October 12, 2016
The Executive Committee of Bristol Rovers Supporters Club would like to thank the Football Club’s President Wael-Al-Qadi, Chairman Steve Hamer, and Manager Darrell Clarke for taking the time to come and hold a Fans Forum with Supporters Club members.
The Forum which was opened by our Chairman Jim Chappell was attended by around 100 Supporters Club members.
The first question, from Dave Tomlinson, was about the Gas Girls and Steve Hamer answered saying that their re-introduction was being seriously considered and discussions have been entered into. It is a question of what level they would come in at.
Brian Williams asked about the new stadium and Wael Al-Qadi replied that the club’s accountants Ernst & Young were currently doing a feasibility study and are likely to report in two weeks time. He went on to add that nothing was at jeopardy with UWE and the two parties are in constant discussions.
Bernie Green then asked if further improvements will be made to the Memorial Stadium with Wael-Al-Qadi replying that fans match day experience is important and they will do what they can.
A statue of Geoff Bradford at the UWE Stadium was the next question, asked by Mike Jay. Steve Hamer answered saying that this statue is a must and we will do it if and when we can. He went onto add that he actually played with Geoff once.
Wendy Watson asked about Checkatrade Trophy boycotts and Darrell Clarke said that the players do understand why fans are boycotting.
The next question came from Dave Perry and was about the signing of Charlie Colkett and Jake Clarke-Salter on loan from Chelsea. Darrell Clarke said that this had come about through Wael Al-Qadi’s relationship with Chelsea and the two players came to have a look at us when we played at Chelsea before they made their mind up. Darrell went onto add the loan signings do affect youngsters but all loan signings are a higher standard of player. In reply to a question from Mike Jay about what are the club doing to prevent the likes of Matt Macey and Alefe Santos from leaving in the future Darrell went on to add that it is only natural that youngsters want to go to big clubs, and that improving our facilities and infra-structure will help.
Darrell explained that he is always planning for the next transfer window and is building for The Championship. His hope is that our existing squad of players show him that he doesn’t need to. He added that all loans are different and there is no set formula on what percentage of a player’s salary each club is responsible for.
The next question came from Chris Walker on the new training ground in Hortham Lane in Almondsbury. Steve Hamer answered by saying that they are currently waiting for the removal of two conditions from a prior application to be removed, and that we are in the middle of a 60 day consultation period where local residents affected by the plans can object. Ground clearance has started and we are working around existing sides that play there. They are hoping to have something there by pre-season. Wael Al-Qadi added that the training ground is the heart of soul of any club and having everyone there is absolutely critical. Darrell Clarke underlined this last point adding that he wants everyone under the same umbrella.
Dave Perry went on to ask about Dwayne Sports with Wael Al-Qadi replying that Dwayne Sports is “us”, and that Dwayne Sports repaid the MSP Capital loan with the charge on the Stadium being released.
Steve Hamer denied the Crest Nicholson rumour and was asked about the Share Scheme. He said that meetings have been held with the Supporters Club and is hopeful it will be addressed fully in the next couple of years. He went onto add that he is happy for the roles performed by Ken Masters and Brian Seymour-Smith to continue into the future.
Jim Chappell brought the meeting to a close at 8.30pm.
A further Fans Forum will be held after our AGM on November 17th and as soon as we know the line-up we will communicate this to our members.
We would like to thank our members for attending and for their questions.