Richard Merritt delivered the following Chairpersons report at the BIAS AGM
It has certainly been a busy year for BIAS, The Association has grown in so many ways
Membership of the Association is at its highest ever level as we continually reach out and endeavour to seek continuous improvements.
BIAS is a team effort, it is through the people that get involved, who play a part that we can not only continue to do, what we do but can strive to achieve more.
BIAS is in many ways is an umbrella group, an organisation that brings Brentford fans, with their different interest, focuses and prioritise together.
My thanks go to the BIAS Committee and those who undertake lead roles for all of their efforts over the last year.
Stadium Action Group
A BIG focus for BIAS this year has been BIAS Campaign for Lionel Road.
The BIAS Stadium Action Group, (StAG) as subcommittee of BIAS, has met regularly and has produced and distributed some great literature.
The StAG teams non confrontational approach and ability to listen to the concerns of others is in my mind to be applauded as is their tirelessly
Special mentions of appreciation go to Paul Stedman and to Lisa O’Brien for their attention to detail and to all of those who have volunteered to ensure that the leaflets and postcards were distributed.
Out and About Team
The first objective of BIAS, as laid down in the Association Constitution is ‘To maintain and increase support for Brentford Football Club’.
In the last year the BIAS ‘Out and About’ team have attend a number of local events to promote Brentford football within its Community, to invite local people to come down to Griffin Park, often for the first time and to galvanise support for the new stadium.
Match Day Experience team
Our Match Day Experience Team, lead by Madeleine Tarrant provided invaluable feedback, both positive and negative, which was shared with the BIAS committee and with the football Club.
Mads is now working for Brentford FC and Anna Mason has just stepped into the Match Day Experience co-ordinators role.
Match Day Reporting & Tweeting Team
Our Match day reporting and tweeting team have worked hard to ensure that there are timely match reports on the BIAS website and Tweeting live form games to keep those who are not there informed and up to date with virtually live updates.
The work these volunteers do really benefits BIAS and is greatly appreciated by Bees Fans. The match reports ensure that there is always something current on the BIAS website.
Our following on Twitter has just passed the 1400 mark.
Hey Jude BIAS FC
Our football team, have won their last four games and were playing Shrewsbury this morning.
Website and New Media
Since the start of the season our website has been updated almost daily.
Another sub group is currently working hard to make our website more mobile and tablet friendly. They are close to completing the upgrade, ten years worth of stories have had to be transferred across, the new site will contain more photos’ and we will all hopefully see the results soon.
Disabled Fans Liaison Group
Christopher Ryan has been appointed our Disabled fans Liaison officer and our intention is to have a create a forum for disabled fans to express their views and to provide us and the football club with ideas and suggestions on how we can improve their match day experiences both at Griffin Park and hopefully at Lionel Road.
Football Supporters Federation
BIAS is a proud member of the FSF and it please me that Rhys Williams, who is absent today due to playing for hey Jude BIAS FC, has agreed to become our Football Supporters Federation Representative. This appointment will help us to meet the last objective of BIAS, as laid down in the Association Constitution, which is: To create and strengthen links with other football club’s supporters groups and trusts
Regional and International branches
Another aim of the BIAS constitution is ‘To bring together all persons interested in Brentford Football Club’, and it please me to say that with 25 Regional co-ordinators covering the whole of the UK (with the exception of Wales) and the appointment of two more international co-ordinators for Ireland and the Netherlands we are bringing Brentford fans together.
Our Irish branch, run by Fran Carroll have their own twitter feed are making arrangements for their inaugural trip to Griffin Park.
Our Facebook groups allow bees fans around the country to communicate and get to know fans local to themselves and we are already seeing fans benefit from car sharing.
Saying thank you
BIAS is a team effort and I would like to thank the team for their support, their input, their inspiration and the strength that they give me to sit as the BIAS chair.
There are a few individuals, who deserve a special mention. Madeline Tarrent, for her efforts with the Match day experiencing team.
John Hirdle and Lauren Moors who are both retiring from the BIAS committee for sharing their views and opinions and ensuring that BIAS was representative.
David Powell, for all of his efforts over the past years, ensuring that we had a website that we could be proud of.
David Gathergood for ensuring that our accounts are in good order.
Up the Bees