Trust Meeting with Fulham FC CEO, February, 2016
*First of all we would like to apologise for the delay in these minutes being posted on the website. We had some technical issues which have now been resolved.
On 9.ii.2016 at 10.30, three of the Trust Board (Dan Crawford, Michael Gregg and Neil Springate) met with Alistair Mackintosh (AM, Chief Executive Officer) and Sarah Brookes (SB, Communications and Marketing Director) from Fulham FC at the Club’s headquarters, Motspur Park.
1) Appointment of new first team head coach
AM was pleased with the appointment of Slavisa Jokanovic as the Head Coach of the first team and there was a feeling of overall improvement in the quality of play of the side.
2) Ticketing for QPR and related matters
The Trust was pleased that an increased allocation of tickets had been made by Queen’s Park Rangers FC for the forthcoming match on 12.ii.2016 at Loftus Road and believed that being able to book by block was an improvement on the pre-existing system. SB said that a revamped ticketing page on the website was due to ‘go live’ from Ticketmaster.
With regard to season tickets for the season 2016/17, SB said that a questionnaire had been sent and the responses were being analysed. The Trust said that any increase on the current prices would not be welcomed by the fans. SB said that a range of pricing ‘packages’ would be offered, but that rates had yet to be decided, but the Club’s position in the league would have to be considered.
3) Redevelopment of Riverside Stand and Motspur Park
The Trust said that, as yet, there had been no major announcement by the Club, either on its web site or in the match programme about the schedule for the start of works on the Riverside Stand. SB said that some matters were undecided, although these were unspecified. AM confirmed that the Club would need access through Bishop’s Park for the intended works. The Trust noted the repair and refurbishment works to the turnstiles on the Stevenage Road.
Having supported the Club’s planning application for development at Motspur Park, the Trust was pleased that it had been granted and said that this would be important in keeping the Category One status for its training facilities. Had a time scale been set for the completion of works? AM said that, already, the facility resembled the proverbial building site, but training had to continue as normal. There would be greater building activity during the close season.
4) Non-executive directors on Fulham FC Board
This matter was raised at the Trust’s recent AGM and had been discussed with the Club before. From comments received from some members and those from fans in general, it perceived that there was an absence of long-serving fans of the Club involved within the its hierarchy. AM replied that Board was and would remain as it is constituted presently and added that he spoke to Chairman, Shahid Khan (Chairman) and Mark Lamping (President, Jacksonville Jaguars) on a weekly basis.
5) Financial Fair Play (FFP)
The Trust noted that its members (and fans in general) were surprised that, following the Club’s previous statements that it was within FFP guidelines, that it had become subject to a transfer embargo by the Football League for the January transfer ‘window’. The subject had been discussed at the Trust’s recent AGM and its members wanted an explanation for the breach and embargo, further to the brief statement that had been given on the Club’s web-site.
AM said that selling Ross McCormack, for whom much interest had been received during the summer 2015 transfer ‘window’, could have enabled the Club to remain within the limit of losses permitted by FFP. The alternative was that was chosen was a “managed breach” of FFP (and to retain a relatively large squad of players, as stated in the minutes the meeting of September, 2015 to Trust members). Although this was known in June 2015, AM said that the Club did not wish to disadvantage itself during the summer 2015 transfer ‘window’ by making a public statement of the breach of regulations. Further, AM said (i) that it would have suited the Club had Queen’s Park Rangers FC been successful in their legal action against the imposition of sanctions for their breach of FFP rules, but this process remained incomplete, and (ii) claimed that many fans of Fulham would prefer the Club to adopt a similar course of action.
The Trust reiterated its longstanding support of the principle of FFP regulations and stated that it expected the club to abide by the competition rules.
6) Hammersmith & Fulham borough Safety Advisory Group
The Trust informed the club that its representatives had attended a recent meeting with police and council officers about participation in the Hammersmith & Fulham Safety Advisory Group, alongside representatives from the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust. This would allow for greater supporter input into ongoing policing and stewarding issues. The Trust will now be consulted ahead of each Fulham-specific meeting of the Safety Advisory Group.
7) Forthcoming match versus Charlton Athletic FC
AM confirmed that, despite pressure from Manchester City FC for a change of date and timing to suit their forthcoming Champions’ League match the following Wednesday, the home match versus Charlton Athletic FC would take place as scheduled on 20.ii.2016 and at 15.00.
Meeting closed at 11.35