Tag Archives: petition

A good news, bad news sort of day. Thieves, tickets and a lot of love.

25 May

So here we are. The build up to Saturday’s play off final between Brentford and Swansea City has well and truly begun. Our paltry ticket allocation (the same for both clubs) is now flying off the shelves to those fans with sufficient TAPS. The petition started by BIAS to have the attendance increased to 20,000 is gathering momentum (with Gemma Teale getting it as far as the BBC last night). As of this morning, the count was approaching 9000 signatures and there is still time to get this signed. Will publish a further link at the bottom. Closer to home, my faith in the goodwill of people has gone through both the roof and the floor. The love coming in for Woody and his family, following the words penned by his mum on Sunday morning, has seen emotions all over the place. On the flip side, thieves have targeted the Magpie and Crown pub on Brentford High Street at the weekend using the distraction of the post Bournemouth spirit to steal a squad signed  Bees shirt being raffled to raise money for a Hounslow food bank.

First up, tickets. We all know the scoop by now. Both Brentford and Swansea City will have less fans in on Saturday than they did for their respective semi finals. A stadium three or four times the size holding a fraction of supporters, despite the fact everybody was quite happy to double the capacity at the drop of a hat when there was the lure of a Champions League final at the same stadium on the same day dangled under the nose.Hmmm. 

BIAS have done sterling work in galvanising supporters with both Brentford and Swansea official also making their opinions very publicly known. We ALL want this to be the occasion it most definitely could and whilst the 8000 official fans (I’m not counting superfluous corporates etc) will do a wondrous job in building the atmosphere, imagine it with double that? There IS still hope. 

Today will be crucial to keep the momentum going. If you haven’t signed it as yet then please do. Please pass it on toy our football loving friends. Your families. Anybody you think would want this to happen / who has access to the internet. The link is at the bottom of this column.

On a personal note it was a real good news, bad news sort of Monday. As much through having been coming to Griffin Park (now LR) since 1979, I’m over the TAP threshold so got my ticket. I will be at Wembley with my friends but I won’t be with there with my family. Our Harry, who lives and breathes the club, misses out. Mrs B will be left behind, too. 

There are thousands of us in the same boat. Thousands of deserving fans with Season Tickets who, ordinarily, would be guaranteed a ticket to the game. Instead, we’ve all been torn apart. I haven’t missed a match with H in I don’t know how long. He’s gutted. I’m gutted. We’re gutted. He loves the club (especially Sergi) and his life revolves around it. From reading the teams pre kick off to being a mascot. From having the players in our house at Halloween to modelling the kit for the launch photos. Something which, even as recently as this weekend, I was given a wonderful reminder of when bumping into a fellow ‘model’ outside The Griff who also shared this photo. Thank you.

He’s still only 7(seven) yet thinks that’s ‘just’ how football works. That Brentford make this sort of stuff happen all the time if supporters want to get involved. The possibility of not going to a game when others can is one that hadn’t even crossed the mind. Until now.

The old ‘eagle distraction trick’ a tool up the sleeve of every decent photographer

Again, we all know this isn’t the club’s fault. We’ve been served up a dog’s dinner of a deal. We have SO MANY deserving fans who, like Harry, will miss out. I’m not after special treatment but simply giving my version of a personal story that I know is impacting so many of us. There will be many, many more similar. Many, many more who should be there and can’t . Who will be devastated about missing this. Who will be crammed in to pubs or front rooms trying to make the best of the situation. Many, many who like us will be sitting anxiously by the phone today. Please, get signing. Get your voice heard.

Look at Woody. The  positive reaction and love coming back on social media as a reply to the piece about him was nothing short of life affirming. Thank you. He won’t be there as it stands but If anybody needs to be it is him. If anybody gets the chance to lead out the team (should Corona somehow allow it) it is him. Here’s hoping he gets the first of the phone calls saying a ballot place has been awarded. Pretty sure everybody has read this one but, if not, then you can find that here…. Please do enjoy.

Harry – no eagle needed these days – and Woody at the weekend.

On the downside, local pub The Magpie and Crown have seen their own charity efforts hit by thieves late on Saturday night. A signed shirt being raffled to raise money for a Hounslow food bank was stolen. With everyone understandably distracted by the emotion of what had gone before, an opportunist(s) have pinched this off the wall behind the bar and it has gone walkies.

To date, the item has not been returned but if anyone has any information as to where it is, please get in touch with Scott Illman at the Magpie on the High Street. If you have it and have woken up with drunken regret, just pop it back through the letterbox or post it back – no questions asked. Hundreds of tickets had been sold to raise money for a cause that shouldn’t even require funds raised. Perhaps whomever took it was drunk and didn’t realise what it was for (he says being optimistic) but there can be no doubt now. Keep your eyes open on the auction sites, too. To date, this hasn’t been spotted online.

Finally, we have a referee for Saturday. Premier League Chris Kavanagh has been parachuted in to take charge of the final Championship game of the season. His record this season suggests yellow cards could be in the offing. Has a tense affair just go tenser? Roll on Saturday when we can find out. All being well, with 20,000 fans there.

That petiton link is HERE HERE HERE. Please sign it.

One more game…..

Nick Bruzon

Ticket details announced. #farce. But there IS another way you might get in….

24 May

Monday morning and still grinning like a lunatic. Voice still sounding like the squeaky teenager from The Simpsons. Brentford having delivered the ultimate high in turning a round a two goal deficit against Bournemouth to reach this Saturday’s play off final at Wembley. A day where what happened pre kick-off, post game and off-field was as incredible as what happened on the pitch. You can read about it here if you want. Likewise, huge thanks for all the kind comments. Especially regarding the second column about Woody making his way back to a game. Yet special though it all was, and it was amazing, it has been and gone. Now, Swansea City await in North London.

The Monday after the weekend before

Like us, the Swans are one win away from the Premier League. For Steve Cooper, this most coveted of prizes. Amongst other things, a chance to avenge last season’s semi-final defeat to the Bees. For us….. well, we all know the scoop. We all know the history. We all know what happened last time out in the final. Not to mention the eight attempts prior to that one. Tickets go on sale this lunchtime and if the enormity of the task at hand is now the immediate focus, the fact that we will have less than 4,000 supporters present in a 90,000 stadium has, understandably, got everyone’s back up. Also, I have no doubt, for Swansea who will also be operating under the same, crazed restrictions.

That this game, and the other divisional finals, will be played out in front of just 10,000 seems utter madness. The FA Cup final had 20,000 last week. Likewise, with the authorities prepared to sell us up the river and shift the final elsewhere at the 11th hour to accommodate a relocated  Champions’ League final with a similar sized crowd part of the deal. So don’t give us this “It’ not a test event” gumph. Then we’ve got the Euro’s next month where larger crowds will be in attendance. There is no logical reason to have a crowd reduction this coming weekend. No practical reason why extra supporters can’t be allowed in. Nobody is naive enough to think that a full house is anywhere near feasible given what’s going on at present but, equally, a paltry 10,000 makes no sense in the broader landscape. 

We all know the arguments. We all know the situation. We all know that the bun fight for entry will see thousands of regular season ticket holders disappointed. At any other time, they’d be guaranteed entry. Not now. Not even close to a chance. The club have taken the least bad option available to them an, in line with the Customer Charter, gone for a TAP based threshold once more. Its all they could do. The full details are on the website, along with a hard hitting statement lambasting the situation:

We at the Club feel it is unjust that only one week ago, more than 20,000 fans were admitted to The FA Cup Final and advanced discussions were taking place for Wembley to host the Champions League final with a similar number of fans attending. We find it incredulous and unjustifiable just two weeks later, the Championship Play-Off Final will be restricted to just half of that number.

We’re fighting for an extra 750 but, if you want to go, there MAY be another way. BIAS have leapt into action and set up an online change.org petition to have capacity increased. You can see that and sign it here. Supporters DO have a voice. Whether it will be listened to at such short notice is another question but if you don’t ask you don’t get. At the very least, it will help further highlight this ludicrous situation and the contempt football fans are, once again, being held in. Besides, with Boris prepared to jump on to any bandwagon to potentially enhance his image amidst the debacle of the covid crisis, perhaps its not a as futile a gesture as the cynical may suspect. So sign it. Please. HERE. Share it. Pass it to your mates. Send it to other fans. Should any Swansea supporters be reading, this impacts you as much as us.

Saturday will be incredible. Wembley will be rocking. 4,000 supporters took the roof off Lionel Road. Double that, with fans from both clubs, will be next level. But imagine with double even that? There’s no reason not to. One of football’s greatest, most anticipated, weekends deserves as many supporters there as possible. There’s NO genuine reason why this can’t be possible.

See you there. I hope…

Nick Bruzon   

Can Greg, the FA and football figures follow PSV?

19 Jun

Not much to say today. Indeed, I wasn’t even going to bother until this crossed my desk. We’ve probably all had our fill of the non-football stories from the Euros.  England fans are being provoked – England fans have a minority of morons amongst 30,00 well behaved fans; Wales fans were brilliant – Wales fans were anti-England; French ultras and Russian thugs have been ruining the party for everyone . Likewise, the media circus following the throng and looking to magnify any incident out of all proportion.

Talking yesterday to an England supporter who had just returned to Brentford, the verdict was one of : there had been incidents, but they were easy enough to avoid and just enjoy the party if you wanted to.

All well and good. Unless you were there without an agenda, few will be in a position to make a full judgement about the relative innocence/guilt of the respective sets of supporters.

And I don’t want to. I’ve had enough of it. Moreso, the refugee baiting that has gone on. This wasn’t provocation from gum shield sporting ultras, self-defence from flying tables or just old-fashioned drunken fisticuffs. It marks, in however limited a form, a somewhat sickening style of behaviour spreading around the European football scene.

Call it bullying, racism, intolerance or whatever. Taunting refugee children with coins or making seven year olds down beer or smoke cigarettes for money and ‘comic effect’ (amongst just some of the awful things we’ve seen) is just wrong. Very wrong. And indefensible. Regardless of your thoughts about the political situation is this anyway to behave or represent your club/country?

And what should the club / country do about it? If they even care?

Well, PSV Eindhoven had a similar challenge prior to their Champions League game against Atlético Madrid in March. Their fans were roundly vilified for throwing coins and mocking the homeless in an act subsequently termed – Poverty as a spectacle.

Fairplay to the club for, at least, issuing a statement vowing to track down those responsible. Unless I’ve missed it, the FA have done nothing since the recently published footage of England supporters engaging in similar acts.

Greg Dyke – if you are reading (unlikely), how about it? Will you say anything ? Even just signing the petition that has sprung up ?

Or will everybody just stick their head in the sand and pretend nothing has happened? Hey, perhaps we all just imagined it.

Anyway. That’s me done.

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Nick Bruzon

As next season already tantalises, there’s a new ‘worst kit ever’.

13 May

Whilst the likes of Brentford and Burton Albion supporters may well be looking forward to next season’s trip to Newcastle United, unsurprisingly news of the Magpies’ relegation to the Championship hasn’t gone down well in the North-East. We’ve got a new entrant to the worst kit of all time c/o CD Palencia from Spain (where else?) and then’s even news, of sorts, from Griffin Park.

First up, Newcastle United. I only mention them purely because of the most amusing tweet I’ve seen this week. One that surpasses even the quote attributed to former Sunderland player Jack Colback which has been doing the rounds of social media. The highlight of which was the line : “I have absolutely no intention of playing in the Championship and that’s why I’m joining Newcastle.”

It would be safe to say that @hasarnn10 isn’t overly enamoured about the fate awaiting his team next season. Certainly if the below is to be believed.

Newcastle fan

Well Graziano, I think you’ll find we do.

Whilst it would be easy to launch into paragraphs of diatribe on the nonsensical quote, life’s too short. Sadly for Newcastle fans their team gave up any right to play in the amazing stadiums of the Premier League next time out and so, instead, we’ll simply file this one away for when our paths cross next season.

As one final observation, no sooner has temporary manger Rafa Benitez up and left (on Steve McClaren’s brolly ???) than  editor-in-chief for Trinity Mirror North East, Darren Thwaites, has launched an impassioned plea on behalf of ‘The Geordie Nation’, begging him to return.

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 04.48.35

Whilst Darren’s Twitter feed has since backtracked on the whole ‘Geordie Nation’ thing, at the time of writing over 9,000 supporters have already signed the petition. Being quite selfish, I hope Darren fails in his mission.

Certainly, to the outsider looking in, Rafa almost hauled them out of the mire that Shteve had left the Magpies in.

With Brentford placing 5th and 9th in the Championship these last two seasons, there’ll be a lot of expectation for another strong finish.A Benitez led Newcastle United are surely going to be an additional hurdle in that aim.

Then again, it’s all the sweeter getting one over a ‘big’ team, given how tinpot we are and all that. On a totally unrelated note,  a big hello to any Leeds United fans reading. Hey, you never know.

rafa brolly (b&w)

Will Rafa return?

Ok, crazy kits. Spain has long been the market leader in the ridiculous shirt. Every year, it seems as though there is an unofficial competition thing place in the Spanish lower leagues to come up with the most outrageous shirt possible.

Over the last few seasons these pages have seen ‘the tuxedo’, ‘the octopus’, the beer shirt’  and, of course the king of them all – La Hoya’s ‘broccoli’ kit.

Stop. The king is dead. Long live the king. We have a new pretender to the throne. Third division team CD Palencia have started to flex their muscle, quite literally, with their latest effort.

Even worse, their Kappa branded kit commits that most heinous of sartorial crimes by continuing the design onto this shorts. I have no idea if Kitman Bob or chief executive Mark Devlin are reading but, if so, here’s hoping we aren’t going to emulate this…..

CD Palencia

CDPalencia model their si-new kit

And finally, Brentford. Is Sam Saunders releasing holiday snaps ? Is this another picture of last season’s pitch?  Or is it simply that after last campaign’s pitch gate affair (which, of course, you can catch up on in the Last Word season review) it seems we are taking no chances this time around.

Visitors to Griffin Park would have seen the pitch being taken up before we’d even thumped Huddersfield Town 5-1 in the final game of the season last Saturday. A photograph was published on ‘official’ Twitter yesterday to show similar work is already under way at our Jersey Road training ground.

This is only good news. I don’t recall patchwork starting quite so soon in the past. If nothing else, there’s usually time for those end of season ‘workplace’ run outs and the ‘Bees Legends’ game.

Instead, there’s no let up in the pace for Brentford. Off the field, the players may be on holiday. Back in TW8, it’s already full steam ahead for August.

This could be a long three months…..

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 04.53.13

Simon Moore just off camera

Nick Bruzon

One transfer has already happened – and it’s bad news for Brentford

6 Jan

With all the talk at the moment about the interest from Sheffield Wednesday and Burnley in Alan Judge and James Tarkowski (along with a soupçon of Jota to Eibar, on loan) , there’s a story that may have escaped the notice of Brentford fans. However, with hoards of away supporters due shortly – Walsall, Middlesbrough and Burnley all visit in close succession – one thing will be different as they make their way down the Great West Road.

I’m not one for stealing other people’s work, so all credit to Salina Patel of Get West London for running this story on Monday . However, I am one for sharing a great cause and so it was with dismay that I read of the removal of the iconic Lucozade sign over Christmas, to be replaced by a tacky looking digital version.

Whilst most of us were polishing off the last of the cold sprouts and giant Toblerone, the people at Lucozade HQ were rushing through this change and, with it, ripping down an iconic bit of local history.

But a petition has already been launched, by Gary Farnan, with the self-explanatory title: Bring back Brentfords Iconic Lucozade Sign. Remove the Hideous digital advertising board.

impgmDkUlHQuVRi-800x450-noPad

Before and after – as seen on Gary’s petition

Close to 1500 have already added their names to this, urging the soft drink giants to reverse their decision. And you can add your name to the list, by signing the petition here.

We may have no influence over Brentford’s transfer policy on the pitch, but this is one matter where you can make your voice heard. The sign is one that has been familiar to thousands of local residents for years and which says “You’re home”. Likewise, as recognisable an image for visiting fans as seeing the floodlights from the motorway,

Please. Bring this back.

If nothing else, Lucozade is off my shopping list as long as the new sign stays in place.

And finally, on the subject of the much maligned transfer rumours, I saw this social media post from fellow blogger Jordan Nugara. Some might argue that there is a good case for this anyway but if the club were in any doubt as to the depth of feeling for Jota, then here it is.

Rasmus, over to you….

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 07.37.04

How much does Rasmus value his hair 🙂

 

Nick Bruzon

Could Charlie’s charity shirt provide a distraction from the weather?

7 Feb

Brentford face Crawley tomorrow (in theory) although supporters have already been warned to check the official site in case the elements interfere.

I, for one, hope the game goes ahead. The phrase ‘points in the bag are better than games in hand’  is one I’ve held dear for years. That’s not to say we are guaranteed any points – quite the opposite, I’ve been guarding against complacency for months.

However, I have to assume that our rivals will win (Wolves travel to bottom club Stevenage whilst Leyton Orient take on an out-of-sorts Peterborough) and, as such, I’d much rather there was no added pressure from having to play ‘catch up’. Likewise, nobody needs fixture congestion with postponed games having to be crammed in toward the denouement of the season.

I am sure these are sentiments being shared by the club and one employee in particular. I’ll spare any blushes by keeping their identity secret  – suffice to say that I hope we don’t have a repeat of the Michael Fish, ‘hurricane’ incident.

BFC Weather Report 5 Feb

Could Michael Fish have a protégé at Griffin Park?

 

So, if the worst does happen and the game is canned then what will you do between now and our next football fix on Wednesday?

Well, the winter Olympics start today so you could sit in front of the TV to see how the ever tolerant Russians uphold the Olympic charter, which includes the line: “. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind “

Given the well-documented comments on homosexuality, Sochi seems like something out of the eighteenth century at times. Moreso, given as football clubs all over England are now supporting the FvH campaign and, indeed, Brentford are due to do so on Saturday.

Personally, I’ll be giving the Winter Olympics a skip.  This is nothing to do with Mr Putin’s attitude to human rights but simply because they are very much the poor relation compared to their summer cousin. The fact that they need inclement weather just to take place already puts them on the back foot.

So what else can we do? Well, how about signing the Lionel Road petition? I was unable to attend the fan’s forum last night but I gather we were told that the decision would not be made by this Tuesday (thanks to @Beesotted for their excellent twitter updates). You can do that, here.

Or, there is always eBay. Specifically, for football shirts. If anybody reads this before 1.55pm on Friday morning then there is still time to bid on a stunning Brentford shirt.

Sky Sports presenter Charlie Webster (@CharlieCW on twitter) has just run 250 miles, visiting 40 football clubs, over a mere 7 days (do the maths – ouch !!). The challenge was undertaken on behalf of the Womens Aid Federation of England and, at the time of writing, Charlie was almost half way towards her £100,000 target.

Aswell as a ‘just giving page’, where you can learn more and donate, there is also a very special charity auction taking place to help raise funds. You can bid on a 2013/14 Brentford home shirt signed earlier this season by the entire squad.

Aside from being an excellent cause, who knows what a treasured item this could become in the future should the season end as we all hope it will.

Until then though, let’s keep our fingers crossed that Saturday is ‘Game On’.

If you watch one video today, watch this. Why Matthew beats Assem.

6 Feb

Whilst this is primarily a Brentford FC blog, one of those subjects close to my heart this season has been the attempt by Hull City AFC owner Doctor Assem Allam to rename the club as Hull Tigers.

Whilst a backlash was predictable, the scale and heartfelt nature of this peaceful protest against the move has stunned even him. Inflammatory language has been forthcoming but the ‘No to Hull Tigers’ team has stood firm.

Indeed, this week they made their submission to the FA as to why the request to change the club’s name should be rejected, including the video below.

It reminded me, in part, of the excellent piece the Lionel Road team put together for their presentation to Hounslow Council. Moreso, though, it was yet another example of how lucky we are to have an owner like Matthew Benham. A man who talks and engages with fans whilst, at the same time, is building for the club’s future in the right way.

Like Doctor Allam at Hull, Matthew is looking to change things. But for the positive. So please, watch the video and follow @NotoHullTigers on twitter. The FA don’t yet have a date to announce what will happen to Hull City AFC but I hope they listen to the voice of the people.   Otherwise, I can’t imagine what carnage will follow.

And Brentford fans, don’t forget that our future is up in the air too. Just as I’m supporting the No To Hull Tigers team, I’d urge you to please sign the petition to Boris Johnson in regards to Lionel Road. This will only take you 15 seconds but the end result could last a lifetime .

Please. Get signing, here

‘No To Hull Tigers’ video for the FA

Brentford Bees 1 Hull Tigers 0. A result I never want to see.

14 Dec

““Hull City. My first Brentford game!! Thanks to Bob Booker for getting me hooked so young.”

Not my words but those of GPG user Robbee74, when I canvassed Brentford supporters for their memories of Bob back in 2010.

It may seem odd to start with another club ahead of Brentford’s game against Oldham Athletic but these are troubled times. For those unaware the owner of Hull City AFC, Doctor Assem Allam, is currently ploughinhg ahead with his decision to change the club name to Hull Tigers. Supporters are, unsurprisingly, up in arms over this and moreso given some of his inflammatory remarks about both them and the reason for his taking this course of action.

Dr. Allam has been quoted as telling The Independent that opponents to his scheme “Can die as soon as they want, as long as they leave the club for the majority who just want to watch good football.”

Charming. It’s up there with the moment that former Fulham chairman Mohamed Al-Fayed said, on deciding to erect a statue of Michael Jackson outside the club’s ground,  “If some stupid fans don’t understand and appreciate such a gift this guy gave to the world they can go to hell. I don’t want them to be fans.”

To read the rest of this article, season 2013/14 is now available to download onto Kindle, in full. Containing previously unseen content, you can do so here for less than the cost of one matchday programme.

 Thanks for reading over the course of the campaign. For now I need to make space on this page for any follow up.  The ‘close season’ / World Cup columns continue in full, further on in this site.