Image above: Brentford FC Community Stadium
If London is in Tier 2, fans will be able to go to football games. “That’s great” says Brentford FC’s Fan and Community Relations Director Sally Stephens, but it gives the club “a huge headache” over which of their 9,500 season ticket holders and which of their corporate clients to give the 2,000 available seats to.
“It’s more than we were planning for!” Sally told The Chiswick Calendar. Since the beginning of the pandemic the Club has been making and remaking plans for welcoming fans to the new stadium in Lionel Rd, which opened at the beginning of October.
With tickets pre-sold months in advance, they have given season ticket holders the option to freeze their tickets until the ground can be open, and 9,500 of them have chosen to do so. How do you pick an allocation of 2,000 out of 9,500 and all the premium seat holders who have paid a lot of money for corporate entertainment packages? What percentage should go to premium seat holders and what percentage to loyal fans? (Occasional, turn up on the day fans won’t get a look in).
“We were planning on a thousand. A thousand you could probably phone. But 2,000 we will probably have to go to some automated system. And how on earth will we decide to gets tickets?” said Sally.
The Club’s management team meets on Tuesday morning (24 November) to decide how to proceed, but they won’t know until two days later whether London is in Tier 2 and they are able to open their doors to the public.
“Whichever way we decide to do it,” says Sally, “we’re going to upset a lot of people”.
The stadium seats 17,000 but they will only open two stands. “It will cost us more money than we will take”. But it would be lovely, says Sally, to have a live audience for the next home match against Blackburn on Saturday 5 December. “It’s very exciting”.
Image above: Strand on the Green School
Club loses parking at Strand on the Green School
The Club had hoped to secure parking for fans at Strand on the Green School, but the arrangement fell through once the Strand on the Green Residents Association got wind of it.
‘After having a Restrictive Covenant on the Strand School Land Title drawn to their attention and following receipt of objections from immediate neighbours and residents, LbH Planning Enforcement has written to Strand School to advise them that Planning Permission would be required in order for school land to be used for match day and event car parking’.
The Club decided to withdraw. In a letter to the Strand on the Green Residents Association, it said:
‘After careful consideration of all the factors including the strength of feelings together with the issues raised around the planning requirements, we have decided that we will not continue with plans to use this site for matchday parking at this time.
‘We still believe that it would have been possible to operate this site without undue impact on local residents and we appreciate that this decision will result in the loss of extra revenue for the school, but for the sake of good neighbourly relations Brentford FC, London Irish and EST are all of the same mind on this matter’.
Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar
See also: Brentford FC move into new home
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