NEW HOME FOR BEES UNITED AGM

NEW HOME FOR BEES UNITED AGM

Bees United’s Annual General Meeting is the chance for members to be updated on progress, ask questions and vote for board members.
For the first time it will be held in Brentford Football Club’s new offices at 27 Great West Road, TW8 9BW, overlooking the new stadium. The date is Saturday 7th March at 12 noon, before the home match against Sheffield Wednesday. Another new feature is that the club’s CEO Jon Varney will join us to take your questions and talk about the future of Brentford in the new stadium. There will also be a chance to look down from the office balcony into the stadium. If you are already a BU member check our latest newsletter which went out on 3rd February for details of how to register. If you are not yet a member go to the Join page on this website, sign up and you will be emailed the details,

 

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The January Transfer Window

The January Transfer Window

The January Transfer Window is generally anticipated with dread by all Brentford fans – and with good reason too given that the likes of James Tarkowski, Toumani Diagouraga, Scott Hogan, Sam Saunders, Lasse Vibe, Ryan Woods, Chris Mepham, Alan Judge and Nico Yennaris have all left the club during that period, often for massive transfer fees.

Brentford are renowned throughout the game as a stepping-stone club which unearths and buys young, promising and talented players who have generally gone under the radar and escaped the attention of their bigger brethren and then hones and develops them given the quality of their coaching, puts them in the shop window and finally sells them at the right time once they have been replaced and their preset value has been met by another club generally much higher up the food chain.

January is traditionally a time when clubs panic and overpay for that special player who might just score the goals that they need to win promotion, or that rugged defender who can help stem the flood of goals conceded and ensure that they avoid the threat of relegation.

Brentford have always taken advantage of this and obtained huge sums for the likes of Hogan and Mepham in January.

Turning the model round on its head, January is not the best time to buy players as they are invariably over priced and clubs have to pay that January premium.

Given their commonsense approach it is not surprising that Brentford have rarely looked to buy and strengthen in the January Transfer Window. That is traditionally done and better left, to the close season.

The last time the Bees looked to be active in the January transfer market was way back in 2015 when promotion seemed a possibility but Mark Warburton decided not to import fresh talent when offered the opportunity, given his faith in his current squad and his fear that the exceptional team spirit could be affected by new arrivals. In retrospect, a bad decision despite the club reaching the Playoffs, as an exhausted and weakened squad had run out of gas by the time the dreaded Playoffs came around and Middlesbrough found us to be easy meat.

Ever since, January has been a selling month rather than an acquisitive one. Sergi Canos and Florian Josefzoon did arrive in January 2017 and Emiliano Marcondes the following year, but they were the exceptions rather than the rule.

January is therefore a month when the Directors of Football either switch off their mobile phones or sit back and wait for the offers to roll in and generally allow one of the crown jewels to depart.

This year was different however. The Brentford squad is packed with talent, and teams in the Premier League with money to burn covet many of our players. Surely somebody would make an offer we could not refuse for one of the BMW front three, Said Benrahma, Bryan Mbeumo and Ollie Watkins, who have all been in devastating goal scoring form?

Maybe they did, although Phil Giles stated that this had been a “quiet window” with no offers received for any of our players. Predators realised that with the Premier League in our sights with a place in the Playoffs highly likely and with the top two also a realistic target that it would be patent madness for us to weaken the squad this January.

We all like to dream and I cannot believe that any Brentford supporter has not imagined opening next season in our new state-of-the-art stadium in the Premier League.

For the first time since we reached the Championship back in 2014 Brentford ended the Transfer Window significantly stronger than when it opened on 1st January.

Two major signings were made and they were typical, trademark Brentford signings – much coveted young, brilliantly talented, skillful footballers who can only improve and whose arrival will enhance the quality of the squad and left our rivals gnashing their teeth in frustration.

Central midfielder Shandon Baptiste glides effortlessly over the grass and is a box-to-box player with quick feet, massive dribbling ability and a keen eye for goal. His Oxford United teammate, Tariqe Fosu is a pacy winger who can beat a man on either side of the pitch and will provide an additional goal threat to support the BMW partnership. Oxford United fans were figuratively slitting their wrists in anguish when they heard the news of the departure of their two brightest stars.

Brentford’s promotion rivals also looked up and took notice once again at how well our club is run and the way in which we operate, quietly, with stealth, and below the radar, before we pounce and sign the prospects that so many others covet.

There was talk of bringing in another striker to support the predatory Ollie Watkins but the right player could not be found at the right price and Halil Dervisoglu, another talented youngster will undoubtedly become Brentford’s 1,000 Football League player and receive his chance to shine.

The Brentford B team also replenished its stock bringing in the immensely talented attacking midfielder Paris Maghoma from Spurs who has already caused great excitement and contributed an eye-catching long-range goal for his new teammates. Aaron Pressley, a promising and tall centre forward from Aston Villa will also be given his chance to shine.

It is a fact of football life that with every arrival comes a departure and in January the club bade farewell to faithful retainers in our longest serving player, Josh Clarke, so dogged by injury and so feared by all fans of Queens Park Rangers. He did us proud and will surely find a new berth very soon.

Tom Field never kicked on after so promising a start and now has the chance to build a career at Scottish Championship Dundee and he also leaves with our best wishes. A local boy – he was one of us.

Neither Canice Carroll, Ali Coote or Joe Hardy received a first team chance at Griffin Park. Tough tackling Carroll did not make his mark during a loan spell at Carlisle but has earned a contract at Stevenage and can hopefully help keep them in the Football League. A real enthusiast, he deserves to succeed. Coote had played senior football in Scotland but never managed to break through at Griffin Park and now hopes to do so at Waterford.

The enigmatic Hardy, a predatory B team goal machine never did quite enough off the ball or worked hard enough outside the penalty area to earn a first team opportunity. He has returned to his native North West and has received an unexpected opportunity at Liverpool where he has already scored three times for their Under 23 team. Who knows what the future holds for him, but we should all wish him every success as the B team philosophy is not only to develop first team players for Brentford but also to ensure that those who do not make it here ideally make a career for themselves elsewhere.

Normally January is a month for us Bees fans to dread – this year it is one for us to rejoice.

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WHY BAD NEWS FOR SARACENS IS GOOD NEWS FOR BEES

WHY BAD NEWS FOR SARACENS IS GOOD NEWS FOR BEES

The statement by Premiership Rugby that Saracens are to be relegated at the end of the season is bad news for the club and its supporters but undoubtedly one of the consequences is good news for Brentford Football Club.

To understand why here’s how the bottom of the Rugby Premiership table looked before the news on Saturday. Saracens, despite a 35 point penalty for breaches of the player salary cap in past seasons, were winning enough games to catch up the clubs immediately above them, including London Irish, and overtake them. If Saracens pushed Irish into last place that would relegate them to rugby’s second tier, the Championship. That would be very bad news for London Irish who next season move to Brentford’s new stadium as tenants. As in any sport rugby attendances go down when clubs go down, as do other financial indicators such as beer sales. 

Then on Saturday the Premiership Rugby authorities announced that however the table looks at the end of the season the relegated club would be Saracens, that’s an extra penalty for failing for bring their player salaries within the limit in the current season.

The bottom line for Brentford is that their tenants next season will definitely be in the Rugby Premiership even if they lose every game for the rest of the current season. London Irish will bring more supporters to our stadium than they would if they were relegated and beer sales, of which BFC as landlords take a cut, will be higher. 

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BEES GOAL DIFFERENCE PROVES A POINT

BEES GOAL DIFFERENCE PROVES A POINT

The scale of Brentford’s 5-1 victory at Hull again shows the potential significance of goal difference come the end of the season.The Bees now have a goal difference of +26 which is the best in the division. The only comparable figures are the top two,WBA and Leeds, at +20 and + 19 respectively. So effectively Brentford have a point advantage over them all. Our match report on the Hull game is at https://www.beesunited.org.uk/match-reports/hull-city-1-brentford-5/

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Tribute to Joe Finnis

Tribute to Joe Finnis

Joe Finnis was ten years old when he first went to Griffin Park and over the next 15 years he witnessed many of the club’s big moments. He was there with his dad and grandad when Brentford beat Everton on penalties in the League Cup, behind the goal in the Ealing Road end when Trotta crashed that penalty against the bar, and on the pitch after victory against Preston ensured promotion to the Championship.

Last Saturday Griffin Park remembered Joe as applause in the 25th minute marked the tragic death of this 25 year old BA cabin crew member who died with two of his colleagues in a road accident.

The Finnis family are proper Bees. Joe’s grandfather Ron Finnis was a supporter in the heyday of the 1930s. Before he died 3 years ago he was able to tell his grandson about the days Brentford held top spot for a time in the First Division. Ron had taken his son Mick to games, starting in 1967, and the family tradition continued when Mick took Joe too.They started off in the New Road stand, moved across to the Braemar Road side and then to the Ealing Road end because they liked to be able to move around and meet up with other fans.

Mick and Joe both worked at British Airways which meant they were shift workers, not able to get to every game. Joe’s Instagram feed is full of pictures of him around the world on long distance trips for BA. But by last year they were both season-ticket holders, standing just to the left behind the goal at the Ealing Road end. They got to some away games and not just the West London derbies, in the lower league days they were on the terraces at Swindon and in more recent times pinching themselves to be high up in the away end at St James’s Park, Newcastle.

Their last game together was at Millwall on 29th December. Mick Finnis remembers that because of the long queue for tickets at the New Den they missed what turned out to be Millwall’s winning goal and had to watch it back on a phone in the away end.

( Photo: Joe and Mick Finnis at the Carabao Cup game at Arsenal)

On 31st December Joe and his colleagues Dominic Fell and Rachel Clark died when their car was in collision with a lorry near Heathrow. A fourth passenger, also a BA employee, was seriously injured. Among the floral tributes left by friends at the site was a Brentford scarf.

Mick Finnis says that in the normal course of events he probably wouldn’t have gone to the Cup game against Stoke. But in these tragically not normal circumstances the match took on a special significance. Family friend Rod Gowers contacted Brentford commentator Mark Burridge who posted on social media about ‘an awful tragedy’ affecting ‘truly, full members of the Brentford family’. He asked for Bees fans to help spread the word asking for applause on the 25th minute.

Word spread too amongst the British Airways family as Joe’s cabin crew colleagues- many of them first-timers at Griffin Park-  decided that coming to the match would be one of the many ways they would commemorate his life. For this game Joe’s mother Sue Finnis and his brother Ben were with Mick in seats they bought specially in the Braemar Road stand. Around them hundreds of supporters joined the applause for Joe not knowing that his family were sitting there. It was a poignant moment for the family as all around the ground supporters swelled the applause. It meant a lot to Mick that the Stoke fans joined in so wholeheartedly.

After the game the family went to The Globe where about 30 friends  from Brentford and British Airways gathered to remember Joe.

‘Joe loved going to Brentford’ says Mick. A proud father remembered two recent gifts from his son, a signed shirt for Christmas and something Joe bid for on an auction site, a signed team sheet from that special day when Brentford were promoted to the Championship. It now hangs on the wall in the Finnis family home, a reminder of happy Bees days together.

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FAREWELL GP, HELLO LR

FAREWELL GP, HELLO LR

On December 3rd the subjects covered in The Hive were Heritage, Farewell to Griffin Park and New Stadium events.

On each subject there was a recap of the earlier suggestions and questions followed by the current status of the club’s response.

So for instance the presentation on Heritage and Farewell to GP said:

 

Suggestions/Questions Current Status
What will happen to the special Bricks bought by fans? The names of fans from existing bricks will be,honoured at the new stadium.
Is there a role for the Hall of Fame and club legends? Legends will play an active role in Farewell to,GP events and the opening of the new stadium.,Hall of Fame dfiscussions underway with Chris,Wickham and Peter Gilham.
What about sharing memories of key moments? A process is underway and appropriate,footage is being gathered.
What about the ticket/programme for the final match? Discussions are underway about the programme.
Will there be a Special Player of the Year Awards? The date will be May 3rd,a venue has been,booked and will be announced.Fans have,been asked to indicate their interest in,attending.
Will there be an auction of items from Griffin Park? Plans are underway, a complete inventory,has been prepared.
Will something symbolic be taken from GP to LR? Discussions underway on various ideas
Will there be a,service for those whose ashes are at GP? Yes, the date is yet to be confimed.
Will the GP centre circle/spot be kept? We hope to do this, perhaps preserved

 

The club then welcomed discussion on what would be the preferred entertainment before the final league game agaimst Barnsley on May 2nd. Also what should happen after the match ended and how could the whole event  be made special? The principal feedback was that fans would like plenty of time after the game to reflect quietly on their memories.

In the section on the opening of the New Stadium the main points were:

 

Suggestions/Questions Current Status
For the ‘opening game’ held in the pre-season could the opposition be an international team? We are confirming now who the opposition will be, the match will be in mid-July.
Will their be an Open Day for fans to find their seats? This will be built into the Test events held earlier.
What about music? An excellent sound system has been confirmed.
What about pre-match entertainment,price of food drink for all matches at new stadium? We are working on what matchdays will be like -we have more than 300 screens to use.We will work with our catering partner Levy on pre and post match pricing offers. A tender for matchday presentations will be issued
Entertainment needs tio be approroate to the Brentford style, for example no clappers? We need fans to take the lead on this!
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