Camera In The Johnny Haynes Stand
Following the first home match of the 2013-14 season, versus Arsenal FC on 24th. August, 2013, the Trust received strong complaint from members, supporters and journalists about an obtrusive installation in the Johnny Haynes Stand for a television ‘reaction camera’ directed at the dugouts. Not only did this compromise the view of season ticket holders and supporters, who have paid for premium seats at Craven Cottage, but many felt that the warning they received prior to the fixture did not accurately describe the obtrusive nature of the camera.
On the same evening, the Trust contacted Tommy Guthrie (Supporter Liaison Officer at Fulham FC) asking for clarification on the following matters:
(i) the reason(s) for the emplacement of the TV camera at that location;
(ii) the very limited notification (48 hours only) to the season ticket holders that would (or could) be affected;
(iii) whether the camera will be in place for live televised matches only;
(iv) whether and how the club will compensate those affected and
(v) the Club’s plans with regard to both the camera and the affected fans for forthcoming matches. The Trust has received a reply from Tommy Guthrie, stating that the Club has reviewed in detail the camera position feedback received from Trust members and fans in the Johnny Haynes Stand. These findings have been shared with their colleagues at the Premier League and a meeting had been set for yesterday (Wednesday, 3rd. September, 2013) with the Premier League and broadcasters. The Trust has been contacted by Fulham FC, following their meeting. The message, partim, from Tommy Guthrie, the Club’s Supporter Liaison Officer reads as follows:
The shot captured from this position is needed for, potentially, every match and therefore forms part of the mandatory broadcast criteria that all football clubs in the league must comply with, as part of the new regulations imposed.
The Club has worked hard over a number of months with both of the above parties to try to reach a compromise that would position the mandatory camera angle in a location that has minimal impact on supporters. Unfortunately, a solution that fulfils the precise specifications of these criteria has not been fully reached. However, the broadcasters and league have this week identified a potential position which, whilst it only partially fulfils the broadcast objectives, negates the need for the scaffold in the centre of the Johnny Haynes Stand.
Therefore, the removal of the scaffolding has been agreed and we have instructed this to happen prior to the next home match against West Bromwich Albion on 14th. September.The alternative position is being installed and tested on Monday 9th. September, for review with the safety officers of the Council. At this point, Season Ticket Holders that may potentially be affected will be contacted directly. We intend to then meet with these supporters prior to the match on 14th. September, to discuss any impact this position may have.
It is important to note that the camera will not be in operation at the West Bromwich Albion fixture and we will consult fully with the supporters affected to offer the opportunity to move seats or reach another agreement. Due to the cooperation of the broadcasters and the Premier League we believe this number will be minimal.
It is understood that season ticket and other ticket-holders, who were affected by the camera installation, have been offered a complimentary ticket for the forthcoming Capital One Cup match against Everton on Tuesday, 24th. September.
At the time of writing, it is not known where the Club proposes to locate the television camera. Tommy Guthrie confirmed to the Trust that the proposed location will not be released until it has been formally agreed and approved which follows a camera test and a sign off from local authorities to say it doesn’t compromise health and safety.
The Trust will continue to consult and provide feedback with the club on the issue, and would like to hear the opinion(s) of our members on the alternative installation. Please email [email protected] or tweet us @FulhamSuppTrust