Trust Meeting with Fulham FC CEO, June, 2015
On 2.6.2015 at 10.30, three of the Trust Board (Dan Crawford, Mike Gregg and Neil Springate) met with Alistair Mackintosh (AM, Chief Executive Officer) and Sarah Brookes (SB, Communications and Marketing Director) and, briefly, Mike Rigg (MR, Chief Football Officer) from Fulham FC at the Club’s headquarters, Motspur Park.
1) Video response
The Trust welcomed the tri-partite video interview of AM, MR and Kit Symons by SB on 27.v.2015 and thanked them on behalf of the fans for this chance to hear from all involved, in particular the opportunity given to MR to explain his role at the Club, since it had become evident that this was still misunderstood or misconstrued by some fans. AM said that the interview was unscripted,
2) Riverside Stand re-development
AM confirmed his comments in the video interview that a portion of the Thames river had been purchased for the development, although its dimensions were not stated. A licence to work from the river had been concluded with the Port of London Authority (PLA). The Club was working toward discharging some of the planning conditions in order that the redevelopment of the Riverside Stand could commence – hopefully starting next year, although without any specific date given.
3) Review of the previous season’s performance and player development and acquisition
MR followed up comments in the video interview by stating that the manager had inherited a very difficult situation when made caretaker manager following the departure of Magath. However, there were no specific examples given of achievements or failures of players, tactics, management or administration. The aim would be to bring in players that fitted the ‘mould’ of the Club and who possessed the ambition and quality to get club back to into the Premier League. This needed to be achieved without risking the long-term sustainability of the Club by purchasing over-priced players. The Club was also monitoring the changes, agreed in November 2014, to Financial Fair Play rules by the Championship clubs. There would be a quarterly review of football and a player audit, which would be used to improve the squad. Individual player plans would be prepared and this would have a bearing on those loaned, released or promotion. The announcement of players departing through ending of contract would be made at that point, unless the player was in agreement for a prior statement.
4) Crediting of previously-accrued loyalty points to newly-purchased STs
Several queries had been received with regard to the crediting of previously-accrued loyalty points to newly-purchased season tickets, since initial inspection suggested that these had been deleted. SB said that all points would be credited to ST holders’ accounts once all transactions had been completed. The Trust noted that there had been complaint about the greater amount of points being awarded for attending home rather than away matches, given the efforts made by our supporters to travel. SB said that the Club was re-examining the award of points in order to achieve re-balancing.
5) Poor quality of public address system in the Johnny Haynes stand
Complaint had been received that this was inaudible in some parts of the stand and yet deafening in others. SB said that this depended on where one was seated and AM said that the Club would investigate. The Trust indicated that this was another in a series of problems with facilities in the JH stand, including the near-invisibility of the large screens for some fans and the continuing and regularly-mentioned poor state of facilities for female fans. AM said that the Club was not planning any alterations to the stand with regard to this last item. The Trust noted that (i) ticket prices were the same for both male and female spectators and (ii) the Club had been able to incorporate additional vending outlets in the stand and believed that improvement of facilities for the ladies was feasible.
6) Relegation of under-21 team
The Trust asked why, with the under-21 side facing relegation from the Barclays Under-21 Premier League Division 1, senior players were not drafted into the side to bolster its chances of survival and how would this affect the recruitment of new players now that relegation had been confirmed? AM said that MR was in overall charge of the footballing side of the Club and that this remit included the Academy. It had been decided by the coaching staff that senior players would remain with the first team squad and not seconded. AM said that recruitment to the junior sides had not been affected. The application period for the position of coach for the under-18 team was still open at the time of the meeting, but that it was hoped to make an appointment before the beginning of next season.
7) Season ticket sales and comparison with same stage last year
AM said that season ticket sales were good, especially for the cheaper children’s rates, suggesting a positive feed-back for the Clubs campaigns, in particular those in south and south-west London. Sales were up by approximately 3% in comparison with the same time last year.
8) Match commentaries
Previously, the Trust had received complaint about the lack of reception of match commentaries by ‘Gentleman’ Jim McGullion. SB said that the Club had investigated this thoroughly and that this was not a problem with the signal, but one with individual users’ mobile ‘phones or other electronic device.
Meeting closed at 11.50