Tag Archives: Barwood

Farewell, Griffin Park – and Uwe?

6 Dec

What a night.  Who’d have thought Council business could be so exciting, so tense, so uplifting?

When the votes were counted and the announcement was made that “The report is approved” , you could feel the joy and the relief. Finally, after 11 years of planning and talks, Brentford have been given permission to proceed with the new stadium at Lionel Road. Despite an excellent presentation by Brian Burgess and the rest of the team, there was always that nagging thought that the decision could be swayed by four councillors who seemed, at times, more worried about the value of their houses than the alleged disruption to the views from Kew Gardens  – despite the objectors being unable, at any point, to match the excellent job Brentford had done in showing exactly how they envisaged the design would look from the critical view points of the Gardens.

Whilst it is not fair to single out anyone from the Brentford team, you have to admire the diplomacy, the patience and the fortitude of Brian in particular. Not one question threw him whilst pictures and graphics came flying on to the big screen, almost on demand, to help defend the tough questions. And there were many. The England cricket team could do with him right now; such was the straight bat with which he was able to defend some bouncers out of leftfield.

Opposition questions were at some times, seemingly ignorant and at others ludicrous. Councillor Barwood scooped the honours with the suggestion that the club don’t even need to be in the borough as most of our supporters, including nine from Norway, lived outside of the area by her reckoning. Equally, there were some cowardly references to Bradford City and Hillsborough. None of this distracted the Brentford team.

Councillors Todd, Fisher, Davies and the aforementioned Barwood seemed the ones most likely to railroad the plans. Largely, it seemed, through reckless scaremongering and rambling statements that ‘the chair’ had, specifically, told them to avoid. Fairplay to him, therefore, for clamping down on this sort of behaviour.

And fairplay to the Brentford supporters, too. A credit to the club, League One and themselves. There were some ripples of muttered discontent at some of the more provocative accusations and couple of laughs at the really outlandish ones (Exclusive: Chelsea are leaving Stamford Bridge and the Borough). Other than that, the rabble that I am sure our opponents had hoped for, failed to materialise. Instead, it was an auditorium that was FULL of smartly dressed and well-behaved fans – of all ages.

It was the only time I’ve ever heard Chris and Simon (who probably account for half the noise on the Ealing Road between the two of them alone) keep quiet for so long. Woe-betide their work colleagues today as they make up for lost time! Even the rumours of Uwe being given permission to talk to Wigan Athletic which were sweeping the Civic Centre (and that Mark Devlin has now confirmed), failed to put anybody off their stride

This was a historic night – of that there can be no doubt. As club chairman Cliff Crown said in his presentation, “This is the opportunity of a lifetime for the club and the community and we need to grab hold of it”.

Make no mistake – the opportunity has been taken with both hands.