Trust Meeting with Fulham CEO, December, 2015
On 1.xii.2015 at 10.30, two of the Trust Board (Dan Crawford and Neil
Springate) met with Alistair Mackintosh (AM, Chief Executive Officer)
and Darren Preston (DP, Chief Operating Officer) from Fulham FC at the
Club’s headquarters, Motspur Park.
Search for a new first team manager
AM said that Mike Rigg (Chief Football Officer) was intent of finding the right candidate who would fit in to the pre-existing structure at the Club and this had proven difficult. As a result, it would not be rushed into making an appointment.
Knowing that the Club monitors Fulham-related social media and that it could not have been unaware of the mounting disenchantment among the Club’s fans over the delay in appointment of a new manager, among other things, The Trust asked whether the current Club structure was deterring potential applicants or restricting the calibre of those who had applied (or would apply) for the post. AM said that there had been several applicants and that he was unaware of any that had been deterred as a result of the extant administrative set-up.
The Trust asked whether a new manager would be expected to attain the same targets by the end of the current season as had been demanded of previous manager, Kit Symons. AM said that finishing in the top six of the Championship was and would remain the objective. Whilst an inability to achieve a specific tally of points at a given period in the season had not been the sole reason behind the dismissal of Symons, it was believed that the desired final placing would not be achieved under his stewardship and the Club felt it had to relieve him of his duties.
Although discussions had taken place, AM stated that no contract had been offered to Steve Clarke (currently manager at Reading FC).
Financial Fair Play
The Trust noted that there had been a number of stories in various media that the Club was facing a transfer embargo from the Football League for breaches of Financial Fair Play regulations and that there had been questions from its members on the matter, given the Club’s previous assurances of being within the guidelines stipulated.
Although a statement, prepared by the Trust (and on this matter alone), had been agreed with the Club subsequently, the Trust was then asked to withhold this until the Football League and the Club synchronise an announcement later this month.
Redevelopment at Craven Cottage and Motspur Park
AM said that there had been good progress following meetings with the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham and the Friends of Bishop’s Park. DP had spoken at the AGM of the latter regarding the building development of the Riverside Stand, who were generally supportive of the Club’s aims. Discussions are taking place with the Council about using 50 metres of Fielders Meadow for the storage of materials and equipment to be used for the works. On a recent visit to London, Club Chairman, Shahid Khan, had examined the existing plans for the works on the Riverside Stand and had discussed enhancements of the design with AM.
The Trust had sent a draft letter of support for the proposed redevelopment at Motspur Park to Sarah Brookes, Club Communications and Marketing Director. It would forward this to its members requesting them to write to the Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames to state their support of the planning application. The deadline for submissions is 4.xii.2015, and DP said that the planning application will be heard on 27.i.2016.
Matches versus Brentford FC and Queens Park Rangers FC
The Trust is due to meet with DP, Sarah Brookes, representatives of fans’ groups at Brentford FC and the Metropolitan Police (MP) at Craven Cottage on 3.xii.2015. With game against The Bees due to take place on 12.xii.2015, this meeting was requested by the MP’s Football Officer Responsible for Fulham and Barnet FCs and follows changes to the pre- and post-match policing and stewarding for the Good Friday 2015 fixture which had received complaint from both fans of Fulham and local publicans.
The Club had allocated the entire Putney End at Craven Cottage to fans of Brentford FC and this had resulted in complaint of being over-generous. AM said that, were the Club not able to absorb the extra demand for tickets by visiting fans, there was the risk of them acquiring tickets for the home ends, with concomitant risk of disruption.
The Club had made a request for the allocation of both tiers at Loftus Road for travelling fans for the fixture on 13.ii.2016, but no response had been received as yet from the hosts.
Further complaint from Trust members had been made regarding the purchase of tickets, in particular the allocation of away seats, through Ticketmaster, even more so given that Ticketmaster offer a means of choosing seats for all of London’s (and other regional) major auditoria. Fans were unable to understand why the Club had accepted a deal that was evidently not that offered to those attending opera and the like. AM suggested that, were concerns to continue, a meeting could be arranged with Katy Phillips, Head of Ticketing at the Club.
Meeting closed at 11.20