Our Fans Forum took place in a packed Hive. Mark Devlin, Cliff Crown, Uwe Rosler and Brian Burgess made up the top table which was chaired by Peter Gilham: read on to discover more:
Q: Why was the club shop closed whilst queuing for Chelsea tickets, could’ve sold us hats and scarves etc ..
A: Mark Devlin – Could not provide a clear answer, probably staffing reasons but can’t quite confirm.
Q: Can you tell me about Conor McAleny
A: Uwe – We have been after him for a year, tried to sign him before we signed Trotta. Seen him several times, natural goalscorer, doesn’t need many chances, not the tallest but good change of pace and good finisher.
Can play in the hole or wider, a very good signing for us, young hungry and wants to make it happen. Same mould as the other Everton players.
Q: Are we going to persist with the one up front at home
A: Uwe – We have the best the home record, 80% played with two strikers, away from home we played with one striker. 4-3-2-1, was a bit lop sided last year with Forrester. Would like to play most of our home matches with two strikers and hoping for the same home record again.
Q: Why is our defending of corners so poor?
A: Uwe – We have been the best team in the league throughout the whole season.
Not conceded once in the first phase (first ball from a corner) in any league game, we conceeded one in the Play-off semi and one at Wembley.
We mark zonally and will continue to do so, because we didn’t have Jonathan Douglas we missed a player who can take the big players out, so it ended with Adam Forwshaw blocking the largest players and he didn’t block the centre half, just followed him.
Q: Away form, we had some good solid performances but didn’t get the points we deserved.
A: Uwe – Our away record not as good as our home, away from home teams try to bully us.
We didn’t create enough chances, we dominated a lot of games but did not put the chances away.
We conceded too many needles goals and need to be more clinical and convert more chances into goals.
We have to be more dictating away from home and that is the next step in our development.
Update from Brian Burgess regarding Lionel Road:
10 years ago we unveiled the first plan. 1 year ago MB bought the land and we own the freehold of both grounds. A lot of work over the last year, planning application went in at the end of May and Hounslow Council are working through it.
TFL and other organisations are asking technical questions which the club are answering, however the public consultation is the most important part.
It is very important that we get as many supporters as possible writing into the council.
The club is a valuable asset to the community and that is the essence of what the BFCCST does. It does make us more financially viable, but also gives BFCCST a proper home with new facilities, e.g. climbing wall.
Chiswick residents are slightly concerned, Griffin Park residents are happy with us as neighbours. Need to get more positives than negatives.
Will be a wonderful asset for the Football Club, hoping that it will go to a planning committee meeting by October. Hounslow residents are most important but every response will count.
Q: Question from Beesotted RE: Letters of support – how will the low count effect the application.
A: Brian Burgess, quality does matter. We want people to really think about they write in, over time we do want to ramp up the numbers. E-mails will be going out to people on the ticketing database which include a personal e-mail from Matthew Benham.
Q: What are the clubs plans if LR gets rejected.
A: BB – we are putting all our efforts into to getting this to work, if it fails we will have to look outside the borough. The council want us to stay in the borough, this the only site that works. Better public transport than GP, brownfield site. This is the site we are focussing on there is no plan B.
Q: Was playing Celtic a wise decision?
A: Brian Burgess – We got through Millwall without any issues.
Uwe – Didn’t know there was any issues with Lionel Road regarding playing Celtic, this was the best pre season match program the club has had ever.
With all respect to our local clubs we prefer to play Cardiff, Celtic and Millwall not Hampton.
We have to get used to playing with 6,000 Celtic fans. That made the team better at coping with bigger games this season and next.
Uwe takes total responsibility for it, Uwe would do it again tomorrow if asked.
Cliff Crown gave an introduction to himself as Chairman
Cliff: Been at the club for the last two years, attending board meetings in an advisory capacity. invited onto the board when Matthew Benham took over.
Hard to act to follow Greg Dyke, but. these are exciting times there are a lot of good things happening.
Need to make sure we are continued to be run in proper business like fashion, which are currently and will continue to be under his chairmanship. Pays tributes to Brian Burgess and Chris Gammon, he was heavily involved in the acquisition of LR and is chair of Lionel Road Developments Ltd but none of this would be possible without Brian and Chris.
Q: A question was asked from someone who lives near Copthall, Hendon. Saracens stadium appears to be very successful, with a synthetic pitch. There were lots of objections leading up to it, it is sad that people are negative. But now it is there people are positive.
A: Brian – that is a valid point, community stuff outweighs the temporary disruption on a matchday. Brian used to compete at the stadium so knows it well. Synthetic pitch is interesting, Maidstone have one so will be interesting to see if it is adopted in 5-10 years time, ie like Russia.
Q: Can you talk about the Membership scheme
A: Leaflets came in today, will be launched on Monday.
Trying to create a scheme where loyalty points are also available on kiosks and catering purchases as well.
Cabling has been completed to link tills up, but it will be a few weeks before people receive their membership cards – they can start accruing membership points once they receive number.
Discussions had to take place with BIAS first which was one of the reasons for the delay.
Q: We have a fantastic squad, do you have an idea of your first team or will there be experimentation?
A: Uwe – No room for experimentation this year, budget has been improved. Matthew Benham came into the dressing room after Wembley and said next season we would make it happen.
It is very important for the club to keep it’s young players on long contracts. Eg Harlee Dean, Jake Bidwell, Simon Moore, Adam Forshaw etc… we got very good value for money, we are not overpaying our young players and we have been able to strengthen our sqaud, the last two years we were thin in some areas.
This year we have every position doubled up, except centre half. We have to show we can the keep the same spirit this year, even though some people will play less games.
The training is very high quality and nobody is guaranteed place, over time the extra training will go in our favour. I know the team for Port Vale, 10/11 known and it won’t be the same team for the Dagenham & Redbridge game and may different again for Sheffield United. We have ambitions to be in the Championship as do our players.
Q: A rumour had got out that Simon Moore is having a medical at Cardiff City A: Uwe – not that Uwe knows, he had the day off today and was going to the beach.
BIAS would like to thank our Stadium Action Group Secretary – Adam Hobbs for these minutes