There’s only one F in Fulham
The Fulham Fanzine
The Trust representatives asked for an update on the progress with the Riverside Stand. AM informed the meeting that the Club now have selected a lead contractor and are working with that contractor on the specifics of the proposals going forward. The lead contractor will be announced formally before the December meeting between the Trust and the Club on December 10th. On the details of the process, AM revealed that the Club’s due diligence whittled down the number of potential lead contractors from 21 to a preferred partner. Some potential lead contractors were supplied by supporters and AM ensured that all parties were approached, but several were not interested in taking on the job.
The preferred lead contractor’s role covers approximately 40 per cent of project, with sub-contractors envisaged to cover the remainder. The next phase of the scheme will be to complete tendering by the Club and the lead contractor for the various subcontracted elements of the build. The Club are still planning to knock down the existing Riverside Stand when this season finishes and work to a two-year schedule for the building of the new stand. It remains the Club’s intention to stay at Craven Cottage for the duration of the project.
AM recognises that supporters would like simple answers to contractual and planning questions, but said that this is a complicated process, with the number of marine, construction and planning specifics to finalise. AM was clear that with May looming, there is a lot of work to do in order to progress the project. AM and DD reiterated that the Club are particularly open to ideas from supporters about what should go in the new stand. The Club are sending officials and staff to visit a number of stadiums to benchmark the best ideas but would welcome ideas from Trust members around specifics. These could relate to non-matchday facilities and the sort of food and drink offering that could feature within the new stand.
AM firmly stated that the Khan family were good owners for Fulham Football Club who will deliver on their stated intentions with the new stand and emphasised the importance of Craven Cottage to them. He also referenced Shahid Khan’s recent programme article on the Riverside Stand to stress the Club’s continued commitment to the Cottage.
The Trust representatives also thanked DD for leading on the project to represent Fulham’s history in the new Riverside Stand after a successful first meeting between DD and Fulham fans to discuss ideas. He envisages further meetings before making a presentation to AM and the Club board on proposals.
The Trust raised the strong concerns of the Trust members and Fulham fans following the publication of the price for tickets for the forthcoming home fixture against West Ham United. AM reflected on the discussion of ticket prices during the October meeting and reiterated that the Khan family are still subsidising the day-to-day running costs of the Club to a considerable degree.
AM insisted that Mr. Khan and himself want the Club to self-sufficient and believed that this was one of the Trust’s long-term goals as well. AM stated that the Club are not experiencing problems selling tickets this season and believes that the atmosphere at Craven Cottage is excellent. He cautioned that a decision to bring down the price of match day tickets would see him brought under pressure to increase season ticket prices.
The Trust voiced concern about the long-term impact of such high pricing potentially pricing out previously loyal supporters who have a lower level of disposable income. AM said he had sympathy for this argument but felt that the Club does do a lot to reward fan loyalty and bring through the next generation. He believes that the Club’s season ticket prices for this season were very generous and pointed out that the Club offered 2,500 very cheap junior season tickets as part of a ‘create a generation’ strategy.
AM and KB also referenced the recent move to limit the number of away supporters in the mixed zone in order to get more Fulham fans in the ground. He highlighted the work of the Fulham Foundation to provide tickets for younger, under-privileged fans. The Trust representatives stated that it was important to bring the views of the supporters to the attention of the Club – and that they would continue to do so.
SEASON TICKET UPDGRADE POLICY
The Trust representatives re-opened the discussion on number of season ticket upgrades allowed per season and pointed out that the Club’s current policy is losing them revenue. AM and KB reiterated the reasoning behind putting in place a limit – due to touting and misuse – but accepted that misuse by a few does in this case punish the many honest and loyal supporters.
The Trust shared extensive research on the policies of other Clubs in the Premier League and tabled a formal request for the current cap to be increased from two evening games to a higher number. AM and KB agreed to discuss this internally and come back to the Trust with a decision in due course.
TICKET EXCHANGE SCHEME
Following previous discussions with the Trust, KB, RP and AM confirmed that the Club intend to launch a ticket exchange scheme for the second half of this season. It will operate for sold out fixtures and offer season ticket holders the opportunity to sell their season ticket for games where they cannot attend. The Club believe that the introduction of this scheme will help to alleviate some of the current upgrading issues.
NEUTRAL ZONE AT THE PUTNEY END
The Trust drew attention to recent changes to how tickets are sold in the Putney End. KB replied that the Hammersmith and Fulham Safety Advisory Group and the Metropolitan Police have insisted on firmer restrictions on away supporters in the neutral zone, to avoid this becoming a de facto away end.
In practice, as with the recent home game against AFC Bournemouth, this means that away fans from non-London teams won’t be able to buy in this area (e.g. Bournemouth, Leicester) by checking postcode. This also means that tickets for home London derbies will not be going on general sale. Fulham fans can still buy tickets for away fans in mixed zone as long as they effectively vouch for them and KB assured the Trust that Putney End stewards will know that some away fans are allowed in via this route, but will seek to act against any misbehaviour.
HALF SEASON TICKETS
In response to a question from the Trust, KB confirmed that the Club are currently discussing internally whether to offer half season tickets for the remainder of this season and that a decision on this will be communicated publicly in due course.
AWAY TICKETING The Trust thanked the Club for their work on non-standing seats for the forthcoming away game at Chelsea. KB said that there had been a good take-up of these seats to date. The Trust and the Club will monitor progress. The Trust reiterated the fans' disapproval of the current system for away ticketing, with a lack of a pick your own seat option, run by Ticket Master. KB and RP detailed the problems with the current Ticket Master software. The current Ticket Master contract runs for another season after this one. KB stated that she hoped for progress at that point, if not before, and had already been examining other potential options.
The Club confirmed that they were happy to place more detailed information on away sales on their website and Twitter accounts as suggested by the Trust. The Club have already implemented a template suggested by the Trust, including the order in which blocks are sold for each away match, with details of the number of tickets sold updated daily. This information is now viewable via the Fixtures page on the Club’s website.
The Trust raised the forthcoming Premier League decision over whether to continue with the current £30 cap on league tickets for away supporters, which is due to be taken to a Premier League meeting in February. AM asked for the Trust’s view – which was to retain the current ticketing cap. He felt that the feedback of supporters would determine the Club’s stance on this issue. AM believed that the large away followings this season had been appreciated by the team and that the Club were likely to support the retaining of the £30 cap.
KB, RP and AM recognised that many supporters had experienced problems with their loyalty points updating prior to being able to book Chelsea and Manchester United away tickets last week. They also recognised problems with Old Trafford blocks appearing in the Chelsea away allocation. Both of these were Ticket Master problems. In response, the Club have now set up a daily overnight loyalty point data feed to alleviate this problem and have commenced testing to identify other issues. KB and RP confirmed that the Club does not have access to a separate testing system so they have to do this testing live.
AM strongly denied the series of allegations that have surfaced recently from former Club employee Craig Kline. He stated that the Club and Mr. Kline are currently in the process of ‘private arbitration’. COACHING CHANGES The Trust raised queries about the number of members of Slavisa Jokanovic’s coaching staff who have left the Club since the start of the season. AM said that all of these decisions were taken by Jokanovic himself and that this was an indication of the head coach taking steps to try and improve the team’s performances. He denied that any internal process had been placed on Jokanovic to make these changes and that many of them involved difficult personal decisions for him.
The Trust asked about Slavisa Jokanovic’s future, following speculation in the press. AM insisted that the Club remained supportive of Jokanovic and wanted him to be successful. He stated that the Club had won promotion due to Jokanovic’s leadership and coaching methods and that they wanted Jokanovic to be the man to steer the Club through this difficult run of form. He referred to the recent coaching changes as evidence of Jokanovic taking difficult decisions to try and improve the team’s performance and reiterated Shahid Khan’s recent public statement of support.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
NW, AM and CM informed the Trust representatives that the next home game against Southampton on Saturday 24 November would be the Fulham Foundation’s annual charity match. The Trust would be keen to hear from members and Fulham supporters who would be willing to support the fundraising work of the Foundation on the day. Please do email the Trust if you are interested.
Following a series of questions on merchandising, it was agreed that the Club would invite Sean Davies, the Club’s head of retail, to answer questions on merchandise at the December meeting. The Trust will welcome specific questions on merchandising ahead of next month’s meeting.
CM and AM referenced the Club’s desire to facilitate the formation of an independent Disabled Supporters’ Association to consult with disabled supporters about forthcoming improvements to their matchday experience at Craven Cottage. Any supporters interested in giving their feedback or getting involved should contact the Trust.
The meeting finished at 1.51pm
THESE GUYS ARE Our voice!
They used to be called Back To The Cottage
billp TOOFIF Updated Thursday, 15 November 2018
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 email@example.com 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
Copyright © 2010, Fulham Supporters Trust. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2018 Fulham Supporters Trust, All rights reserved. You are receiving this email because you are a member of the Fulham Supporters Trust Our mailing address is: Fulham Supporters Trust PO Box 63958 London, SW15 9AH United Kingdom Add us to your address book Website: www.fulhamsupporterstrust.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I found this old article on the getwestlondon site and as it’s relevant to the formation of BTTC and subsequently the FST, I thought it worthy of inclusion here rather than on the media page.
The Fulham 2000 story and how it helped save a football club on the brink of disaster
Chris Bishop tells the story of Fulham 2000 and how it tried to bring back some stability to Fulham Football Club
By Chris Bishop
13:56, 24 JUL 2017
As the millions flow out of the Fulham bank account this season on stars from across Europe, it is very hard to believe that a mere quarter of a century ago the club was on the edge of oblivion.
It is even harder to imagine those far off bleak, hungry, days that the fate of London’s oldest clubs was influenced by a small, yet determined, band of volunteers. There’s a lot of rot these days talked about “loyalty” to a club.
Many so called supporters measure loyalty by the amount of online abuse you can throw at opposing supporters and their clubs; in my view, a measure of loyalty is how much money and time you are prepared to put where your mouth is when your club in in peril.
It was 1992, Craven Cottage had been sold off for housing development – after all it is valuable prime land by the Thames – and the bulldozers were ready to move in. The club didn’t have two pennies to rub together, the team was struggling in what is now League One and crowds were down to just over 3,000. As one of my colleagues, a third generation Fulham supporter, said sardonically there was as much space for an open, passing, game on the terraces than on the pitch.
The rescue crew was called Fulham 2000 – in the vague hope that the club would still be around at the end of the century. Around 30 of us used to meet at the ground after games and on frosty Sunday mornings to work out how we were going to raise millions to save the club; a forlorn hope at the time. For a start, we all pledged 100 pounds each and I even persuaded my dad – a Kidderminster Harriers supporter – to follow suit.
I was working at the BBC then, so I was elected press officer - a small role in a coalition of the hopeful. I remember getting a pat on the back all round for getting an interview with lifelong Fulham fan Melvin Tenner, our leader at Fulham 2000, on BBC News. But it wasn’t looking good in those dark days in a season when we lost 2-0 at home to Hayes in the FA Cup. You could feel the interest melting away faster than the crowds. Business didn’t want to know, the talk was of a ground sharing with Chelsea, there was a conspiracy theory that the management wanted to run the club down to the Conference and then close it down quietly. I didn’t believe the latter, but one or two times, on rain swept terraces when we were losing away from home, I wondered.
You know how deeply in the mire you stand when you are shaking a bucket in the faces of supporters of an even more impoverished team in the relegation zone fresh from a journey of hundreds of miles from the north that probably cost half their wages.
That is what we happy few of Fulham 2000 were doing on January 28 1992. We had chosen the Wigan game at home for the launch of our fund-raising drive, probably not the most glamourous fixture, but arguably the Lancashire club was a kindred spirit when it came to struggling in the lower reaches of English football. On that day, they were deep in the relegation zone long before the millions that took the club to the Premier League. Even so, the Wigan fans tossed generously 50 pence pieces into our buckets.
“Good luck and hopefully we will still be playing you next season,” they said cheerfully. I often think of that day when I see some of the spoilt, repugnant, moronic, abuse that is thrown around on the internet these days. As a football fan, I was happy when Wigan escaped relegation that season. Earlier in the day, Fulham 2000 had announced itself to the world in a Hammersmith hotel where we had arranged for the late Fulham legend Johnny Haynes to come down from Edinburgh to launch our campaign to save the club.
Haynes was arguably the best footballer ever to lace up a pair of boots at Fulham and a fine captain of England; as a public speaker, Haynes was arguably the best footballer ever to lace up a pair of boots at Fulham and a fine captain of England; as a public speaker, he struggled.
To make matters worse, George Best, another Fulham great, turned up late in the middle of his opening address.
The Fleet Street journalists forgot Johnny was speaking and swamped Bestie for a few choice quotes. I can still see Johnny droning through his speech with one eye on the impromptu Best press conference. It was, as they say on line these days, cringe worthy.
Anyway, we all pitched up for the last home game of the season against Bradford City in the understanding that it was going to be the last ever at the Cottage. The first shock was we won; the second shock was it was announced over the tannoy that a stay of execution for at least another season had been secured. More than five years later, the banks, who wanted to get the Craven Cottage asset off their books, sold the club to Mohammed Al Fayed and the rest is history.
It was all worth it on that wet April day in 1997 I flew from Africa to Heathrow and drove up to Carlisle for the crunch promotion game. There was about 2,000 of us at Brunton Park – Terry Angus, the injured centre half, was leading the singing in the stands! (Can you imagine David Luiz doing that?).
Two goals to one: Micky Conroy equalised and I was dead in line when Rodney McAree smashed in the second. It was like Christmas; total strangers were hugging and shaking hands. It was worth every yard of my 7,000-mile journey.
Thirteen years on, I almost wept when I watched Fulham walk out for the Europa Cup final in Hamburg. As fate would have it, I was on assignment in Nairobi and rued how I could make it to Carlisle for a League Two game, but not to Germany for a European final.
Watching it TV on a hot Kenyan night, I mused that cold meetings in Craven Cottage 18 years before had been worth it. To think it could all have been lost in the path of a bulldozer.
FST meeting with FFC
on 12 November 2018
On Monday 12 November 2018, Alistair Mackintosh (AM, chief executive officer),
Carmelo Mifsud (CM, media relations manager), Katy Brecht (KB, head of ticketing),
Rob Padden (RP, head of matchday sales), David Daly (DD, non-executive director) and Nicola Walworth (NW, supporter relations manager) of Fulham Football Club met with Ian Clarke,
Dan Crawford and Sue Couch of the Fulham Supporters’ Trust at Motspur Park
as part of the ongoing structured dialogue between both parties.