Notes from November meeting with FFC
On Monday 11th November at 12:30, the Fulham Supporters’ Trust met with Fulham FC at Motspur Park.
The Club was represented by:
- Alistair Mackintosh (CEO)
- Darren Preston (COO)
- David Daly (Non Executive Director)
- Nicola Walworth (Supporter Relations Manager)
- Carmelo Mifsud (Communications Director)
The FST was represented by board members:
HOW IT WORKS
Each topic below is raised by the FST in an attempt to discuss issues raised primarily by a number of our members. Individual questions from members are sent to the Club outside the meeting, and we encourage members first to raise these directly with the Club via firstname.lastname@example.org.
If any member has raised an issue that it has not been possible to discuss in the time available then please do contact us again in good time before the next meeting.
We encourage members to provide us with as much detail as possible (e.g. time, duration, date etc.) when raising issues either with the Trust or directly with the Club.
The following topics were raised and discussed:
The Trust raised concerns and observations from members regarding the efficiency of the catering operation, particularly at half time, during recent matches. Issues encountered during the Hull City fixture included
- inattentive staff at the Hammersmith End turnstile kiosk
- lack of pies at half time in the same kiosk
- failure of card machines and lack of beer in a Hammersmith End bar
- staff with little training in use of tills
The Trust agreed to forward a video of the problems in the Hammersmith End bar to the Club so that they could get a better understanding of the issue.
The Club committed to raise the problems encountered with the outsourced catering supplier. They explained that while there is a high degree of churn with general catering staff this was not the case with supervisors who should be able to minimise these issues.
The Club also said that they do undertake “mystery shopper” exercises and would be happy to work with the Trust to better identify the problems. Nevertheless, it will always remain a challenge to serve everybody in a constrained space in a 15 minute half time window.
CONGESTION (FOLLOW UP)
Following last month’s discussion, the Trust again raised the congestion being experienced underneath the Hammersmith End, particularly at half time, and re-iterated some of the suggestions made last month focussed on access to and use of the lower area of the concourse.
The Club said that it is still considering whether anything may be done to alleviate the issues, but commented that the ratio of concourse space available to seats had not changed from previous seasons as it is one of the licensing factors which dictates the overall capacity of the stand.
Several members have suggested additional stairs be provided down from the upper to lower concourse area. The Club said that while this seemed like an easy solution, in fact it would require an additional area of the upper concourse to be kept clear for safety reasons and could be counter-productive.
Ultimately congestion can only be reduced substantially by having fewer seats in the stand which all at the meeting agreed was not wanted.
RIVERSIDE STAND PROGRESS
Whilst supporters can see progress of the Riverside Stand demolition progressing match by match, many have requested an update on next steps. The Trust asked for an overview of the main phases of the project and the Club provided the following summary with estimated dates. These dates were recently discussed with local residents at an open information session.
- Phased demolition of old stand – underway, completion December 2019
- New river wall and walkway piling – underway, completion early 2020
- Putney Stand substructures and piling – underway
- Putney Stand steel erection – commences November 2019
- Basement excavation (18,000 m3) – commences January 2020
- Basement piling – February 2020 to March 2020
- River deck construction – November 2019 to February 2020
- Steel erection – April 2020 to October 2020
- Internal mechanical / electrical works – April 2020 to March 2021
- Glazing – commences May 2020
- Pre-cast concrete terracing – June 2020 to October 2020
- Steel roof trusses lifted in – July 2020 to October 2020
- Fit out – March 2020 to July 2021
The Club further explained that the main work being carried out aside from the building project is focused on identifying non-matchday tenants for the commercial space being created on the river side of the stand, such as restaurants and bars. The initial “vision” for the non-matchday arrangements should be made available in the next month.
In response to further questions from the Trust, the Club confirmed that no more pitch-side hoarding is required.
SEASON TICKET EXCHANGE FEEDBACK
The Trust and the Club reviewed the first use of the Season Ticket Exchange for the Hull City fixture. All feedback received so far by the Trust has been positive, with a number of members highlighting quick sale of their unused season tickets.
Asked about the level of take-up on the scheme, the Club revealed that there had been 214 transactions (season ticket seats bought on the exchange).
The Trust asked for clarification of the definition of “sold out” in response to queries from members who thought that this must mean that their previously listed season ticket had definitely been purchased. The Club explained that when the Hull City fixture was announced as sold out, this indicated that no further standard matchday tickets were available, with the only tickets remaining now being available via the Season Ticket Exchange.
Previously, online access to the fixture would have been removed when the fixture was declared sold out, but it was left open until 24 hours before the game so that supporters could continue to list and purchase season tickets. After 3pm on the Friday, any season tickets that were still listed on the Season Ticket Exchange were returned to their owners for use.
Some members have commented that they felt some stewards were unaware of ground regulations, particularly in regard to smoking. The Club said this should not be the case and will reiterate with the stewarding companies. They explained that a number of companies provide services on matchday covering general, search and “red team” stewarding, the latter being SIA (Security Industry Authority) accredited. Where multiple companies are used for general stewarding they are split between stands to ensure effective communication.
OTHER ISSUES AND QUESTIONS
The Trust commented that no issues have been reported this month with the FFCtv service. However it highlighted a broken link between the (older) FFC mobile app and the new app.
A number of members have asked for an update on the tribunal decision regarding Harvey Elliott’s move to Liverpool. The Club said that there was no further information nor timeline available.
The meeting closed at 14:00.