Trust Meeting with Fulham FC CEO, November, 2015
On 13.xi.2015 at 14.00, four of the Trust Board (Dan Crawford, Mike
Gregg, Gerry Claydon and Neil Springate) met with Alistair Mackintosh
(AM, Chief Executive Officer), Sarah Brookes (SB, Communications and
Marketing Director) and Mike Rigg (MR, Chief Football Officer) from
Fulham FC at the Club’s headquarters, Motspur Park.
1. Riverside Stand and other ground redvelopments
AM opened the meeting by stating that a major redevelopment of the Club’s headquarters at Motspur Park is intended. Plans have been verified and, at the end of October, Fulham FC submitted a planning application to the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. It is hoped that works may begin this summer.
The Trust commented the proposal was very encouraging and that it would be willing to aid in the process of lobbying for support for the planning application, as it had done for the redevelopment of the Riverside Stand.
The Club had no designs on the old BBC sports ground on the opposite side of Motspur Park, although it was known that alternative uses for it had been proposed by other parties.
There had been no further progress with the obtaining of a licence for works from the Marine Management Organisation (MMO). The Club was awaiting a response from the MMO on “technical wording” within the licence, which was considered essential in order to avoid the possibility of providing an opportunity for any group to seek a judicial review.
2. Recruitment of new manager
MR had been charged by the Chairman, Shahid Khan, with preparing a short list of candidates for interview. MR said that much had been made of supposed distinctions between the terms ‘head coach’ and ‘manager’, but his (and the Club’s aim) was to select someone whose emphasis would be ‘on the pitch’ matters and the first team and its players, in effect remaining distanced from all other issues. MR did confirm that the new head coach would be allowed to bring in his own staff as long as they fitted into the overall structure of the current setup. Also that the new head coach would be involved in transfers as are many other elements of the club.
The Trust asked whether the search for a new manager had been complicated by the desire to find the right person to meet the criteria for success demanded by the Chairman, i.e., reaching the play-off places. MR replied that it would be important that the new incumbent would be able to fit into the pre-existing system and function within the financial confines in operation. He confirmed that no interim appointment would be made of a caretaker manager since it was believed that there was sufficient coaching and training expertise within the remaining staff.
Mark Taylor, the Club’s Director of Sports Medicine and Exercise Science had left to become Performance Director at Sunderland AFC and an advertisement for a replacement in his role had been placed.
3. Under-21 side
The Trust commented that the half-season review had proven popular with fans. It had been noted that, within the team, there appeared to be a dearth of strikers. Was it intended to augment the team by loans or transfers? MR said that a meeting had been held on 10.xi.2015 with regard to its playing strengths of all teams and it was agreed that the Club did not wish to inhibit the progression of younger players from the youth team into the under-21s and that they would not bring anyone in unless better than they possess already.
4. Away fans issues
SB said that no response had been received from Queen Park Rangers FC with regard to the possible allocation of the lower tier at the away end for travelling fans of Fulham for the match at Loftus Road on 13.ii.2016.
The Trust had received complaints about the allocation of tickets by Ticketmaster for the match versus Bristol City FC. The inability of fans to choose their seats, and the general ‘free for all’ once inside Ashton Gate, coupled with quite ineffective stewarding, meant that the match was spoiled as a spectacle for many, in particular the elderly. The Club was unable to comment on reports of the arrest of some fans on one the London-bound trains, following the match. SB said that matches were assessed according to potential risk when determining the number of stewards allocated for away travel.
Meeting closed at 15.00