Jonathan Douglas is set to have a minor operation at the end of June in a bid to clear up a niggling injury which saw him unable to train between games towards the back end of the season. The operation means Douglas will miss the start of pre-season training.
On a positive note, Uwe Rosler expects all players to be fit for pre-season including Barron (hip operation), Richard Lee (arm) and of recently returned Kev O’Connor and Farid Al Alagui.
McCormack joins the Bees
Swindon skipper Alan McCormack is supposedly set to join Brentford on a free transfer. The family man turned down the offer of a one year deal at Swindon to take a two year deal with the Bees quoting “security” as his main factor for leaving. Uwe Rosler, understandably peeved that the news broke before the deal was signed, has been quoted as saying that nothing concrete has been agreed.
Celtic game gets negative feedback from Bees fans
Brentford recently announced a pre-season friendly with Celtic and this has received a backlash from fans upset at not only the way the friendly has been organised but also the price of tickets.
With pre-season friendlies never attracting the biggest of crowds (even the pre-season game against rivals Fulham barely attracted 3,000 fans), Brentford decided to be pro-active in organising a match against champions league opposition that would guarantee pulling a decent crowd.
Instead of just putting the tickets on general sale, the club duly announced that they would be giving Celtic three sides of the ground with the home fans to be housed in Braemar Road Wendy house away end. The reason was fair enough on paper – the cost of the game meant that 9k fans were needed to break-even … so panic set in (as it did allegedly when we were offered 6,000 tickets for the Chelsea replay to sell in a couple of weeks). This caused an immediate backlash which prompted the club to flip the story slightly telling fans that that they could actually buy tickets in ANY end if they wished and were not restricted to buying tickets in the Wendy House.
To make matters worse, the announcement of a £25 seat price for the friendly added insult to injury for many fans who, with the hornets nest already stirred, decided that they were going to boycott the friendly.
Beesotted view: We actually think it’s fantastic that the club has been able to pull in a pre-season friendly which will have a bit of atmosphere whilst also upping the quality of opposition. Definitely a step in the right direction as pre-season is normally quite drab if we are honest (Leipzig trip was like a breath of fresh air .. hence the reason why 200 odd fans travelled).
However, on the down side the “launch” has been very poorly executed and PRd by Brentford. It could have been avoided with a bit of fan consultation or quite simply not announcing the initial segregation plan. It may not have been the intention buy the way the match was ‘sold’ to Brentford fans was “We’re playing Celtic. We need to sell loads of tickets. It’s gonna cost a load of money that Celtic fans are more than happy to pay. They will turn up regardless so if you don’t fancy it we’ll sell the tickets out anyway”.
With a whole month to sell tickets, in retrospect the club was definitely a bit hasty in making the “three ends” decision. Why not start by initially selling two ends? Then when they sell out a couple of weeks later, put the remaining ends on sale with a “due to popular demand” press release going out? Most friendlies are mixed crowds so why draw attention to it un-necessarily?
This may be a wake up call for Bees fans – something that many ‘smaller’ clubs have already experienced. For these clubs, once they have climbed to loftier positions they find that television money income and potential bigger crowds results in the core fan-base having even less of a voice in ongoing club proceedings. Some people call it “moving on”. Others call it “destroying the soul”. We believe it is actually possible to move onto bigger and better things without totally destroying the soul.
Contracts and rumours
Sam Saunders has signed a new two year deal with the Bees. He is quoted as being “delighted”. We’re delighted as well.
Harry Forrester has still to make his mind up about renewing his contract with rumours of QPR and Aston Villa sniffing around him. Uwe Rosler has rightly said he won’t wait forever for Harry and is keen to move on of Harry does not commit within the next week or so.
Tom Adeyemi has been offered a deal by Brentford but is investigating his options before putting pen to paper
Newly relegated Bristol City reportedly are interested in Simon Moore. With many championship clubs sniffing around Simon all season including Ipswich and a reputed sniff from a Man United, it looks inevitable that this is one of the players that we may have to take the cash for
Even more laughably, Swindon Town are reported to be interested in Adeyemi, Diagouraga and Donaldson – not quite sure how that fits in with trimming their wage bill.
Antone Gounet has left Brentford for pastures new. As down to earth as any player, he will always be known as the man who turned up unannounced at the training ground with his bags and begged a trial – securing himself a contract. He will be missed on the 267 bus on match days.
Afc Wimbledon are reportedly interested in signing Manny Oyeleke who undoubtedly came to Dons manager Neil Ardley’s attention when he was running Cardiff’s academy.
Brentford need to build their fanbase
With the move to the 20,000 capacity Lionel Rd looming, reality bites as Mark Devlin states that we have to seriously accelerate our drive for new supporters over the next few years to save us facing rattling around the stadium a-la Darlington. More opinion on this story in Can Brentford be the Ninja Tunes or Creation Records of the football league?
Ticketzone sales churn out more fraudulent activity
Bees fans buying playoff tickets found their credit cards compromised with the relevant information being sold off to people to make fraudulent purchases with. There have been a very high number of fans coming forward reporting people trying to buy from wigs and mobile phones to cars and vans on their credit cards.
As Ticketzone were employed by Brentford (not Wembley) as a 3rd party agency, we would have thought the club would have been a tad more more pro-active in helping fans through this situation. Whenever England fans have any problem with ticketmaster (who are the official agency employed by Wembley stadium), it is the job of England ticketing to help sort out the mess liaising with Ticketmaster on behalf of the fan. Most Brentford fans have simply been told to contact Ticketzone direct to sort things out which seems a tad unfair.
By the by, the advice for your credit and debit cards is very simple. If you bought a ticket through TICKETZONE, either online or by phone, cancel your card. If you don’t, at some stage in your card will most probably be used in a fraudulent transaction.
Pre season friendlies
Brentford play Cardiff (Tue 30th July), Millwall (Tue 16th July) and Southend (Friday 12th July) and German team FC Rot-Weib Erfurt (Sat 6th July) in friendlies. The Southend game will be held at BorehamWood and the Fc Erfurt game is rumoured to be held in at FC Weibensee – 25 miles north of Erfurt and 90 miles from Leipzig.
The Southend game will be played at Borehamwood FC and will cost £12 adults, £6 concessions. The Cardiff and Millwall games will be £10 seating and £5 standing. The German game has got an initial luke warm reception from Bees fans due to difficulty to get to the venue, high flight prices and the fact that there is only one game in the German pre-season tour .. As opposed to three last season.
Online ticketing site almost live
Brentford have unveiled an online ticketing website which will be hopefully robust enough to endure another Chelsea-style cup run and will enable us to buy tickets without crashing and having us queue around the block.