1 – There seems to be a lot of confusion amongst fans as to what the hierarchy of staff looks like off the field, especially around the first team. Are you able to clarify who is responsible for different roles? For example, who takes ownership of player recruitment? Who does the Head Coach report to?
We have quite an extensive structure in place with Football Operations headed by James Thorne and Technical Football matters headed by Mark McGhee. The Head Coach, who Mark is in the process of appointing since Rossi Eames stepped down, would report to Mark. Our Head of Recruitment, Matt Green, would report to James Thorne on the Academy side but equally work under Mark for first team matters. I will ask James to provide a full hierarchy chart in a future programme so that supporters can better understand the extensive group of people working behind the scenes here at the Club.
2 – How are the planned developments at the Hive progressing? Which part of this is likely to commence first?
We had a big hold up with our new Scanning Centre due to the takeover of Toshiba Medical Systems by Canon which two a couple of years to complete. The final name change to Canon Medical Systems was approved just last week and we are targeting a launch for April. I recently spent some time with the doctors at Barcelona and saw the progress they were making in Sports medicine which is way ahead of us in the UK. The Imaging Centre we are opening at Barnet FC will be one of the most advanced scanning centres in Europe and will be part of our collaboration with our main sponsor to open the first national Imaging Academy here at The Hive.
We plan to provide better Press and Directors accommodation by building a smaller second tier on the East side but the engineers are still currently finalising the design for this.
Lastly, we also have planning applications for a new South Stand, Academy Building and Indoor sports hall which are currently going through the Harrow Council planning process and these will be the focus of the next works planned on site.
3 – As you drive into the stadium the electronic sign outside does not even advertise that day’s fixture – so the chance of getting any passing trade (even during the days leading up to the fixture) is zero, why?
It certainly should do and am sure I have seen this in the past but I will get this checked by our media department.
4 – Regularly having no hot water for drinks and very poor quality food in the West Stand snack bar is poor – surely this should be a good money maker for the club. Just take a look at how the snack bar is run in the away end at Wycombe – it provides excellent food and drink despite being a small outlet tucked away in the corner of the ground. It is also staffed by enthusiastic locals, not kids who give the impression they would rather be somewhere else.
We have struggled to employ match day staff in the last eighteen months so have recently contracted the concessions over to an agency called JMac Solutions. We have had a number of discussions lately about improving the product and service and they are a good committed bunch so please email email@example.com with your experiences and we will forward your comments on to them.
5 – Why is there no matchday entertainment before the game or during half-time to keep fans and, in particular our younger supporters, occupied.
This is a tricky one. Our pitch is natural grass so we try and limit activity and also a large number of our fans disappear to the bars and concessions at half time so the crowd can be quite sparse. If enough people write in saying they want this then we will do it.
6 – Can the chairman explain why the team now warm up in front of the away fans and also kick towards them in the second half – surely it’s best to kick towards your own fans at the end of a game!
I have no idea but I guess the new head coach can decide this when appointed.
7 – Mark McGhee has suggested all aspects of the footballing side including player recruitment and physiotherapy need to be looked at. How is this progressing?
We constantly review and in the light of our results this season activity has understandably intensified!
8 – Following the recent statement released from the club regarding verbal abuse if players can I ask the chairman’s thoughts on Mark McGee verbally abusing a fan at the recent home game against Morecambe?
I don’t know of this instance but please forward any details to firstname.lastname@example.org. The main issue here is one of common decency and having read the statement you refer to on the website, I think we may have been able to word this a little better. However the fundamental point remains the same and we need to deal with individuals who feel that it is their right to swear and aggressively abuse others. It is not their right and we will not tolerate it, our stewards have been instructed to take appropriate action. We do not want the actions of a tiny minority giving our Club a bad name.
Stay tuned for more answers! To submit a question, please email email@example.com with the subject line “Chairman’s Q&A”.