There’s only one F in Fulham
The Fulham Fanzine 2019-20 Championship Season
THESE GUYS ARE Our voice!
They used to be called Back To The Cottage
billp TOOFIF Monday, 2 December 2019
The Fulham Supporters' Trust began life as the Back to the Cottage campaign, formed after Fulham Football Club announced it had dropped plans to develop Craven Cottage on the lines of the planning permission received in February 2001.
What began as a group of like-minded fans distributing leaflets and engaging the media to seek answers to a number of pertinent questions, soon developed into organisation campaigning under the Back to the Cottage banner.
Following a well attended meeting at Hammersmith Town Hall, fans decided to establish a Supporters’ Trust, following the successful model in place at more than 100 clubs across England, Scotland and Wales.
A series of meetings with local authority representatives, politicians and advice from planners, architects and business people helped the Trust put up a convincing case that, counter to the club's position, a return to Craven Cottage was not only viable, but the only way to secure Fulham's future.
The campaign was helped by generous donations from Fulham fans and support from former Fulham players and coaches as well as the wider footballing community.
The club announced on 3 September 2003 that they would return to Craven Cottage - and Fulham played their first competitive game back at their historic home against Bolton in August 2004.
Since our return to the Cottage, the Trust has continued to have a dialogue with the club, holding regular meetings with club officials.
The Trust is wholly independent of Fulham FC and was set up with the assistance of Supporters Direct, a government-funded initiative who aim to help fans “who wish to play a reasonable part in the life of the football club they support.”
The Trust have always been committed to helping to secure the long term future of the club and have focused largely on governance, supporter relations, ground development and the club's financial position.
The Trust seek progress and success like every Fulham fan and remain extremely appreciative of our chairman. We are committed to working with Fulham FC, the local community, local authority and all other relevant stakeholders to ensure the long term viability of the club.
About the Trust
The Trust would like to consult on the following draft objectives which have been ratified by the Committee:
To secure the long-term future of Fulham Football Club at Craven Cottage
To promote the history and heritage of Fulham Football Club and Craven Cottage
To identify the issues affecting and interesting Fulham fans and the Trust membership and, if appropriate, run campaigns and ask questions of the relevant individuals and ask questions of the relevant individuals and organisations
To establish the Fulham Supporters' Trust as the progressive and independent home of Fulham fans
To boost our membership figures and develop an effective communication strategy with our membership via email, newsletters and the internet
To publicise the Trust through the local and national media
To continue to forge strong links with Fulham Football Club, the local authority and local decision makers, political figures and national supporters' bodies (such as Supporters' Direct and the Football Supporters' Federation) and take part in the appropriate campaigns for organisation.
We would like to encourage all Fulham members, whether they are currently members of the Trust or not, to contribute their ideas and thoughts as we shape our campaigns for the forthcoming season. Fulham fans are invited to do this either by emailing the Trust directly on firstname.lastname@example.org or using the form located in the 'Contact Us' section of the FST website.
The current elected Trust Board, comprises of:
Tom Greatrex • Chris Gilbertson • Gerry Claydon • Neil Springate Dan Crawford • Mike Gregg • Gerry Pimm • Jamie Doak
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Notes from November Meeting with FFC
11th November 2019
The Fulham Supporters’ Trust met with Fulham FC at Motspur Park
The Club was represented by:
Alistair Mackintosh (CEO)
Darren Preston (COO)
David Daly (Non Executive Director)
Nicola Walworth (Supporter Relations Manager)
Carmelo Mifsud (Communications Director)
The FST was represented by board members:
HOW IT WORKS
Each topic below is raised by the FST in an attempt to discuss issues raised primarily by a number of our members. Individual questions from members are sent to the Club outside the meeting, and we encourage members first to raise these directly with the Club via .
If any member has raised an issue that it has not been possible to discuss in the time available then please do contact us again in good time before the next meeting.
We encourage members to provide us with as much detail as possible (e.g. time, duration, date etc.) when raising issues either with the Trust or directly with the Club.
The following topics were raised and discussed:
• Congestion (follow-up)
• Riverside Stand progress
• Season Ticket Exchange Feedback
• Other issues and questions
The Trust raised concerns and observations from members regarding the efficiency of the catering operation, particularly at half time, during recent matches. Issues encountered during the Hull City fixture included
• Inattentive staff at the Hammersmith End turnstile kiosk
• Lack of pies at half time in the same kiosk
• Failure of card machines and lack of beer in a Hammersmith End bar
• Staff with little training in use of tills
The Trust agreed to forward a video of the problems in the Hammersmith End bar to the Club so that they could get a better understanding of the issue.
The Club committed to raise the problems encountered with the outsourced catering supplier. They explained that while there is a high degree of churn with general catering staff this was not the case with supervisors who should be able to minimise these issues.
The Club also said that they do undertake “mystery shopper” exercises and would be happy to work with the Trust to better identify the problems. Nevertheless, it will always remain a challenge to serve everybody in a constrained space in a 15 minute half time window.
CONGESTION (FOLLOW UP)
Following last month's discussion, the Trust again raised the congestion being experienced underneath the Hammersmith End, particularly at half time, and re-iterated some of the suggestions made last month focussed on access to and use of the lower area of the concourse.
The Club said that it is still considering whether anything may be done to alleviate the issues, but commented that the ratio of concourse space available to seats had not changed from previous seasons as it is one of the licensing factors which dictates the overall capacity of the stand.
Several members have suggested additional stairs be provided down from the upper to lower concourse area. The Club said that while this seemed like an easy solution, in fact it would require an additional area of the upper concourse to be kept clear for safety reasons and could be counter-productive.
Ultimately congestion can only be reduced substantially by having fewer seats in the stand which all at the meeting agreed was not wanted.
SEASON TICKET EXCHANGE FEEDBACK
The Trust and the Club reviewed the first use of the Season Ticket Exchange for the Hull City fixture. All feedback received so far by the Trust has been positive, with a number of members highlighting quick sale of their unused season tickets.
Asked about the level of take-up on the scheme, the Club revealed that there had been 214 transactions (season ticket seats bought on the exchange).
The Trust asked for clarification of the definition of “sold out” in response to queries from members who thought that this must mean that their previously listed season ticket had definitely been purchased. The Club explained that when the Hull City fixture was announced as sold out, this indicated that no further standard matchday tickets were available, with the only tickets remaining now being available via the Season Ticket Exchange.
Previously, online access to the fixture would have been removed when the fixture was declared sold out, but it was left open until 24 hours before the game so that supporters could continue to list and purchase season tickets. After 3pm on the Friday, any season tickets that were still listed on the Season Ticket Exchange were returned to their owners for use.
Some members have commented that they felt some stewards were unaware of ground regulations, particularly in regard to smoking. The Club said this should not be the case and will reiterate with the stewarding companies. They explained that a number of companies provide services on matchday covering general, search and “red team” stewarding, the latter being SIA (Security Industry Authority) accredited. Where multiple companies are used for general stewarding they are split between stands to ensure effective communication.
Whilst accepting the selection of games was outside of the Club’s control, and that there were published guidelines on the timing of selection to TV, the Trust reiterated the difficulty this caused supporters e.g. three long distance away Friday night games already this season. The Trust asked if anything in such circumstances could be done to help with the cost of coach travel e.g. for the Swansea game. The Club agreed to look at this again, but was wary of favouring one game over another.
The Trust told the Club it was considering publicity on its own website as to when supporters could be reasonably confident games would not be moved. The Club also highlighted that home matches do not go on sale until TV picks have been made.
OTHER ISSUES AND QUESTIONS
The Trust commented that no issues have been reported this month with the FFCtv service. However it highlighted a broken link between the (older) FFC mobile app and the new app.
A number of members have asked for an update on the tribunal decision regarding Harvey Elliott's move to Liverpool. The Club said that there was no further information nor timeline available.