The following Report was given by the BIAS Chair, Richard Merritt at the Association’s AGM
By BIAS standards, last season was, thankfully, rather quiet but the Association has remained strong and has grown in many areas.
There is not just a BIAS committee, for example, there are 18 people who undertake Lead roles that benefit the Association and Brentford supporters, there are 22 Regional Co-ordinators and 8 International co-ordinators who all play a part in Bringing Brentford fans together and of course there are our sub committees, like the Stadium Action Group.
I’m very pleased to say that Gemma Teale, who became our Football Supporters Federation representative just after our Last AGM has recently been elected to Football Supporters Federation National Council which will give us and Brentford fans an even bigger voice.
The BIAS Committee now has regular meetings with the Football Club where both parties, talk openly, honestly and importantly listen to each other. We have also requested and have been granted Fans Forums where Bees fans have been given the opportunity to ask their questions directly.
The BIAS Stadium Action Group has remained active, monitoring events, attending the regular Lionel Road Liaison Group meetings and keeping up to speed of the situation.
Our Regional branches continue to thrive and grow. Just the other week our West Country Branch filled a 15 seater minibus with supporters from Cornwall, Devon and Somerset for a trip to Derby County. We have set aside a pool of money so that when they arrange trips to Griffin Park, those who travel know in advance just how much they will have to pay, weather they are group of 10, 12 or 15.
Our Irish, Dutch, Swiss and German branches continue to bring Bees fans together with increasing visits to Griffin Park.
9 Italian Bees are came over for last season’s Wolverhampton Wanderers game and just last week they finished second in a 6 a-side football tournament back home in Italy.
Hey Jude BIAS FC, now under the management of James Wicks, once again completed in Worldnet.
The Griffin Park Jazz Club is still going strong. They now advertise themselves in the local hotels, cementing the bond between the football Club and the Community.
We have also created and set up a team to campaign for the preservation of the Ealing Road terrace and I’m sure we will hear more from them when the Hillsbourgh Enquiry has been completed.
This season BIAS launched its own manifesto and in doing so made a series of commitments to Brentford fans
The manifesto not only includes the current and ongoing campaigns such as for the new Community stadium at Lionel Road and to improve the Matchday Experience, but it also includes group and individual pledges from BIAS members who have undertaken lead roles that are to the benefit of Brentford supporters
The Manifesto is not set in stone, it is a starting point which will be need to be ratified by every new BIAS committee and amended when the Association undertakes further campaigns or issues that need to addressed
The manifesto with its mixture of group and individual commitments provides the Association with a good sense of ownership and a sense of direction whilst explaining to Brentford FC supporter’s what we as an Independent Association are about and what we want to achieve.
A PDF of the full BIAS manifesto is available here.
I would like to thank, everybody who has played a part for their support, for their input and for helping to make a difference. In particular I would like to thank Tom Moore, Christopher Ryan and Darrell Goddard who are all standing down from the BIAS committee.
Christopher and Darrell will still remain on the Stadium Action Group and Christopher will continue with the Disabled Supporters Liaison Officer lead role.
I’m pleased to announce that Sam Gibb will pick up the baton of our Membership Benefits officer taking over from Darrell.
I would also like to give a special thank you David Gathergood for keeping our Finances in order and to Kath Richardson and Adam Hobbs for their recent work in improving the layout out of our website.