Big new ambitions? Or downsizing? What do you make of stadium news?

17 Aug

Thursday morning. We’ve all had time to digest the news out of Griffin Park. Namely that in a week’s time Brentford FC will be presenting plans to Hounslow council for an amendment to our design for Lionel Road  – the key points of which include : a location move (3 metres south),Premier League quality ‘outside broadcast facilities within the stadium itself, the relocation of BFC Community Sports Trust outside the ground and the capacity reduction from 20,000 to 17,250. The target date for all of this is now late 2019 / early 2020.

The statements on the club site and in the programme from Cliff Crown & Mark Devlin have gone on to further elaborate on the reasoning about this in what, I have to be honest (and I’d say this to their face) reads an awful lot like a game of buzzword bingo in places. Especially with regards to the housing element of the project which is so key to making it a success.

And if you’d like to read more whilst helping the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust …. the rest of this article can now be found in the Kindle e-book Ten Times Better. Brentford FC Season review: 2017/18. Inspired by ‘that’ interview it contains the least bad of these columns in one, handy volume as it looks at our own campaign as well as wider divisional life and the promotion / relegation races.

As a bonus there’s a whole host of new material. New that is, for my pages. Specifically, all the programme articles submitted (both home and away where, if nothing else, you can get the original versions of both Birmingham City and Millwall).

In addition, There Is No Plan B. Brentford FC Season reviews: 2013/14 – 2017/18 takes us all the way back to the start of this latest leg in the journey. That penalty. League One. Harlee Dean was a hero. Jota was something we thought happened to the temperature for one week in July. Alan Judge had joined on loan whilst the Marinus Experiment was something nobody had contemplated. Bringing things bang up to date by the inclusion of this year’s volume alongside the four previously published campaign round ups, it has five seasons in one weighty tome. As weighty as a download can be, that is.

Relive the memories. See how often the same material gets regurgitated. Remind yourself about the likes of Betinho, Martin Fillo, Javi Venta and Marcos Tebar. Certainly, if there’s no Marcos Tea Bar at Lionel Road it will be an opportunity missed.

All proceeds from any sales will go to the Community Sports Trust. For less than the cost of a half / pint respectively, they may help while away some time on the commute. By the pool on holiday. In the bathroom. Who knows? It will certainly do some good for the Trust, whose work has been well documented at Griffin Park but you can read all about it on their site.

And if that wasn’t enough, I’ve been given something very special. A 2017/18 third team shirt with Lewis Macleod’s squad number on the reverse in the EFL typeface. Anyone with half an interest in Bees kits will know that these were never made available in the club shop.  Anyone who has read any of this before will know what a kit nerd yours truly is so when I say this is rare, take that in good faith!

To be in with a chance of owning it, download a copy of either before the end of June 2018 and you’ll go into a draw to win this. Just DM/tweet me (@NickBruzon) a copy of your purchase confirmation mail and I’ll add your name to the list before selecting a random Bees fan to win this on July 1st.

Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 16.13.22


Lionel Road monorail

Lionel Road. A new look – sans monorail – is coming


Griffin park GP

Griffin Park. Wonderful but not a long term future


Nick Bruzon


6 Responses to “Big new ambitions? Or downsizing? What do you make of stadium news?”

  1. peter lumley August 17, 2017 at 9:36 am #

    As ever ,Nick, an excellent analysis. For the past 50 years or more,I have occupied a seat in the Press Box or a season ticket seat immediately in front of the Press Box. As a pensioner approaching 85 there is no way I will be able to afford a seat anywhere comparable in the new stadium. And if Tuesday evening is anything to go by, finding a car parking space anywhere near the ground will be virtually impossible, especially for the evening games !!

  2. Rob August 17, 2017 at 10:17 am #

    I think your comments are fair. Basic ‘why are we doing this now?’ answers should have been prepared then we the fans won’t feel so concerned about the thinking going into this. Do we now feel we can’t open the fan base up sufficiently to fill (with away supporters) a 20k stadium, now or if / when we are hosting Chelsea, Tottenham, Man U, Arsenal etc etc? Does this mean we will continue to struggle with FFP restrictions on what will now be a smaller ground? Isnt a bar a good revenue generator? (Or by not having one does that lend itself more to justifying safe standing areas?). Who knows! We certainly don’t! I’m confident there’s a legitimate reason that’s not to the detriment of our long term future and our owners long term commitment, but again, as you say not quite an own goal in terms of PR but more a dodgy back pass to Bentley who slices the ball to the opposition!

  3. oldbeesfan August 17, 2017 at 1:54 pm #

    We seen it all before chaps ( ask Mark Warburton ) With Benham and Crown it is always going to be their way or the highway .
    Thank you Mr Benham for what you have done for the club and you are certainly no Jack Dunnett who once infamously said he thought that he was trying to do something which would give the club a future .
    When the dust has settled come 3.00 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon cheering on the Bees is all that will mater for the next 90 minutes .

  4. RebelBee August 18, 2017 at 6:46 am #

    Well written balanced piece! Personally uncomfortable with the selective release of info & leaks prior to that ( we knew this was coming in May). No slight on MB & his amazing contribution to BFC, this doesn’t mean I have to feel great about these changes or the way it is being handled, in fairness neither are those that were given the advanced heads up. LR isn’t just concrete & polypipe, it’s the heart of the club & community – for generations to come, for the kids & their kids. To see many of LR’s uniqueness air brushed away, presumably by the Ryan Air guy, leaves me feeling disappointed. It’s not specifically the capacity it’s more about how the numbers now don’t add up & the anticipation of what we thought we were getting compared to what we now may end up with. I wonder if all those who put heart & soul into making this happen are ok with where we are headed now. Sure it’s not my money, but the club is a big part of me & relative to my income I make a huge investment in it, I feel my voice & the thousands like me is worth something.

    • nickbruzon August 18, 2017 at 7:04 am #

      Nicely put Rebel. We’re never going to have a ‘perfect’ plan. The fact it has taken so long to get this far shows that.
      For me, and as I’ve noted, like it or not we can’t alter the physical build here. A decision has been made by the people bankrolling the project.

      But you are also right. Fans have invested a lot of emotional time into the club over the years. And money. Even from things as simple as buying a programme or a pint at HT. By bringing a friend.

      What the same people bankrolling this need to also do is make sure they don’t alienate those that are still coming.

      Through things as simple as talking to us. Telling us what they can directly rather than relying on leaks and supporter groups. We have a club website and a Stadium specific one too. Anticipate the Q&A. Put some facts up.

      But most of all, just don’t price is out and don’t lose our special sense of being Brentford.

      • asasdasdasd August 18, 2017 at 10:18 pm #

        None of the leaks came from “the club”….a few drink in The Griffin was all that was required

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