Our final set of notes from Thursday very popular Fans Forum, read on to discover what was asked and the answers given.
Q: Can you provide some details regarding the Adidas contract?
A: Mark Devlin – 2 year deal, new home and away kit each year. The designs this year were the only designs available. Orange was the original choice for the away kit as Matthew Benham likes bright colours, but Adidas discontinued they Orange option.
Clubs that can purchase more than 20,000 shirts have access to the full Adidas catalogue, hence we had to have the plain back. They have agreed to have stripes next year to compensate for the lateness of this years kit.
We will have stripes on the back from 2014/15. Adidas’ strategy changed this year from previously providing only to “A list” clubs to providing for all categories, they over committed and their supply chain could not cope. The design for 2014/5 has already been signed off.
The power of the Adidas brand is very successful and some lines have sold out already and is very good quality. When it does fall into place then supporters will be happy.
From the football side Uwe was happy as long as Mark Devlin could support it, e.g. in the Academy it is a very strong brand, a pair of Adidas shoes, track suit is more attractive to a kid than a lesser brand etc…
There have been endless discussions with the academy and clothing. Adidas took too many teams on in the one year, that is why there are problems this year. Uwe still believes the deal is a good one for Brentford FC, Uwe likes them and he’s not saying that because he is German.
Q: The new programme looks good and also Bees Player but the web site is not that great.
A: Mark Devlin – The guys have made a couple of changes to programme, Bees Review is the name, no one in the room seem to mind. Mark Chapman spoke to supporters to see what they liked and didn’t like.
Programmes are a dying medium due to on-line content, so it is a challenge and wouldn’t surprise if clubs start to give it away at the turnstiles within five years.
The website is the best that we can do based on the contract with FLI, and we are signed up until 2018.
The problems were down to the platform, no one likes the look of it. The upside is it that we generate £60 – 70k of revenue from it, the content is good, but none of us are happy with the look and feel.
Q: Beesotted further question about Simon Moore
A: Simon Moore is not having a medical at Cardiff, he’s on the beach!
Q: Which teams do think are the biggest challenges?
A: Uwe – Wolves have £19m parachute, so they have to really mess up to not win the league, Bristol City, will be up there, Peterborough have a £6m budget. We can challenge for the 2nd place, we want to win promotion. We have a squad that is capable of it.
Q: Will the Nextgen come again to Griffin Park?
A: Cliff Crown – At the moment we are not sure where NextGen is going, we (I assume Cycad sportts) are in the process of trying formalise a sponsorship game, if it does continue then hopefully there will be an opportunity to play at GP again
Q: Were you disappointed not to have Celtic player their best team?
A: Uwe – Didn’t know some of the players, Alan Kernaghan did, but we found out it was a good side. 24/25 top players in the team and they gave us a very good match. That was more than good enough to give us a game.
Q: Are we expecting anyone to leave?
A: Uwe – I will be relaxed on the 31st August at midnight, a lot can happen when you have good players.
No firm bids for our players, one or two players will probably be loaned out.
Hopes nobody gets sold. Money will be reinvested straight away in the squad.
Q: Five strikers in the squad, which key relationships do you see as key?
A: Uwe – I was a striker and I say you can never have enough strikers! One or two will find it hard, last year, but we had 68 games in 10 ½ months.
We need to have a good squad, the main focus will be league but we want to win every game. Cup runs will keep all players happy.
Q: Will Dallas figure a bit more?
A: Uwe – He had played more than expected last year, he found it hard to get a regular place. He is a very grounded person.
A very good professional and knows where he is in his career. Needs to get used to living away from home, and adapt to more than double the amount of training.
He has now adapted and has a very good future. Has to compete against good players this year e.g. Filo.
Q: What sort of crowds would you like to see at Griffin Park?
A: Cliff Crown – The more people that come in the bigger the revenue, the Chelsea game was a good indication, as was the attendances for Portsmouth and Doncaster.
We need more people at the start of the season, not just towards the end. We will very hard to increase the attendance, would love to see 10k regularly coming to Griffin Park but that might be asking a lot, we can probably get to 8k+ regularly.
Uwe – Always looking to connect with the fans, as both a player and a manager. A very unique stadium and intimidating and we can make it harder for the opposition at Griffin Park.
Attendance is improving year on year. We have make it affordable for kids and families and Mark Devlin is keen on that.
Mark Devlin – The board have put a budget this year with a good marketing budget, we have some of the best footballing prices in London. Marketing campaign will be aimed at young families and young people in general
Q: Would the club do a similar pay what you can, or 2 for 1 etc.
A: Mark Devlin – We will do a variety of offers throughout the year, obviously keeping in mind our season ticket holders – Shrewsbury targeted for pay what you can.
Q: Twice we had 12,000 and toilets have been a problem, is there anything we can do on a temporary basis.
A: Our facilities are poor, and that can be why some people don’t come back. We are hamstrung by the stadium, have tried portaloos in new road but it’s not that easy. Electronic tills are in all kiosks and that should help with the some of the queues.
Q: Can ST seats be exchanged for different seats at allocated seated matches?
A: Mark Devlin – It will be much easier to change a seat next year either on-line or via the box office, box office staff numbers will be increased.
Q: Can we you talk about Javi Venta
A: Uwe – Spanish football been dominant for some time, however clubs are running out of money in Spain, through MB’s network we are concentrating on the Spanish market to see what we can add.
Venta is very highly regarded in Spain and he surprised Uwe after Tuesday and did very well.
Javi can be the door to bring other players from Spain. When he first arrived he asked the analysts to show him all the goals we conceded last season, and then they next day asked to see all the goals we scored.
He is not here for the money, he is here for the life experience and he is convinced he will be here for the next three years.
Q: Good to be going abroad for players?
A: Uwe – Yes but we need to keep a balance, the core of our team should be English as we are a English team, do not want to be like Arsenal.
Q: Why are senior tickets (80+?) £25 when they were free last year
A: Mark Devlin – Greg Dyke suggested that all people pay something, as a token to pay back Matthew Benham.
Q: Academy, what is the impact of being category two and what about the milk cup defence.
A: Cliff Crown – Matthew Benham has a great commitment to develop youth football. We are only club in League One to have category two status.
Uwe – Brentford will never buy themselves out of the league, we have a competitive budget but we have to produce our own players. We either bring players through the academy or we loan from Championship, Premiership and hope to sign them permanently.
Q: What was your greatest achievement as a player, what can you pass onto the current squad?
A: Uwe – Never been asked that before – representing his country and being in the Manchester City hall of fame. Always hard working and played at the highest level and wants to do that as a manager.
BIAS would like to that Mark Devlin, Cliff Crown, Uwe Rosler and Brian Burgess for their time and honest (and coded answers) and Peter Gilham for holding it all together on the night.
BIAS would like to thank our Stadium Action Group Secretary – Adam Hobbs for these minutes