Matthew Benham goes shopping as Bees go abroad

3 Jul

It was all go at Griffin Park yesterday as Brentford news appeared quicker than a Keith Stroud yellow card. Matthew Benham led the charge, with the announcement that he has become the majority shareholder in Danish Superliga side FC Midtjylland.

The Danish outfit, who finished third in the top flight last season, bear a number of similarities with the Bees – notably a strong academy programme, an 11.800 capacity stadium in their MCH Arena and a record that sees them always finish as runners up in major finals.

Matthew is quoted as saying that the two teams will be run independently (no bad thing given their supporter’s club is ‘The Black Wolves’ – I’ve seen enough of the Wolves last season to need some downtime) and you can read the full BBC story, here. Where this will lead, who knows but if Matthew’s tenure brings half as much success and excitement as it has done at Brentford then the Danes are in for some good times.

Back in TW8, the ticket office were proud to reveal details of the 5,000th season ticket sale, with supporter of 30 years, Louis McCubbin, being the man at the right place in the queue. He received a commemorative shirt for his trouble along with a mixed bag of comments on social networks.

Personally, I think that to have sold out over half of Griffin Park (home section) before a ball has even been kicked in anger is a fantastic achievement. The club could have put a massive hike on season ticket prices but chose not to – much to my surprise and pleasure.

So what if one supporter gets recognised? For me it is all about the significance of the achievement rather than an individual. Personally, I bought my season ticket on day one and for no other reason than to make sure I had a place when the next chapter of the Brentford story begins.

Abdi, Louis, Mads and Mark (l-r) celebrate the big 5-0-0-0

Abdi, Louis, Mads and Mark (l-r) celebrate the big 5-0-0-0

And as for that team, they are now in Florida having reached Tampa last night for their training camp. Harlee Dean’s ‘one word weather report’ was ‘HOT’ whilst who could forget the electrical storm as England warmed up for the World Cup campaign in Miami last month? It certainly could be hard work in those conditions.

Welcome to Tampa

Welcome to Tampa

Previous trips to Germany and Norway have seen Peter Gilham’s tour diary. So far (6.30, Thursday morning) this is yet to appear on the clubsite but, given the time zone, understandable. However, I’m hoping we soon get the chance to start reading what are always an amusing and enjoyable series of articles.

Whilst I have no doubt that this tour will see the players acting as responsibly as on previous ones, it did get me thinking about what happens when Brentford trips go wrong. Specifically, the first team ‘holiday’ that took place after we’d defied expectations (to the point the players had already booked a summer escape) to reach the final of the 1985 Freight Rover Trophy against Wigan Athletic.
Interviewing Danis Salman a few years ago, he described this saying:

“We’d already paid for the holidays out of our pocket and but it was going to be not even a week after we came back before the final. I turned around and said to the boys – we’ve got to cancel the holiday. You know what’s going to happen; we’ll go out to a hot country, and come back just a few days before a final a Wembley. I was the only person that had that view and was getting slaughtered. I just thought – this is our one chance, and the supporters, to go to Wembley and a have a great time.

We’d already played against Wigan – home and away – and I think I’d scored against them twice that year. But no, no – they wanted to go on holiday and yeah, true to word we got on holiday and had Chris Kamara, Terry Hurlock, myself. We had a good team that year but went out every day for a week.

We got beat three-one.

I have no doubt that the hardest that the lads will push the social side on this trip will be Sam Saunders topping up the tan. As Danis went on to add, “Modern day football would probably be totally different”.

As soon as the club’s ‘Adrian Mole’ gets writing, we’ll find out……

‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’ (The story of Brentford’s season 2013/14, amongst other things) – is now available as a digital book. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from the last ten months, and some new content, you can download it here for your kindle / digital device.

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2 Responses to “Matthew Benham goes shopping as Bees go abroad”

  1. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) July 3, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

    I had not realised there was a who-ha about Mr McCubbin.Sadly their seems to be this idea amongst some supporters that there is some kind of pecking order based on records of loyalty, and how many games they have been to and how far they have gone. Does it really matter? Fortunately, it appears that the club dont hold these kind of predujices(?)

    • nickbruzon July 3, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

      There did seem to be a bit of upset but I’m with you on this one. Does it matter – no. Anyone that wants a season ticket has already got one or, as importantly, still has the chance to.The more successful the Bees are then the more people are going to want to watch us – home and away.
      I’d rather watch the Bees in front of a sell out crowd than a half-full Griffin Park, any day of the week.

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