Trust Meeting with Fulham FC CEO, March, 2016
On 8.iii.2016 at 10.30, two of the Trust Board (Dan Crawford and Neil Springate) met with Alistair Mackintosh (AM, Chief Executive Officer) and Steven Day (SD, Chief Executive at Fulham FC Foundation) from Fulham FC at the Club’s headquarters, Motspur Park.
1) Proposed statue of George Cohen
SD explained that the Club had been working on this for four months in order to honour the Club’s World Cup winning player and to support the charitable causes promoted by George Cohen. A press release on 2 March, which had received a positive response, had been followed by a general announcement on the Club’s web-site and a fund-raising campaign had gone ‘live’ on the day of the meeting. It was hoped that £100,000 would be raised for both the statue and the charities, which would be matched, pound for pound, by the Club’s Chairman, Shahid Khan, with an intended closure of the funding effort on 8.v.2016. The sculptor who had been used for the statue of Johnny Haynes would design that of Cohen. A number of events were planned, including a screening of the 1966 World Cup Final, with dates to be confirmed.
2) Fulham FC Foundation Ladies
Having received some enquiries from members, the Trust asked about progress with the Fulham FC Foundation Ladies team. SD said that the side was progressing well on the pitch, although that it would be unlikely for it to continue playing at the Surrey Sports Park, Guildford, and would be brought to Motspur Park for next season. A partnership had been entered into with Kingston College for a Girls U18 Team. The Foundation was in the process of applying for an FA License to operate as a Regional Talent Centre for the 2016/2017 season and had progressed to Stage 2 (of three) of the process.
3) Player recruitment in the January transfer ‘window’
AM remained optimistic about the future of the squad under the leadership of Slavisa Jokanovic. It was believed that the transfer embargo during the January ‘window’ did not have a significant impact on the Club’s player recruitment, since the making of major player purchases in mid-season was not preferred. All of the Club’s loan targets had been achieved, in particular the acquisition of Michael Madl from Sturm Graz. The Club would be taken out of the embargo at the end of the current season, following the examination of financial information supplied by the Club to the Football League. The Chairman would offer fiscal support in order to strengthen the side for the 2016/2017 season.
4) Ticket purchasing for away matches
More complaint had been received by the Trust regarding the selling of tickets for away matches and the lack of choice offered by Ticketmaster. At the recent match at the Madejski Stadium, versus Reading FC, it was noted that seating arrangements appeared to have broken down and that it had become a ‘free for all’ with regard to occupation of seating, to the obvious discomfort of the elderly travelling fans. AM said that the deal with Ticketmaster would be reviewed at the end of the season. The Trust asked whether reports hade been received from the Club’s ‘away’ stewards, but AM said that there had been none. The Trust queried the wisdom of the continued absence of the Club’s Supporter Liaison Officer at away matches, which the Trust believes is where and when the SLO will be most needed, noting the contrast with the effort made by previous SLO, Tommy Guthrie, who was always a very visible presence at away games.
The Trust had received a request for an International line to be established for ticket purchases and other information for those calling from abroad in order to replace the prohibitively expensive charges levied by ‘phoning to the 0345 prefixes. AM agreed to investigate the possibilities of an international direct dial line.
5) Commercial partnerships
AM stated that the partnership with VisitFlorida was the largest commercial deal in the Championship, but would be reviewed at the end of the current league season.
6) Riverside Stand Redevelopment
No fixed date had been given for the commencement of works on the Stand and the Trust reiterated the growing frustration of its members and fans in general with the apparent lack of progress on this matter. AM said that tendering was still taking place, although this would be within one overall contract.
AM said that the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham has placed an advert in the London Weekly News (and had written to local residents) with regard to its intended use of a small area of Bishop’s Park adjacent to the Putney End as a contractors’ compound during the construction process. The Council has discussed the matter with the Friends of Bishop’s Park.
7) University Boat Race 2016
AM said that the traditional pre-Boat Race varsity football match between Oxford and Cambridge would be played at Craven Cottage on 27.iii.2016.
Meeting closed at 11.45