Supporters meetings with FGR

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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby Foggy » Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:47 pm

It is a pity that the meeting was held at a time that made it impossible for anyone who works normal daytime hours or lives some distance from Nailsworth to attend.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby Timb » Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:49 pm

I live in London...
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby The Old TomCat » Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:00 pm

Timb wrote:OTC you've managed to put an extraordinarily negative perspective of the meeting , and missed a lot out among other things.

You're right. Some notes will be produced and published.


Perhaps, perhaps not but everything I put down is accurate.
Okay, I forgot to mention that the subject of swearing was brought up.
The club do not like it but tolerate it to some degree as it would be seen as oppressive to single out swearers for eviction even though we are a family club attracting youngsters to watch game.

I look forward to those notes to offer comment on bits I missed.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby The Old TomCat » Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:09 pm

Foggy wrote:It is a pity that the meeting was held at a time that made it impossible for anyone who works normal daytime hours or lives some distance from Nailsworth to attend.

In some ways it is understandable to hold meeting at that time.
The three management staff had done a day's work and it was held prior to them going home.
An alternative would be to hold it in the early morning of a home match, but I know they are all extremely busy at that time so probably impossible to arrange.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby Tommo » Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:26 pm

I went to the meeting and I thought it was very positive. Henry answered every question and listened patiently to a variety of views. Lots has been done - small incremental improvements - and more will be planned once it is clearer what the feasibility (given current possibility for central government intervention) and timescales for the new stadium are. A four or five year plan for the existing stadium will be required.

More comprehensive notes will follow from the Supporters Club I'm sure, but since OTC has put his version out there, here is a summary from me.

It is been a shame that the new drum stand has been vandalised. That seemed like a really positive outcome from the fans forum and something the noisy south standers (and others) wanted. However it seems that not only has it needed complete repair but also health and safety rules are being deliberately breached by a few rowdy supporters, therefore putting the whole facility in jeopardy. A real shame to have turned the positive into a negative.

The Supporters Club Chair pushed hard for improvements in catering for North and South Standers. Attempts have been made before but have not worked out. Various ideas continue to be considered and, given that the Gym Bar and Green Man are usually at capacity, some other bar facilities may well form part of the 4-5 year plan (most of which will be executed early in that timeframe).

The pitch is no worse than many in EFL2 at this point in the season but MC has drawn attention to its failings and they are well understood. Nothing can be done about the (two) collapsed drains until close season when repairs will be made. Clearly no-one wanted drain collapse but its a function of their age and the problem has been exacerbated by the heavy rain this Autumn/Winter. (Look at YouTube video of Tranmere's home games - e.g. here: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=yo ... &FORM=VIRE)

The idea of having the away fans in the North stand has been raised before but all but OTC at the meeting thought that the current arrangement is as good as we can make it - although OTC was right that we could consider if some partial covering could be erected at the back of the Wet Terrace since that would be at least something for all but the best attended away sides. Maintenance of sightlines and obstruction of the walkways would possibly prevent even that though. If the away fans move to the North Stand then we have an issue with where to put our families/kids (we can't shove them into the rain) and the away fans would sound a lot noisier. There is a point that on the Wet Terrace they can influence the lino but linos are used to that and more noise from the North Stand might be more influential on the ref.

There was again discussion about putting a net behind the warm up goal at the north end to prevent balls hitting children. A net has been considered and, while not ruled out, is a difficult solution to implement. We kicked around ideas but couldn't come up with anything definitive. The Safety Officer present was very aware of the issue though and I was impressed that the kids that the Club knows have been hit have been given significant non-financial compensation. There are warnings in the programme and over the tannoy. Henry agreed to consider for next season some sort of informal segregation could encourage families with kids to one end of the North Stand away from the practice goals and others to the opposite end.

There was discussion about consistency of stewarding and action on persistently vile language and chanting (not just the odd swear word). I think we agreed we need consistency of application of standards here - home and away fans and over time (from now on). That's easier said than done of course but currently the vile language (home and when we go away e.g. Mansfield) is deterring new supporters and kids from coming.

There were a number of other positives from filling in muddy holes where the disabled park, to setting up a family zone in the Gym Bar, to improving bird deterrents in the rafters of the East Stand, to implementing a more regular half time shoot out. Also, there are already plans to replace the speakers in the stands in close season.

The problem Henry and the Club face is that the more they do, the more we want and all this is against a back drop of not knowing if we are moving or not and not knowing when. Having a clear 4-5 year plan will help and I left the meeting feeling pretty good about what we have and what we are going to get.

These meetings are good and I would encourage more, from the South Stand especially, to come along to them. I know its hard to get to meetings at the end of the Club staffs' day but there is the Fans Forum that is held 2-3 times a year in mid-evening as an alternative and more would be welcome there too I'm sure.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby Tomiswalking » Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:33 pm

Thanks Tommo!

OTC im guessing that Steven's at the carlise game is on less than 0.2 % of the fans who attend tomorrows games radar. Atmosphere will be changed by entertainment, feeling of togetherness and how the fans are treated.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby The Old TomCat » Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:00 pm

Tomiswalking wrote:OTC im guessing that Steven's at the carlise game is on less than 0.2 % of the fans who attend tomorrows games radar. Atmosphere will be changed by entertainment, feeling of togetherness and how the fans are treated.

I've been following this on social media.
There was an almighty backlash immediately after the Carlisle game from supporters who resented the attitude of a few that were giving the team personal grief.
I agree that the great away performance at Grimsby a few days later also changed opinions for the better.
It is a case of two threads coming together.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby The Old TomCat » Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:48 pm

Just remembered another topic that cropped up that both Tommo and I missed.
There was a request that the mirrors in the Gym Bar be taken down.
Mixed opinion on that in the room.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby NewForestRover » Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:40 am

So basically the away fans don’t matter then.

Appalling attitude when our travelling fans are always treated with respect.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby Tommo » Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:28 pm

NewForestRover wrote:So basically the away fans don’t matter then.

Appalling attitude when our travelling fans are always treated with respect.


Away fans are treated with respect at FGR too but the physics of the ground are not easily changed. Money spent on transforming the West Stand would have to be diverted from other things including, presumably, players. There is a plan - its to build a new stadium. There may be a way to improve things further - remember the Club have already provided covered seating in the last year or so - but it has to work with previous planning consents, preservation of sightlines, what is physically possible and money.

There seems to be a lot less moaning about our away accommodation on the EFL2 forums than there used to be. Maybe away support is getting used to what we can offer and voting with its feet and, now they know there is limited cover, are not showing up when the weather is wet. That loss of revenue is a concern for the Club but the business case for change has to stack up within whatever the range of physical possibilities are.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby The Old TomCat » Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:54 pm

NewForestRover wrote:So basically the away fans don’t matter then.

Appalling attitude when our travelling fans are always treated with respect.

I was given a lot of information today that has altered my opinion for the better towards club.
I'll type it up sometime tomorrow.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby The Old TomCat » Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:56 am

I had a chat with two members of management after the Walsall match and was fully informed as to why unfortunately the conditions for away supporters will not change and is as good as it will get.
It is a combination of EFL rules, H&S and common law.
I offer my appreciation to Dane & Smudge for this information.

# The away fans were moved from North Stand & A Block because the EFL demanded that home and away supporters are kept apart for entire 90 minutes of game. That would be next to impossible to achieve with that arrangement.
The Conference were more relaxed about it and accepted the two sets of fans would sometimes need to share the same comfort facilities.

# Also TNL can accommodate more away supporters in Wet Stand/terrace than in North Stand.

# The club desperately wanted to erect a roof over the West terrace but were stymied on every point.
• The problem starts because the footpath is at back of terrace rather than in front, as is usual at other clubs. This means that a full length roof would remove the sight line of corner flag from those sitting in stand. The EFL insist that all four corner flags must be seen.
• A partial roof would fall foul of H&S. Mindful of the fatal crush at Hillsborough in 1989, it is the responsibility of clubs to ensure the safety of all supporters. If there was a full away house under a partial roof and it started to rain there could be crushing, panic and injuries if everybody tried to move to back of terrace.

As an aside I spoke to Shep and asked him if it was a hindrance to have away supporters so close to the pitch and he said not. He said he actually enjoyed it because it offered him to opportunity to celebrate in front of them when team score.

With all I’ve learnt I’m saddened that it’s impossible to improve conditions for away supporters but fully accept there is no alternative.
Roll on new stadium when all supporters are treated equally well.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby John Whiffen » Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:45 pm

ToT Were the bar/food facilities discussed as well, as you know we can get an alcoholic drink at EVERY other club we visit.

We mix with the home supporters at all the other small clubs like ourselves such as Macclesfield, Morecambe and Crawley etc, and have many interesting chats/discussions.

I’ve never experienced any problem anywhere
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby Bronco » Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:41 pm

The Old TomCat wrote:# The away fans were moved from North Stand & A Block because the EFL demanded that home and away supporters are kept apart for entire 90 minutes of game. That would be next to impossible to achieve with that arrangement.
The Conference were more relaxed about it and accepted the two sets of fans would sometimes need to share the same comfort facilities.


As if they were forced into doing it, at the time they trumpeted the fact it would be better for home support and atmosphere at the expense of away fans.

Away fans in the North stand could easily be done, I think they're just being stubborn because they expected South and North stands to both be full of home fans each game and what we've got is a half full South stand most weeks and a North stand with about 50 people in it. It's tragic
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby The Old TomCat » Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:55 pm

John Whiffen wrote:ToT Were the bar/food facilities discussed as well, as you know we can get an alcoholic drink at EVERY other club we visit.

We mix with the home supporters at all the other small clubs like ourselves such as Macclesfield, Morecambe and Crawley etc, and have many interesting chats/discussions.

I’ve never experienced any problem anywhere

Sorry John but no, you should have sent the CEO or SC an email on subject before meeting.

But I will say that after Walsall game I had a moan to Paula & Dane about the slow service in the Gym Bar.
The bar staff work hard but it is the system that is at fault.
There is only one till and it creates a bottleneck.
I waited 20 minutes in queue to buy a glass of wine. Not happy about that and neither were those around me.
FGR should take professional advice from an experienced pub landlord on methods to quicken service.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby Kentstripe » Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:36 pm

Bronco wrote:
The Old TomCat wrote:# The away fans were moved from North Stand & A Block because the EFL demanded that home and away supporters are kept apart for entire 90 minutes of game. That would be next to impossible to achieve with that arrangement.
The Conference were more relaxed about it and accepted the two sets of fans would sometimes need to share the same comfort facilities.


As if they were forced into doing it, at the time they trumpeted the fact it would be better for home support and atmosphere at the expense of away fans.

Away fans in the North stand could easily be done, I think they're just being stubborn because they expected South and North stands to both be full of home fans each game and what we've got is a half full South stand most weeks and a North stand with about 50 people in it. It's tragic


Don't Fulham have a mixed/neutral stand? This article from last season certainly suggests that opposition fans can mix at Craven Cottage. https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.clar ... -zone/amp/

The EFL don't seem to have a problem with that.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby The Running Rover » Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:48 pm

The Old TomCat wrote:But I will say that after Walsall game I had a moan to Paula & Dane about the slow service in the Gym Bar.
The bar staff work hard but it is the system that is at fault.
There is only one till and it creates a bottleneck.
I waited 20 minutes in queue to buy a glass of wine. Not happy about that and neither were those around me.
FGR should take professional advice from an experienced pub landlord on methods to quicken service.


This has always been a problem at FGR and for some reason they never seem to address the issue. There never seems to be enough bar staff, tills etc.

Little things like having someone pouring a load of pints in advance so you don't have to stand there while they pour it for you - you only need someone to be ordering a few drinks or more and before you know it, there's a big queue forming.

I also think someone ought to have a rethink about the big round tables in The Green Man. They take up so much space, so if you're not lucky enough to be sat in one of the limited number of chairs, wherever you stand, you always seem to be in someone's way.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby NewForestRover » Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:59 pm

Kentstripe wrote:
Don't Fulham have a mixed/neutral stand? This article from last season certainly suggests that opposition fans can mix at Craven Cottage. https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.clar ... -zone/amp/


Yes they do. I’ve been there.
It’s right next to the away fans. When I was there it was full of away fans that were unable to get tickets in away section, neutrals and groups of friends where some supported Fulham and others supported the visitors.

Outside on the concourse before the match everyone was chatting and drinking together.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby The Old TomCat » Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:39 pm

Kentstripe wrote:
Don't Fulham have a mixed/neutral stand? This article from last season certainly suggests that opposition fans can mix at Craven Cottage. https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.clar ... -zone/amp/

The EFL don't seem to have a problem with that.

It seems as if FGR are on a different page to the EFL.
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Re: Supporters meetings with FGR

Postby Eco-Exile » Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:27 pm

NewForestRover wrote:
Kentstripe wrote:
Don't Fulham have a mixed/neutral stand? This article from last season certainly suggests that opposition fans can mix at Craven Cottage. https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.clar ... -zone/amp/


Yes they do. I’ve been there.
It’s right next to the away fans. When I was there it was full of away fans that were unable to get tickets in away section, neutrals and groups of friends where some supported Fulham and others supported the visitors.

Outside on the concourse before the match everyone was chatting and drinking together.


This is how football should be. It is nice to hear that experience. I wasn’t aware of it and have never been to the Fulham stadium. Maybe something to consider at TNL or M5J13.
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