Trust Meeting with Fulham FC CEO, July, 2015
On 7th July 2015 at 10.30, two of the Trust Board (Dan Crawford and Neil Springate) met with Alistair Mackintosh (AM, Chief Executive Officer), Hugh Jennings (HJ, Academy Director) and, Carmelo Mifsud (CM, Media Relations Manager) from Fulham FC at the Club’s headquarters, Motspur Park.
1) Coaching staff at FFC
HJ was pleased with the re-appointment of Steve Wigley as the Under-18s Manager, who had started work the day before, even though he accepted that it would be a challenge for him to return. Scott Miller, fitness coach, had returned to Australia in order to become head coach of the Newcastle Jets, but, otherwise, it was same U-18 coaching staff. Former player, Kevin Betsy, had been appointed as one of the coaches for the Club’s Academy.
The youth teams would not be set targets as such, but squad members would be encouraged to play for opportunities in the senior sides that would occur. Three of the Under-21s had been signed on contract. With regard to ‘pathway’ development, HJ wanted to give all players the maximum possible amount of playing time.
2) Ticket-pricing and season ticket sales
AM said that season ticket sales were going well and in line with budgetary projections, with discounted rates for juniors proving popular, but an interim number of sales was not available. Although figures were not indicated, individual match prices for tickets would be based on two bands, including ‘stretch’ pricing. A query had been raised over the cost of upgrading a junior season ticket to an adult ticket for individual games. It was believed that it was as expensive to upgrade as it was to purchase an adult’s ticket in the first place. CM believed that this was, to some extent, dependent on where the individual season ticket holder was sitting, and suggested that cases be dealt with on an individual basis. CM confirmed that all previously-accrued loyalty points would be cred ited to purchasers of new season tickets once all transactions had been completed.
3) Team strip and shirt sponsors
The new kit would be unveiled on 16.vii.2015. Negotiations with a new sponsor for the Club’s shirts were ongoing at the time of the meeting.
4) Pre-season tour and fixtures
AM stated that, with the confirmation of the match on 8.7.2015 between the Metropolitan Police and a Fulham XI and the two fixtures in Steiermark (on 22.7.2015 versus BSC Hertha and 25.7.2015 versus Eintracht Frankfurt), the Club’s pre-season fixture list was complete. The first team squad was already in Portugal for training.
5) Financial Fair Play (FFP)
AM reiterated that it remained Fulham’s intention to abide by the current regulations governing Championship clubs. In response to a follow-up question on the current position with QPR, AM stated that the club was awaiting details of the decision with regards to their FFP breaches, that QPR had launched an appeal against FFP and that discussions on future iterations of FFP would likely take place at the next Football League meeting.
6) Redevelopment of Riverside Stand and issues with other stands.
AM said that a draft works licence had been received from the Marine Management Organisation and that the Club was working on re-wording and ‘fine tuning’ its text. An investors’ meeting was intended for September, 2015.
No progress had been made with regard to improving and standardising the audibility of the PA system in the Johnny Haynes Stand. Re-siting of the plasma screen would incur issues with English Heritage, although these were unspecified. The Trust had received more demands for an improvement in the ladies’ facilities in the same stand and believed that the surfeit of vending outlets – the majority outsourced – should be re-examined with a view to a wholesale renovation of the stand, subject to agreement from English Heritage, with the intent to (i) provide more toilets and (ii) make the operation of the retail of comestibles more efficient and less time-consuming for fans. AM said that the Club had noted the difficulties of creating extra space behind the stands for spectators and facilities at the Hammersmith End. The Trust also suggested that the Club pay special attention to fans’ comments on facilities as a whole and throughout the ground when it proceeded with its consultation exercise.
Meeting closed at 11.30