, and the public interest in the issue is there for all to see.”

“We call on the mayor not to use the appeal system to delay publication of this document further. If he does it will open him up to the suspicion that he has something to hide”.

“This is an issue about the use of public money to, apparently, subsidise a commercial football business. It seems the taxpayer will be paying the cost of a series of overheads which every other club, rightly, has to pay for themselves. It is important that the taxpayer is allowed to know exactly what has gone on here, and to judge whether it is a responsible and fair use of public money.” 

Mayor's Question Time will commence tomorrow at 10:00 am City Hall, The Queen's Walk, London SE1 2AA, where questions have been tabled on the matter by Andrew Dismore, Labour & Cooperative London Assembly member, and are scheduled for about 12:00. The Mayor's Question Time is now due to finish at around 13:00. 

Murad Qureshi AM and also Andrew Dismore AM, will both be located in the map area of the lower ground floor, near the café, at the end of the event. We will also have  representatives available to talk at the same time. 

For further enquiries: 

Steve Clarke, Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust                          07500 057067

Richard Pemberton, Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust                07976 705069

Mat Roper, Leyton Orient Fans’ Trust                                            07854 393037

 

Editors notes:

Football supporter groups, representing tens of thousands of football fans, backing the coalition are:

Arsenal Supporters’ Trust

Aston Villa Supporters’ Trust

The Blue Union (Everton)

Canaries Trust (Norwich City)

Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust

Chelsea Supporters’ Trust

Crystal Palace Supporters’ Trust

The Dons Trust (AFC Wimbledon)

The Foxes Trust (Leicester City)

Fulham Supporters’ Trust

Leyton Orient Fans’ Trust

Manchester United Supporters’ Trust

QPR1st Supporters’ Trust

Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust 

 

A petition launched by the coalition gained 25,000 signatures within days: 

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/106355  

Faced with a refusal by the LLDC to explain how public money was being spent on this deal, the petition called for a public inquiry to expose the truth. The coalition said: We believe public money should be used responsibly, fairly, and in a way which does not distort the competitiveness of independent sports bodies and businesses. Considering the cost to the taxpayer, and the effect of this taxpayer subsidy on competition between clubs, a full public inquiry into the deal is needed.

 

For further reading, please see:

http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/sep/15/west-ham-details-olympic-stadium-deal