Tuesday was busy day for BIAS representatives who attended meetings with the football club, a meeting about coordinating Lionel Road communications and then a Stadium Action Group meeting.
Meeting with BFC
BIAS chair, Richard Merritt and Finance officer David Gathergood had a very constructive meeting with Brentford FC CEO Mark Devlin and the new Operations Manager Alan Walsh.
Mark gave BIAS reassurances that the Ticket Zone problems were still being investigated and will not be swept under the carpet. We expect the club to issue a new statement soon.
The club’s new membership scheme was discussed and BIAS was able to inject some constructive ideas, such as being able to carry forward a percentage of points gained to the next season. Mark Devlin welcomed our input and will look to see if our proposals are feasible.
Prior to the meeting, BIAS and the Football Club had been liaising via e-mail about the arrangements for the Celtic match.
Mark gave us the welcome news that the Celtic match will become an all ticket game. We had called for this on grounds of segregation being compromised through on the day ticket sales.
Bees fans have not got a culture of buying tickets in advance and in our opinion the advance ticket sales figures for a preseason friendly were not that disappointing or unexpected, but the new arrangements do make sense and should ensure that every Bees fan who wants to see the game will be able to.
Alan advised us the only way Celtic’s allocation could be increased was for them to be given the BIAS stand which they will enter and leave from the Ealing Road exit.
Brentford Supporters who have purchased tickets for the BIAS stand can either upgrade free of charge by presenting their terrace ticket at the Bees United stand turnstiles where it will be exchanged or if they do not wish to make use of the Bees United stand facilities they can have a full refund.
The club’s Customer Charter was discussed at great length. For the last few seasons clubs in the Premiership and Championship have had their Charters evaluated by the Football Supporters Federation (FSF) and our proposals this year included extending the Charter to include Banning Orders as this omission had seen some evaluated clubs receive a lower marking.
It was also suggested that the Charter should include a warning for members that tickets purchased for all ticket matches are traceable, therefore should these tickets be touted or used by away supporters, the future right to purchase tickets could be withdrawn and if disorder occurs banning orders could be considered.
Communications coordination meeting and StAG
The second meeting of the evening discussed the overall communication strategy for the new stadium. Paul Stedman (Campaigns), Lisa O’Brien (Communications) and Richard Merritt were the BIAS representatives who attended the hour long meeting with all of those who have a role to play. This meeting ensured that our messages and actions were aligned in relation to the campaigning for Lionel Road Stadium.
The third and final meeting of the evening was our own well attended Stadium Action Group meeting. Our own Communications plan was agreed and there is a lot of work in progress and plenty to come from BIAS – watch the website for more updates – and importantly make sure you make your support of the Lionel Road development known to Hounslow Council.