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The latest communication between club and supporters provides such much needed answers…! By: Max Bygraves 14/10/2022




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There was no Downhill Second Half representation at the Wrexham game but we find ourselves here looking at the latest talking point, away from the goal frenzy in Wales last Saturday.

Like many, when I first saw the email pop up from the BFCSA earlier this week, with the greatest respect, I didn’t expect to read much of note. Arguably, that was true, but it’s the lack of note on the club’s side that has caused the stir and reaction from many.

For those unaware, the minutes of the supporters association’s recent meeting with the club were shared with all members. In short; they met with the club, shared lots of concerns and got next to nothing back.

The meeting was with the latest Head of Media & Communications, Dom Rosso. He’s new to the role and it’s fair to say, has a pretty unenviable task on his hands. The media guy has changed as often as the manager for some time now. However, given the big announcement and promotion of his pedigree on arrival, on the face of it, this looks to be an appointment with more long-term thinking.

It’s interesting to see on Dom’s Twitter page*, as an ardent Chelsea fan, he is a passionate advocate of fans being treated well, regularly using the #SupportersNotCustomers hashtag. I wonder how much he’ll take that view into his work and feedback he provides to the chairman. It’s a real chance to apply a passion to his work, you could say.

*We’ve not undertaken any sort of great social media hunt by the way, literally the first thing that comes up when you Google his name.

There were a number of eyebrow raising points from the meeting, but to summarise the matters raised and subsequent outcomes:

  • No new stand update
  • No terracing when it is built (with an incorrect reason why this won’t be possible)
  • No replacement floodlights (for at least a year)
  • No promotion of the club
  • No personalisation of the bar
  • No scoreboards (please just take them down)
  • No promotions planned for the World Cup
  • No matchday commentary (we must be the only professional club without this)
  • No calendared events to entice fans on matchdays - or at other times
  • No merchandise (in person or online)
  • No staff
  • No pre-poured pints
  • No Neck Oil.

Beespod have already conducted an analysis of this that’s well worth a listen; the line about fans being seen as “annoying customers,” is particularly pertinent.

As they also pointed out, if you can’t pay for a new scoreboard at your state of the art venue, what on earth are you doing there? If we can’t afford to maintain the place, why did we ever go there? Funding the site being an issue being cited as a reason is a new one. You do wonder what excuses there are still left for the continued contempt and lack of respect towards the fans, but he keeps finding them.

Perhaps the stand out line of the whole thing, though…

DAR confirmed that supporters should be aware that the Chairman personally makes up a deficit of over £110k to Barnet Football Club every month.

I don’t think anyone is in any doubt that running Barnet Football Club is a loss making venture. However, the other elements of The Hive or his business empire are not. This is a man worth hundreds of millions of pounds, with probably a fair bit of the £14.5 million from Underhill still lying around, too.

It’s very hard to believe that this monthly six figure sum is coming from his piggy bank and the goodness of his heart. It’s hard to imagine any of that isn’t from within The Hive in one place or another.

Yet another misguided, thoughtless comment that is only going to aggravate people. More ‘goodwill’ from the chairman, just like the recent Southend refund press release. Do you reckon he’s just come to the love a wind up?

I write this from a very different perspective to articles examining the off the pitch issues at the club last season. It’s easy to criticise from afar and scoff at the mess. But I have attended all but one home league game so far this time around. I think the set up and blatant disregard for the customer’s – sorry, supporters’ – experience at The Hive is abysmal, but I’ve sadly resigned myself to this being part of the deal of attending matches again.

Drive to the ground, park (for free locally, of course) just before kick-off, watch the match, don’t bother with any food or drink whilst there, and then head straight back after. This does suit my personal situation at the moment, but it would be nice to feel like I was missing out on something with this approach.

It’s very much a case of being able to support Barnet F but not the C part. The C really is a load of old S. You just hope this doesn’t result in yet more giving up on the F due to the C(hairman) in charge. Breaking the two up is all that’s got me back and I imagine how many others have persevered with it, too.

Credit to the BFCSA for pushing the club and even more so for sharing the minutes publicly. It creates a little accountability, not that it’s likely to bother the main person in question. Unfortunately, at this stage it’s hard to imagine anything is going to really change while this man is at the helm. He won’t always be though and I guess that’s enough reason to try and stick with it, right? What a jolly outlook that is.

How many will be there for the Weston Super Mare game this weekend? No season ticket sales to fall back on in the published figures. Note to my editor: have those ‘lowest Saturday attendance’ stats at the ready…




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31/12/2023 Nine Point Christmas
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