The partnership uses government-backed financial support from the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme to create a unique and groundbreaking collaboration.
Brentford Football Club is leading the way in innovation through its supporters trust, Bees United, which has established a two-year partnership with the University of Westminster School of Law. The partnership uses government-backed financial support from the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme to create a unique and groundbreaking collaboration.
The University’s KTP Unit has facilitated the recruitment of high-flying graduate, Matthew Rea, to work with the team developing the planned new Brentford Community Stadium in Lionel Road, Brentford.
A KTP aims to help businesses improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK Knowledge Base. KTP is funded by the Technology Strategy Board along with other government funding organisations.
Appointed as a Business and Research Executive, Matthew has been assigned by the University to Bees United, where he will work with Brian Burgess and Chris Gammon in the new stadium project team.
Matthew has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in the Football Industries from the University of Liverpool where he was tutored by Dr Rogan Taylor, the well known advocate of supporters’ involvement in the industry. Matthew has also worked in the property world with Land Securities and in public transport with Manchester City Council. Brought up in Manchester, he played in the Manchester United youth academy until his footballing career was curtailed by injury.
Matthew said: “I’m delighted to be a part of the KTP undertaken between the University of Westminster and Bees United and will endeavour to assist Brentford FC achieve its vision of a new stadium at Lionel Road.”
“I’m fulfilling an ambition of working within the football industry and already feel that Brentford FC is a great club to be a part of. I am looking forward to working alongside Brian Burgess and Chris Gammon here at Brentford, Steve Greenfield and Guy Osborn at the University of Westminster, and also having access to the expertise and advice of Sean Hamil at Birkbeck Sport Business Centre, as an advisor on what I consider to be a groundbreaking project.”
Chris Gammon commented: “We are really lucky to have the benefit of this partnership with the University of Westminster and to work with Matthew. He will bring fresh knowledge and energy to our thinking about how we can make the new stadium vision a reality in the difficult economic climate we are facing.”
1. The football club, which finished last season as Champions of Coca Cola League 2 and won the Football League 2 Community Club of the Year Award, is pursuing the project through a subsidiary company, Brentford FC (Lionel Road) Ltd (BFCLR). BFCLR is working with housing developer, Barratt Homes, to deliver a 20,000 seat stadium and community facilities, funded by the development of new residential units.
The vision for Brentford Community Stadium is to create a vibrant community hub including a new public leisure centre, healthy living centre, learning zones, social enterprise business centre and a commercial hotel and conference centre.
BFCLR has two shareholders:
- Brentford FC Ltd with a 99% interest
- Brentford Football Community Society Ltd (Bees United) with 1 ‘golden’ share, giving certain veto rights over the actions of BFCLR. In particular this golden share, which represents 1% of the issued share capital, gives Bees United the right to a veto over any issue or transfer of shares, the disposal of assets over a material level, the use of land for any purpose other than that of a sports stadium, the charging of assets, the implementation of any liquidation proceedings and the payment of any dividends. In addition Bees United has the right to appoint a minimum of one director to the board of BFCLR.
The directors of the company are Greg Dyke (Chairman), Brian Burgess, Chris Gammon (Company Secretary), Mike Power and Donald Kerr.
Details of the regular meetings of the Lionel Road Liaison Group, which includes local stakeholders, can be found on the project website www.brentfordcommunitystadium.com.
2. The School of Law at the University of Westminster has an established expertise in law and sport, in particular via its Centre for Law Society and Popular Culture. Members of the Centre include Ken Foster, designer of the first sport and law module whilst at the University of Warwick and Steve Greenfield and Guy Osborn who have written and taught widely in the area. More details of the work of the Centre can be found at http://www.wmin.ac.uk/law/page-497
3. Sean Hamil is a lecturer in the Department of Management, Birkbeck College, University of London. He is also a director of Birkbeck Sport Business Centre – www.sportbusinesscentre.com – the well established academic research centre on sports economy and business.