Wednesday 27 July 2011

Albion Fans Forum - Amex Stadium, Tuesday 26th July

Ken Brown, Gus Poyet, Jonny Cantor, Tony Bloom & Martin Perry
Albion held their annual Fans Forum tonight in the plush new surroundings of the BUPA lounge at the Amex Stadium. Broadcast live on BBC Radio Sussex the event was well attended with over 400 invited fans along with players, directors & staff from the club. On the panel were chairman Tony Bloom, manager Gus Poyet and directors Martin Perry & Ken Brown.

Amongst topics discussed were new players, the forthcoming friendly with Spurs, the manager's expectations for the new season at Championship level, the issue of reduced numbers on the subs bench and the consequences that follow as a direct result of that rule change (Gus was particularly vocal about this subject and not at all happy with having his substitutes being reduced from seven to five players), away ticket allocation and parking places for disabled fans.

This last issue surprisingly raised some fairly heated discussion at times. It appears that some disabled fans are unhappy at the amount of allocated parking spaces for them and implied that they were being treated somewhat unfairly. Martin Perry responded to the questions regarding the points raised explaining that the club have acted in a fair and proper way, and that they had 78 allocated disabled parking spaces and that was considered to be sufficient. Unfortunately the issue seemed to get a little laboured and threatened to dominate proceedings until host Jonny Cantor moved things along.

The club's loyalty points scheme also came in for close scrutiny from fans who attend away games but do not hold hold season tickets. Ken Brown explained that season ticket holders got priority as they were the lifeblood of the club and needed to be rewarded for their loyalty to the club since the move away from the Goldstone.

Gus Poyet was as humorous as ever with some very witty comments. He also urged fans to be very vocal in their support of the team at the new Amex stadium for the full ninety minutes of every match. He said if the team played rubbish then by all means let the team know how you feel, but not until after the final whistle.

As always it was a fairly lively affair but everyone seemed to enjoy the occasion and certainly preferred the new venue compared to the portacabin previously used at the Withdean. There was lots of discussion between fans in the bar after the radio broadcast went off air, followed by what appeared to be a very appreciative nod of approval to the tasty pies and Harvey's ale on offer. An enjoyable evening with an opportunity to meet and chat with fellow Seagull fans in the glorious surroundings of the wonderful new American Express Community Stadium.

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