Trust Meeting with Fulham FC CEO, September, 2015
On 15th September, 2015 at 10.30, three of the Trust Board (Dan Crawford, Mike Gregg and Gerry Claydon) met with Alistair Mackintosh (AM, CEO) and Sarah Brookes (SB, Communications and Marketing Director) at the Club’s headquarters, Motspur Park.
1) Ground redevelopment
AM confirmed that target start date of May 2016 was still on course and that currently the club were working with all parties involved to be ready this date.
AM also explained that while some internal changes had been made to the plans, the basic footprint and design are still the same.
With regard to the actual Craven Cottage, work will commence close to or at the end of the season on repairs and upkeep to it. First priority will be the removal of the roof tiles for them to be repaired and cleaned.
The façade of the Johnny Haynes stand is also to have work done to it during the next close season.
2) Transfer window and players
AM explained that the club felt it had been a very good window with regards the incoming players. AM was particularly happy with the last pair of signings as they were unexpected and also very good deals for the club.
While the sale of Pat Roberts had been disappointing, it had helped the club show a balanced figure on actual transfer fees.
Talks are ongoing with players whose contracts the club is looking to extend.
Kit Symons has expressed the view that we now have the players to challenge and, while they would keep their options open, there were no immediate plans to sign anyone on loan. Although, bearing in mind the size of the squad, we may look to loaning out a couple of fringe players during this loan window. AM explained that it had been the club’s policy this year to have a slightly larger squad than usual, partly for playing purposes and also FFP reasons.
3) Ticketing and Website issues
The trust raised an issue which a few fans had encountered regarding the sending out of tickets purchased on the website, but when collection at the ground had been selected. SB would investigate and report back.
The Trust also discussed the Putney End and the large gaps behind the goals at games where the crowd is low. The Trust felt this sends out a poor image of the club, particularly when on TV. Ideas for moving more fans (be it home or away fans) into a more central area were discussed and AM said he would look into a more flexible approach at games where the crowd at the Putney end is so low.
The issue of some over-zealous stewarding in that end of the ground was also mentioned and would be reviewed.
The clubs policy of selling tickets to away fans in the Putney end will continue, in that if we have unsold seats and they require more then they will be supplied. This is an income-related decision and, while the club would prefer the stand full of Fulham fans, they have to realistic.
The Trust also warned the club of potential issues at the QPR away game later in the season, where they seem only to be offering the top tier of the away end to visiting fans. AM would contact QPR to find out if this is correct since they had not yet been notified of their allocation.
Season Ticket sales have been above their main target and the Club is fairly happy with what has been achieved in that area.
4) Financial Fair Play
The club and the rest of the league had still not heard from either party in the QPR/Football League issue and as far as they know its still being discussed by lawyers. The £8M figure for a fine that was mentioned in the press recently had not been mentioned in any league meetings.
5) Website interviews and coverage
The Trust praised SB and her team on the interviews and coverage that has been on the website since the summer. The club has employed a new member of the team and this has helped drive more coverage across all the teams.
After Josh Smile’s interview, last week SB confirmed that they would look to have more interviews with Under-21 players as long as the coaching staffs were happy with them.
SB said that the club was looking at other ways to interact with fans on the social media side of things, and that Matt Smith would be doing a Twitter Q&A this week.