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Friday
Feb262016

Trust Meeting with Fulham FC CEO, February, 2016

*First of all we would like to apologise for the delay in these minutes being posted on the website. We had some technical issues which have now been resolved.

 

On 9.ii.2016 at 10.30, three of the Trust Board (Dan Crawford, Michael Gregg and Neil Springate) met with Alistair Mackintosh (AM, Chief Executive Officer) and Sarah Brookes (SB, Communications and Marketing Director) from Fulham FC at the Club’s headquarters, Motspur Park.


1) Appointment of new first team head coach

AM was pleased with the appointment of Slavisa Jokanovic as the Head Coach of the first team and there was a feeling of overall improvement in the quality of play of the side.

 
2) Ticketing for QPR and related matters

The Trust was pleased that an increased allocation of tickets had been made by Queen’s Park Rangers FC for the forthcoming match on 12.ii.2016 at Loftus Road and believed that being able to book by block was an improvement on the pre-existing system. SB said that a revamped ticketing page on the website was due to ‘go live’ from Ticketmaster.

With regard to season tickets for the season 2016/17, SB said that a questionnaire had been sent and the responses were being analysed. The Trust said that any increase on the current prices would not be welcomed by the fans. SB said that a range of pricing ‘packages’ would be offered, but that rates had yet to be decided, but the Club’s position in the league would have to be considered.

 
3) Redevelopment of Riverside Stand and Motspur Park

The Trust said that, as yet, there had been no major announcement by the Club, either on its web site or in the match programme about the schedule for the start of works on the Riverside Stand. SB said that some matters were undecided, although these were unspecified. AM confirmed that the Club would need access through Bishop’s Park for the intended works. The Trust noted the repair and refurbishment works to the turnstiles on the Stevenage Road.

Having supported the Club’s planning application for development at Motspur Park, the Trust was pleased that it had been granted and said that this would be important in keeping the Category One status for its training facilities. Had a time scale been set for the completion of works? AM said that, already, the facility resembled the proverbial building site, but training had to continue as normal. There would be greater building activity during the close season.

 
4) Non-executive directors on Fulham FC Board

This matter was raised at the Trust’s recent AGM and had been discussed with the Club before. From comments received from some members and those from fans in general, it perceived that there was an absence of long-serving fans of the Club involved within the its hierarchy. AM replied that Board was and would remain as it is constituted presently and added that he spoke to Chairman, Shahid Khan (Chairman) and Mark Lamping (President, Jacksonville Jaguars) on a weekly basis.

 
5) Financial Fair Play (FFP)

The Trust noted that its members (and fans in general) were surprised that, following the Club’s previous statements that it was within FFP guidelines, that it had become subject to a transfer embargo by the Football League for the January transfer ‘window’. The subject had been discussed at the Trust’s recent AGM and its members wanted an explanation for the breach and embargo, further to the brief statement that had been given on the Club’s web-site.

AM said that selling Ross McCormack, for whom much interest had been received during the summer 2015 transfer ‘window’, could have enabled the Club to remain within the limit of losses permitted by FFP. The alternative was that was chosen was a “managed breach” of FFP (and to retain a relatively large squad of players, as stated in the minutes the meeting of September, 2015 to Trust members). Although this was known in June 2015, AM said that the Club did not wish to disadvantage itself during the summer 2015 transfer ‘window’ by making a public statement of the breach of regulations. Further, AM said (i) that it would have suited the Club had Queen’s Park Rangers FC been successful in their legal action against the impositio n of sanctions for their breach of FFP rules, but this process remained incomplete, and (ii) claimed that many fans of Fulham would prefer the Club to adopt a similar course of action.

The Trust reiterated its longstanding support of the principle of FFP regulations and stated that it expected the club to abide by the competition rules.


6) Hammersmith & Fulham borough Safety Advisory Group

The Trust informed the club that its representatives had attended a recent meeting with police and council officers about participation in the Hammersmith & Fulham Safety Advisory Group, alongside representatives from the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust. This would allow for greater supporter input into ongoing policing and stewarding issues. The Trust will now be consulted ahead of each Fulham-specific meeting of the Safety Advisory Group.

 
7) Forthcoming match versus Charlton Athletic FC

AM confirmed that, despite pressure from Manchester City FC for a change of date and timing to suit their forthcoming Champions’ League match the following Wednesday, the home match versus Charlton Athletic FC would take place as scheduled on 20.ii.2016 and at 15.00.


Meeting closed at 11.35

Thursday
Jan282016

Fulham Supporters' Trust welcomes Motspur Park planning permission

The Fulham Supporters' Trust are delighted that Fulham Football Club's proposal to improve Motspur Park were approved by Kingston Council at a meeting of their Development Control Committee last night.

The plans include the replacement of Fulham's current indoor training facility, an increase in the capacity of the current stand so that more supporters can watch the club's under 18 and under 21 sides, an expanded car park and the opportunity to increase the amount of community facilities and outreach activities with local schools.

The planning permission is integral to Fulham retaining their Category One EPP rating and for the club to continue the fine youth development work overseen by Academy director Huw Jennings.

The Trust looks forward to continuing to work with Fulham Football Club on their excellent youth development and community engagement work.

Thursday
Dec242015

Statement regarding Fulham Football Club's Transfer Embargo

The Fulham Supporters Trust (“FST”) are disappointed with today’s announcement that Fulham Football Club (“the Club”) are to be subject to a transfer embargo during the upcoming January transfer window. 

FST holds monthly meetings with the Club’s CEO Alistair Mackintosh.  The subject of Financial Fair Play (“FFP”) has been consistently raised by FST during these meetings.  FST was informed by the Club of the impending transfer embargo at our monthly meeting on 1st December 2015.  Prior to this FST had been assured on a number of occasions that the Club had been working within FFP guidelines  and so this news is both surprising and doubly disappointing. 

FST strongly supports the Football League in implementing and maintaining of the standards and principles set out under FFP regulations and hope that there will continue to be no clubs who feel themselves exempt from FFP, including our own.  It is our hope that the Football League ensure any and all clubs who have breached FFP are treated equally in receiving punishments in accordance with the levels of their offence. 

As fans we would like to know how this was allowed to happen and will be pressing the Club for answers. 

Saturday
Dec192015

Jimmy Hill 1928-2015

The Fulham Supporters Trust is saddened to hear of the death of former player and Chairman Jimmy Hill and our heartfelt condolences go out to his family.

Jimmy Hill played nearly 300 games between 1952 and 1961 for Fulham Football Club.

He had a diverse career in football from being a player, manager, chairman, Television broadcaster, PFA chairman who helped abolish the maximum wage and also one time linesman from the stand.

My own personal memories of him are from 1987 onwards and how he was a central figure in brining groups together to help stop the merger with QPR and save Fulham Football Club from being just a name in the history books.

As a committee member of the old Supporters Club I was a representative who attended a number of meetings with the club and Jimmy Hill. While he was difficult at times to deal with you always knew that he had the club and football at heart first and foremost. But it was always a pleasure to hear his views and ideas on the game, no matter how bizarre some of them were. His love of the game and club was infectious.

Along with the Muddyman family Jimmy Hill saw Fulham through the tricky years until Al Fayed came on the scene and bought the club.

Without Jimmy Hill I truly believe there would be no club now. All Fulham fans owe him a debt and I personally thank him for his hard work over such a troubled period of our history.

Michael Gregg

R.I.P. Jimmy Hill

 

 

Wednesday
Dec022015

Trust Meeting with Fulham CEO, December, 2015

On 1.xii.2015 at 10.30, two of the Trust Board (Dan Crawford and Neil Springate) met with Alistair Mackintosh (AM, Chief Executive Officer) and Darren Preston (DP, Chief Operating Officer) from Fulham FC at the Club’s headquarters, Motspur Park.
 

Search for a new first team manager

AM said that Mike Rigg (Chief Football Officer) was intent of finding the right candidate who would fit in to the pre-existing structure at the Club and this had proven difficult. As a result, it would not be rushed into making an appointment.

Knowing that the Club monitors Fulham-related social media and that it could not have been unaware of the mounting disenchantment among the Club’s fans over the delay in appointment of a new manager, among other things, The Trust asked whether the current Club structure was deterring potential applicants or restricting the calibre of those who had applied (or would apply) for the post. AM said that there had been several applicants and that he was unaware of any that had been deterred as a result of the extant administrative set-up.

The Trust asked whether a new manager would be expected to attain the same targets by the end of the current season as had been demanded of previous manager, Kit Symons. AM said that finishing in the top six of the Championship was and would remain the objective. Whilst an inability to achieve a specific tally of points at a given period in the season had not been the sole reason behind the dismissal of Symons, it was believed that the desired final placing would not be achieved under his stewardship and the Club felt it had to relieve him of his duties.

Although discussions had taken place, AM stated that no contract had been offered to Steve Clarke (currently manager at Reading FC).

 

Financial Fair Play

The Trust noted that there had been a number of stories in various media that the Club was facing a transfer embargo from the Football League for breaches of Financial Fair Play regulations and that there had been questions from its members on the matter, given the Club’s previous assurances of being within the guidelines stipulated.

Although a statement, prepared by the Trust (and on this matter alone), had been agreed with the Club subsequently, the Trust was then asked to withhold this until the Football League and the Club synchronise an announcement later this month.

 

Redevelopment at Craven Cottage and Motspur Park

AM said that there had been good progress following meetings with the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham and the Friends of Bishop’s Park. DP had spoken at the AGM of the latter regarding the building development of the Riverside Stand, who were generally supportive of the Club’s aims. Discussions are taking place with the Council about using 50 metres of Fielders Meadow for the storage of materials and equipment to be used for the works. On a recent visit to London, Club Chairman, Shahid Khan, had examined the existing plans for the works on the Riverside Stand and had discussed enhancements of the design with AM.

The Trust had sent a draft letter of support for the proposed redevelopment at Motspur Park to Sarah Brookes, Club Communications and Marketing Director. It would forward this to its members requesting them to write to the Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames to state their support of the planning application. The deadline for submissions is 4.xii.2015, and DP said that the planning application will be heard on 27.i.2016.

http://www6.kingston.gov.uk/propertyServices/planning/Details?caseNo=1515210

 

Matches versus Brentford FC and Queens Park Rangers FC

The Trust is due to meet with DP, Sarah Brookes, representatives of fans’ groups at Brentford FC and the Metropolitan Police (MP) at Craven Cottage on 3.xii.2015. With game against The Bees due to take place on 12.xii.2015, this meeting was requested by the MP’s Football Officer Responsible for Fulham and Barnet FCs and follows changes to the pre- and post-match policing and stewarding for the Good Friday 2015 fixture which had received complaint from both fans of Fulham and local publicans.

The Club had allocated the entire Putney End at Craven Cottage to fans of Brentford FC and this had resulted in complaint of being over-generous. AM said that, were the Club not able to absorb the extra demand for tickets by visiting fans, there was the risk of them acquiring tickets for the home ends, with concomitant risk of disruption.

The Club had made a request for the allocation of both tiers at Loftus Road for travelling fans for the fixture on 13.ii.2016, but no response had been received as yet from the hosts.

Further complaint from Trust members had been made regarding the purchase of tickets, in particular the allocation of away seats, through Ticketmaster, even more so given that Ticketmaster offer a means of choosing seats for all of London’s (and other regional) major auditoria. Fans were unable to understand why the Club had accepted a deal that was evidently not that offered to those attending opera and the like. AM suggested that, were concerns to continue, a meeting could be arranged with Katy Phillips, Head of Ticketing at the Club.

 

Meeting closed at 11.20