Tag Archives: Qatar

Spoiler alert: Brentford gear up for the Championship with new look

1 Jul

For those who still have the image of Sam Saunders wearing not much more than three marigolds seared onto their retinas, here’s a diversion. (Assuming they want a diversion). Teams visiting Brentford in the Championship next season will see something different.

Finally, after years of squatting rent free on the New Road roof, the Qatar Airways advert has been painted over. I’ve long advocated that, if they weren’t prepared to stump up the cash / cover this themselves, the word “Don’t” (or worse) should have been added to the front of this – at a jaunty angle.

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Before: View from the terrace. Squatter about to be evicted

 

Thankfully, now, there is no need. Chief Executive Mark Devlin released the following picture yesterday afternoon to show the much-maligned advert had been painted over. Even better news, though, was his subsequent confirmation that this was because of a new sponsor – to be announced once timings have been agreed.

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After: Who is the mystery new sponsor?

Could this be a nostalgic return for KLM? Perhaps another airline? Given the club’s proximity to the Heathrow airport flight path that would make perfect sense. Or have the club joined forces with Skyex for a giant shirt transfer to be stuck over the roof?

Either way, given the stadium’s visibility from the air I’d suggest that this announcement needs to be exquisitely timed.

Now, if he could just release a picture of the away kit, that would really crank up the excitement levels a notch.

‘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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An open letter to Matthew Benham…and Banksy

10 Dec

Could the ‘post-Uwe’ Brentford revolution be starting already?

Since the announcement was made about Herr Rösler joining Wigan, club owner Matthew Benham has been on prolific ‘social media’ form.

Firstly, with the return of a ‘cryptic clue’ that, as before, had me flummoxed. A ‘YouTube’ video link to ‘Coutances – Soundtrack (The Science of Sleep)’, performed by Dick Annegarn has left me no wiser as to what Matthew is trying to imply. Quite how this ties in to Mark Warburton (assuming it is him named as our manager this morning) I have no idea. However, this was merely the tip of the Benham inspired twitter frenzy.

Not surprisingly, given the current stories about Sam Sodje and DJ Campbell being involved in alleged betting offences, Matthew has had more than a few things to say on the subject. As the owner of smartodds.co.uk he, if anyone, should have an opinion on this subject and his comments make very interesting reading. There can’t be many Brentford supporters on twitter who don’t follow him but just incase, you can find these on @matthew_benham.

So far so good but what really piqued my curiosity were his comments in regards to the music at home games. The catalyst for this being the request from @tinpotgamer, asking, “Also, please don’t have two home ends. It’s on a par with goal music and giant flags.”

The response was almost immediate and as direct as you could hope “there will never, ever, ever be goal music”.

This was, pun alert, ‘music to my ears’. I love watching the Bees and there can be very little, Keith Stroud aside, to ruin my enjoyment. That said – win, lose or draw the one thing to consistently upset me is our tired selection of full time ‘exit music’. I’ve ranted about ‘Guaglione’ and ‘Celebrate’ before – tired dirges that are on a par with Robbie Williams and his ‘Let me entertain you’ for the songs most likely to be heard in a football stadium (see also: Queen: We are the champions – although never after a Brentford play off campaign).

So, with Matthew on a rich vein of public interaction, this was the time to put the point directly to the man at the top. “On that note, could we also retire the awful ‘Guaglione/Celebrate’ as our ‘sad/happy’ post game walk out music?”, I asked.

The resulting reply was a joy to behold. A positive. To quote: “yep, music needs a shake up for sure, before the game, when players walk out, ht, ft, only ‘hey jude’ sacrosanct

Could we have heard the last of (not so) Kool and the gang? Has Guaglione parped its last moribund farewell? One can only hope. Come Oldham on Saturday I’ll be paying extra attention to the Ealing Road P.A. – and not just, for once, because it is largely unintelligible.

The other discussion I had on Monday night was one regarding the roof on the Bill Axbey stand. Talking in the pub to fellow supporter Colin Campbell we came up with a couple of suggestions as to what could be done with the ‘Fly Qatar Airlines’ advert that still, presumably now rent free, occupies Europe’s largest advertising board. If they won’t stump up the cash to extend the lease (and, to be fair, why would they) then rather than repaint the entire roof, why not just add our own ‘DON’T’ (possibly at a jaunty angle) at the front end of their slogan? Given the amount of airline traffic that passes overhead, it might get somebody’s attention.

Alternatively, I lay down a challenge to the street artist, Banksy. Whilst, normally, there is nothing big or clever about graffiti, I’d happily see if he could sneak in under cover of darkness to decorate this space in his own unique style. It’s a win-win scenario. He gets the chance to decorate the largest ‘canvas’ possible; we inherit a piece of art, possibly worth more than Griffin Park itself.

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.

From Brentford to Al-Wakrah; Wolves to the Wankdorf

19 Nov

New stadia seem all the rage these days.

Hardly a season goes past without a team leaving its traditional home to move to a new ground. Indeed, as Brentford prepare for Saturday’s League One clash against Wolves, there is probably as much interest in matters ‘off field’ as those on the pitch. Hounslow Council Planning Committee is, of course, due to discuss our proposed new stadium on December 5th.

I may be biased but I think the Lionel Road plans are great. Primarily because they feature a design that actually seems to have, and say this in hushed tones…. some character. Contrast the exciting schematics to the usual five seconds thought that most modern architects put in, the net result of which is an identikit bowl (see: Derby, Leicester and Middlesborough for starters).

Moreso, it won’t – as things currently stand – have a sponsored name. These are very much in vogue and range from airlines to food-processors as is the case, respectively, with Arsenal’s Emirates or Wolves and their Moulinex ground.

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.

Dear Andy Ansah. If you aren’t at the World Cup……

3 Oct

There doesn’t seem to be a day goes by without talk of the Qatar World Cup being moved from its traditional summer home to a winter tournament. Only after awarding football’s greatest honour to the Gulf State, does the penny seem to have dropped with FIFA that to hold the competition in 50 degree heat may prove somewhat of a logistical problem. Switching it, though, presents as many new issues – the least of which being it will cut directly through numerous domestic campaigns. By the time you factor in a warm up period, the competition itself and then some post event R&R it means a break of about four months. Hardly conducive for a, traditional, league system.

But lets go with it for a moment. If this does happen then there’ll be a lot of players left kicking their heels. What do they do with themselves?

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.