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Friday
Jun302017

Trust to discuss dialogue with Fulham FC at Supporters Summit

The Fulham Supporters' Trust will be presenting on the success of our structured relationship with Fulham Football Club at this weekend's Supporters Direct and Football Supporters' Federation Supporters Summit at St. George's Park.

The Trust have been asked to talk to delegates at St. George's Park about how our groundbreaking dialogue with Fulham FC has built trust between the football club and the fans and offered the Trust more influence over the club's decision making. As Trust members already know, representatives from the Trust board meet with Fulham FC chief executive Alistair Mackintosh each month to discuss issues raised by the supporters and release notes from the meeting to the wider Fulham fanbase. A Department of Culture, Media and Sport report on football described Fulham's relationship with the Trust as one of the best partnerships between a club and its supporters in the country.

The Trust's presentation will feature a video message to the summit from Alistair Mackintosh as well as a summary of the dialogue's successes from Trust Board member Dan Crawford. The structured dialogue has delivered several tangible benefits for Fulham fans including placing a supporter on the Club's board, securing Fulham's future at Craven Cottage, a three-year season-ticket price freeze, an established partnership between the Trust and the award-winning Fulham Foundation and delivering successful supporter events at Craven Cottage.

Monday
Jun262017

Trust June meeting with Fulham Football Club

On Tuesday 20th. June 2017, Dan Crawford from the Fulham Supporters' Trust Board met with Alistair Mackintosh (AM, Chief executive officer), Casper Stylsvig (CS, Chief Revenue Officer), Carmelo Mifsud (CM, Interim Communications and Media Director), Katy Phillips (KP, Head of Ticketing) and David Daly (DD, non-executive director) from Fulham Football Club at Motspur Park.

END OF SEASON DINNER

AM thanked the Trust for inviting himself, Tony Khan and Huw Jennings to the end of season dinner held at Craven Cottage in May. All three Club representatives greatly enjoyed the evening and felt it was an excellent way to celebrate the season. The Trust thanked AM, TK and HJ for their attendance, the Club for its assistance and organisation and indicated that we would like to hold similar events during the course of the forthcoming season.

PRE-SEASON FRIENDLIES

Following several questions from Trust members about the Club’s pre-season plans, AM confirmed that Fulham Football Club has finalised the arrangements for a two-match tour of Poland in July. The first team will play Piast Gliwice at the Remes Hotel in Opalenica on Wednesday 5 July (kick off 5pm local time) and FC Zlin on Saturday 8 July at Stadium Groklin (kick off at 5pm local time). The first team will then play two behind-closed-doors friendlies at Motspur Park as well as undertaking another pre-season European tour. The Club will then round off their pre-season preparations with a home friendly at Craven Cottage on Saturday 29 July (kick off 3pm). Further details will be available on the Club’s official website in due course.

NEW KIT

CS confirmed that the Club would be launching the new official home kit in mid-July, which the first team will wear during the home friendly at Craven Cottage. AM agreed to give strong consideration to the Trust’s suggestion of bringing forward the kit launch dates for future seasons.

SEASON TICKETS, TICKETING MATTERS, AWAY SUPPORT AND LOYALTY POINTS

AM reported that the Club was very pleased with the strong season ticket sales over the course of the summer months. KP and AM confirmed that memberships were being advertised with the incentive of discounted home league tickets so supporters who did not want to pay extra on the day of these fixtures should opt for either a season ticket or membership.

The Club had conducted an internal review of their ticketing policies and discussed with Ticketmaster some of the issues that had arisen over the course of the season. KP and AM confirmed that it was the Club’s intention to continue to allocate limited away tickets through loyalty points for the forthcoming season, but recognised the Trust’s concerns about a lack of awareness about how supporters earned loyalty points and how many loyalty points were available for each purchase. It was agreed that the Club would seek to highlight the loyalty points system more prominently on the ticketing section of its website and investigate the possibility of displaying the number of loyalty points available when supporters book individual match tickets.

AM, CS, CM and KP all commented on the noticeable increase in away support that Fulham had attracted during last season. This was something that had also been acknowledged by the players and Slavisa Jokanovic. The Club is exploring options to increase the number of Fulham fans travelling to away matches and the Trust will be assisting in this effort. The Trust also informed the Club that we would be forwarding our concerns on ticket pricing in the Championship, that has penalised severely travelling Fulham fans over the past few seasons, to the EFL as part of a national campaign on this issue.

SUMMER TRANSFER ACTIVITY AND RECRUITMENT

AM reiterated his words, and those of Tony Khan and Huw Jennings at the Trust’s end of season dinner, that the Club are confident of retaining all their key first-team players for the forthcoming season. AM also stated that Ryan Sessegnon remains registered with Fulham as a youth scholar, so he is not in the out of contract situation that the Club experienced with Moussa Dembele last summer. The Club is keen to strengthen the playing squad and is working hard towards that end: AM suggested that one signing might be announced very shortly. AM indicated that all of the players who had been on loan with the Club during the 2016-2017 season would like to remain, but that deals to retain or purchase them would be pursued only at the instigation of Slavisa Jokanovic. He further revealed that the completion of deals at this stage in the transfer window is largely dictated by the pace of the market, which is very quiet at the moment, and a number of targets are waiting to see if there is interest from Premier League clubs before committing to a move. AM also asserted that he felt Fulham were now a much more attractive proposition for potential signings than at the start of last season and the Club would be doing everything possible to support Slavisa Jokanovic’s push for promotion.

FINANCIAL FAIR PLAY

AM confirmed that the Club had not received any further word on the status of Leicester City’s and Queens Park Rangers’ challenges to the Football League’s Financial Fair Play rules, although it was still expecting a decision in the near future. He also confirmed that Fulham were in a much better position themselves under the FFP regulations and would not, therefore, be under any financial pressure to sell any of their players.

OPEN TRAINING SESSION

CS and AM expressed regret that the planned open training session for season ticket holders at Motspur Park was not able to scheduled as planned during the final weeks of last season, due to fixture congestion and the need to prepare the first team for their promotion run-in. The Trust was pleased to hear that several such events would be re-scheduled during the forthcoming campaign.

FIXTURE SCHEDULING

Ahead of the release of the Championship fixture list, the Trust had been contacted by several members and Fulham supporters to raise their frustration at the lack of a Boxing Day home fixture for the fifth season in a row, due to the prioritisation of Chelsea’s home fixtures by the football authorities and the Metropolitan Police. AM, DD and CM expressed sympathy with these complaints and the Trust will be writing to the FA and the EFL to voice these frustrations further.

CRAVEN COTTAGE AND THE RIVERSIDE STAND

AM stated that, while progress was still being made on the final plans for the redevelopment of the Riverside Stand at Craven Cottage, the Club was not yet able to go into specific details about the final nature of the plans. Both AM and DD reinforced the comments made by AM and TK at the Trust’s end of season dinner about how pivotal the stand redevelopment was to the Club’s future and they appreciated the patience of the Fulham fans.

AM also revealed that major pitch improvement works had begun at Craven Cottage almost as soon as the season had ended, which included the installation of a new SIS pitch to compliment the ones that had recently been installed at Motspur Park.

MOTSPUR PARK

AM confirmed the recent announcement that the Club had acquired the BBC Sports Ground opposite their Motspur Park training ground. Initial plans have been drawn up regarding how the Club would use the site, but these were subject to further internal Club discussion prior to them being released publicly. AM reflected that the acquisition of this site further indicated Shahid Khan’s commitment both to the Club and the development of the Academy.

FULHAM FC TV

In response to a question from the Trust, CM stated that the Club was happy with the number of sign-ups they received for Fulham FC TV last season, having introduced the service in response to EFL rules last October. The Club had recruited several new members of their media and communications team to deliver greater content for the service over the coming months and two members of the team are currently in Norway filming a segment with former Fulham favourites Brede Hangeland and Fulham Supporters’ Trust patron Erik Nevland. The Club is developing several potential pre-season features and are hoping to offer live streaming of this season’s league fixtures for international subscribers.

The meeting closed at 12.15

Friday
Apr212017

Trust April meeting with Fulham Football Club

On Tuesday 18th. April, 2017, Dan Crawford from the Fulham Supporters' Trust Board met with Alistair Mackintosh (AM, Chief executive officer), Sean O’Loughlin (SOL, Finance Officer) and David Daly DD, non-executive director) from Fulham Football Club at Motspur Park.

DAVID DALY AND FULHAM HISTORY PROJECTS

David Daly introduced himself and said he was pleased to be available to meet with the Fulham Supporters' Trust. He said that he had been a lifelong Fulham fan since his father had first taken him to Craven Cottage in the 1960s. He had spent more than thirty years working in Nike's football and sports departments across the UK, Europe, Asia and North America. He had been appointed to the Fulham board by chairman Shahid Khan in September 2016 and is currently working at board level with the Club's Chief Revenue Officer, Casper Stylsvig, in increasing revenue and commercial opportunities and on a special project promoting Fulham's history, how the Club recognises and uses former players and builds relationships with Fulham fans.

The Trust drew attention to the work they had already carried out in terms of promoting Fulham's history, such as the successful pop-up exhibition held at Craven Cottage ahead of two home games in February. The Trust expressed interest in working to promote DD's work and co-operating on history-related projects in the future. It was agreed that, upon conclusion of internal Club discussions, the Trust would meet with DD and other Club officials to discuss specific plans.

FULHAM FC ACCOUNTS 2015/2016

Sean O'Loughlin joined the meeting to discuss the Club's 2015/2016 accounts which were filed with Companies House at the end of last month. In response to a number of questions from the Trust, SOL confirmed that the club had posted a £13m loss over the 2015/2016 accounting period, which was an improvement from the previous set of figures. Both SOL and AM confirmed that it remained the Club's intention to become less reliant on the generous benefaction of chairman Shahid Khan and this was part of the reason of adding to DD to the Board and recruiting Casper Stylsvig, who had previously fulfilled similar roles at Barcelona and Manchester United.

Both SOL and AM confirmed that Fulham's wage bill remained high in comparison to the Club's Championship competitors - the comparative figures compiled independently indicated that Fulham's was the third highest in the division. Rather than taking action to bring down the wage down to average levels in the Championship, the Club's Board had - with the authorisation of Mr. Khan - taken the decision to retain a high wage bill to both attract players and build a side to challenge for promotion to the Premier League. This meant that the Club had taken decisive action to constrain costs and trimmed back the non-playing staff.

Both SOL and AM felt that the Club's current position is much healthier now than the 2015/2016 accounts indicate. The focus on commercial revenue has delivered significant sponsorship and partnership opportunities for Fulham already and the proposed Riverside Stand renovation will deliver greater potential for increased matchday and non-matchday hospitality. AM also revealed that the summer transfer window had seen Fulham successfully move on a number of high wage earners that couldn't be reflected in this set of accounts.

AM reiterated that Mr. Khan was fully committed to Fulham, was in it for the long-term and that he was confident the Club were making prudent financial decisions.

PLAYING PERFORMANCES

AM felt that there was a real sense of optimism around the Club following Fulham's three consecutive victories over Ipswich Town, Norwich City and Aston Villa. Both Slavisa Jokanovic and players felt those three wins were crucial and have certainly boosted confidence as Fulham head into the Championship run-in. Nobody was complacent about what are a difficult set of final fixtures, but there was an extra boost in that Fulham's recent form had coincided with a ‘wobble’ from Leeds United and that none of our competitors, including Huddersfield Town, had mathematically secured a play-off spot.

FULHAMFCTV

The Trust raised that several members had concerns about the playback of items on FulhamFCTV. AM said that this would be investigated by the Club's multimedia team. The Trust had also received several suggestions for content for FulhamFCTV and these would be passed on to see if they could be actioned. The Trust floated the idea of utilising fan-produced content on FulhamFCTV and this was met with approval from AM.

The Trust also passed on our best wishes to Sarah Brookes after it was announced that she would be leaving the Club following 20 years as Fulham's director of Media and Communications.

SEASON TICKETS

AM revealed that the sales of season tickets were going very well - and he was encouraged by the number of sales by the original 'early bird' deadline. The Club had also received significant interest from supporters who had not previously held a season ticket. The Trust raised significant concerns from our members that the paper renewal forms had not included a cup-tie scheme tick box option and this would be investigated by the ticket office.

BRENTFORD TICKETS

The Trust had received a large amount of correspondence around the ticketing arrangements for the home game with Brentford on April 29th. AM confirmed that the initial allocation of tickets to Brentford was fewer than 2,000, a figure that could rise to a maximum of circa 4,000. It was incorrect to state that Brentford had been allocated the entire Putney End and, in fact, Fulham fans were able to purchase tickets in P1 and P2. It remained AM's preference to sell tickets to Fulham fans and the Club had taken the decision to place tickets on general sale in order to allow more Fulham fans to purchase tickets in home areas.

HUDDERSFIELD TRAVEL AND TICKETS

The Trust thanked the Club for their commitment to maximising the number of Fulham fans at this weekend's crucial game at Huddersfield by subsidising coach travel. AM revealed that both Slavisa Jokanovic and the players felt the Fulham fans made a significant difference during the Good Friday win at Norwich City and that the club had prioritised cheap travel as a way of making sure Fulham could take as large an away following as possible.

SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY TICKETS AND TRAVEL

AM confirmed that the Club had ticketed the full allocation of 3,200 tickets - at significant financial risk - for the final game of the season at Sheffield Wednesday. This allocation has been restricted on advice from South Yorkshire Police. The tickets go on sale from Wednesday 19th. April at 10am, priced at £39.00. AM confirmed that the Club had looked at subsidising train tickets or running a private chartered train. This proved impossible due to the lack of Sunday services being provided by the train operators and rail track replacement and engineering work taking place that weekend that meant no company would consider a private charter. Instead, the Club will be running subsidised coaches again from Craven Cottage and Motspur Park on Saturday and Sunday to facilitate better travel options in light of the 12 noon kick-off.

The Trust reiterated our disappointment at the £39.00 being charged for match tickets by Sheffield Wednesday and the significant cost differential in the Championship, which is especially galling given the Twenty's Plenty campaign the Trust helped to launch when Fulham were in the Premier League. AM and DD were in support of the Trust's position, but Fulham had no influence over the pricing of away tickets. The Trust will be discussing the situation with our national affiliates, Supporters Direct and the Football Supporters’ Federation, as well as the EFL during the close season.

CRAVEN COTTAGE AND THE RIVERSIDE STAND

AM revealed that the Club were making very good progress on the new designs for the Riverside Stand. The Club were still in discussions with Thomas Heatherwick and a number of other architects around achieving the best possible scheme. AM insisted that the go-ahead for the project was not dependent upon Fulham achieving promotion to the Premier League and AM and DD fully recognised the importance of both Craven Cottage and the Riverside Stand to the Trust and all Fulham supporters.

The meeting closed at 12:03pm

Thursday
Apr132017

Awayday Guide: Norwich City

Getting to Carrow Road

By car

Carrow Road is well signposted from the A11 and A47. From the southern bypass (A47) take the A146 into the city. At the traffic lights turn right towards the city centre on the A1054. At the next roundabout stay in the left hand lane and continue towards the city centre along the A147. At the next set of traffic lights, turn right into King Street. This street as it bends around to the right and crosses the river becomes Carrow Road, the ground is further down on the right.

Parking

Car parking around Carrow Road is extremely limited. The best car park for away fans is Norfolk County Hall, which is well sign posted on the left of the A146, as you follow signs towards the ground from the A47. It is priced at £7 and visiting supporters are advised to arrive early in order secure a parking space - we recommend reaching the car park by 1.30pm.

By train

Carrow Road is approximately 10 minutes walk from Norwich Railway Station. Head out of the train station, turn left and walk along Koblenz Avenue in the direction of the Morrison's supermarket. Supporters can either stay on the main road or walk through the Riverside Retail Park to reach the ground.

Tickets

Fulham have sold their 1,500 allocation of tickets for this game. Visiting supporters are housed in the South Stand from where there are some excellent views of the Norwich Cathedral from the seats towards the top of the stand.

Away pubs

Norwich city centre has a host of excellent pubs that serve good food and offer a warm welcome to visiting supporters.

The traditional gathering point for the away fans is the Compleat Angler, located opposite Norwich train station (120 Prince of Wales Road, Norwich NR1 1NS). The Compleat Angler is a traditional pub with a riverside terrace, serving cask ales and top-quality food. The pub is running a 'Best of British' promotion on food and drink over the Easter weekend.

Closer to the ground, the new Riverside Retail Park offers a number of alternative drinking options. The Queen of Iceni (6, Riverside Development, Norwich NR1 1ED) is a Wetherspoon's located within the retail park, that will be running several drinks promotions on matchday, whilst those partial to Wetherspoon's might also wish to visit The Bell Hotel (5 Orford Hill, Norwich NR1 3QB) and The Glass House (11-13 Wensum St, Norwich NR3 1LA), which are also within walking distance of the stadium.

Fulham fans might also want to try The Coach and Horses (82 Thorpe Rd, Norwich NR1 1BA), which is a ten-minute walk from the ground and offers home-brewed real ale and a large Sky Sports and BT Sport TV. On the same street is the Fat Cat and Canary (101 Thorpe Rd, Norwich NR1 1TR), which also offers real ale and a large screen television and is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.

Restaurants and cultural Norwich

The Riverside Retail Park offers a host of reasonably-priced eating options for visiting fans and we are reliably informed that they will be operating Saturday opening hours on Good Friday. There is a sizeable Frankie and Benny's restaurant and bar opposite Norwich train station and other options are listed on the Visit Norwich website alongside various cultural sites, such as the Norwich Cathedral and other historical points of interest.

Friday
Apr072017

FST Annual Dinner 18th May 2017

FULHAM SUPPORTERS' TRUST END OF SEASON DINNER

 

****Bookings close Monday 8th May at Noon****

The Fulham Supporters' Trust is delighted to invite Fulham fans to our end of season dinner at Craven Cottage on Thursday 18 May.(Hopefully not the end if we reach Playoff final)

Join us in the McBride's suite at Fulham's historic home to celebrate an exciting season, learn more about the work of the Trust and hear from our special guest speaker, the director of the Fulham academy Huw Jennings. Also attending on the night will be ex player Sean Davis.

The evening will begin at 7pm with welcome drinks, which will be followed by a splendid three-course meal with complimentary wine on the table. A cash bar will be available throughgout the evening.

Tickets for this special event will be priced at £60 for Trust members and £70 (£10 of which can be used to become a member) for non-Trust members.

We would advise Fulham fans to book via this link without delay to avoid disappointment as there is a maximum capacity at the venue.

To book places please click on this link https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/FSTDinner2017 and fill in the booking form.

If you have any questions about the event please contact Michael Gregg by email at fulhamtrust@gmail.com