Henry Staelens, FGR’s CEO, Paula Brown, the Head of Commercial & Mark Smith (Smudge), the Facilities and Safety Manager met online with 3 members of the Supporters Club board (Phil Butterworth, Ian Crawley & Phil Doble) to put questions that had been sent by FGR fans.  The meeting was the evening of Monday 22nd August.  There were close to 100 questions and the answers are here.  Thanks to all the fans who sent questions and we hope we got most of them answered for you!

We’ve grouped the questions into categories for ease of reading.


Q  Fans seem quite accepting of ‘growing pains’ & accept that lack of space in and around the stadium is a limiting factor.  What are the two or three key things that the Club has got right off the pitch over the last few years that have contributed most to success on the pitch?

A  Firstly, FGR operates effectively as a business. The Club is financially sustainable through our commercial operations and financial controls. This enables further investment to the playing squad budget and other projects. Secondly, governance. For example, standards and safeguarding. The Club is regularly audited and assessed, and passes these tests well. For example, the stadium licensing authority visited for the Ipswich game and expressed approval – this was the worst possible time for them to visit (first game of the season, big attendance), but we are always confident in our compliance. Thirdly, reputation. The Club is known to be well run within footballing circles, and a serious and progressive force within the EFL on and off the field. All of this combined gives us a good platform for footballing success.


There have been many staff changes both in playing and organisational functions. It would be helpful to have an organisational chart, plus say photos in reception of key personnel.

A. We will update the website with all the changes when we can so fans know who holds responsibility for some of the key areas.


Q  Ticketing seems to be a continuing frustration for supporters and the subject of the largest number of questions.  For example: Website often down/Tickets not uploaded (Orient and Accrington Stanley)/Tickets not working (Ipswich) or not printing (Accrington Stanley)/Can’t buy disabled/carer tickets on-line etc.

A  We’re not the only Club to face ticketing issues … but it could certainly be better, which we are working towards.  The current system (VMS) needs reviewing – it’s supported us well through National League & League Two, but perhaps we are outgrowing it.  We’ll see.  There has been considerable staff turnover in ticketing and operating expertise, and this expertise is more important than any particular system.  There is a new Ticketing Manager and Assistant now in post and they are working on a number of improvements to sort out these problems – naturally, these may take time, but they are getting up to speed quickly. We are particularly pleased we have been able to offer the coach travel booking alongside the away ground tickets this season and will, with the SC, be promoting this more.

Matchday Catering

This was another category with a large number of questions, particularly raising staff shortages and long queues.  We understand the theatre interval problem (lots of people needing catering in a short half-time break), but the situation doesn’t seem to have improved.

A  The Club is conscious that this can and should be better.  It has a big impact on the matchday experience.  There is an overall shortage of matchday staff, and this has been the case for some years, despite efforts to recruit and retain with higher casual pay than competitors, free food, loyalty bonuses etc.  We are therefore changing the way the service is provided and bringing in more technology.  For example, in the Gymbar we will be adding an additional till and card reader, pre-pouring pints for half-time (accepting the observation of one supporter that pints shouldn’t be left poured for long periods) and providing the opportunity to purchase four-pint pitchers.  In the concourse, we are introducing a new system involving ordering and receiving a number, that number appears on a screen when the order is available, then the fan collects.

Q  The lack of ketchup bottles in the concourse was raised as an issue.

A  Apologies, this was a particular problem on one Saturday and shouldn’t reoccur.

Q  Could there be whole Oatley Milk available, as this tastes better in hot drinks?

A A fair point – we will look to supply this.

Q  Will there be outside catering for away fans?  Through the Supporters Club website we are directing fans to the local pubs and other outlets.  A clear link on the FGR website to the Away Fans Guide on the Supporters Club website will help.

A  When the new toilets replace the current temporary toilets, then we know the space available to provide a catering outlet.  We will add a link to the FGR website.

Parking & Travel

Q  Problems with parking and travel featured in the questions from fans.  There was concern that these issues would get worse with road closures and the reduction in spaces at Nailsworth School.  The field above the ground that has been used for parking at recent games is not a long term or winter solution and will need planning consent.  Is there a need for a Matchday Travel Plan with initiatives like individual house off-street parking, matchday coaches from Quedgley/Stonehouse/Stroud and Wootton/ Cam/Dursley etc.

A  The Club is happy to support new ideas and approaches but we need staff to implement and manage some of these.  The club would welcome the Supporters Club piloting a matchday coach from Quedgely /Stonehouse/Stroud or similar, if the fan appetite is there.  The Club is discussing with Stagecoach, returning to a 30 minute service on Saturday matchdays and introducing a later return to Stroud service on weekday matchdays (as the current last service leaves Forest Green at 9.30 pm).

Renishaw Park &Ride seems welcome for every Saturday home match, but perhaps needs more promotion and a midweek match alternative.

A  Home fans do not use the P&R in great numbers, which is frustrating – but we know how useful it is to away fans.  It has always lost money, year-on-year, but we will continue to fund it because it’s the right thing to do.

Q  Is it possible to install covered secure bike lockers ?

A  There are bike stands near the Green Man where supporters can lock their bikes, although its use is limited (possibly by the long hill up to the stadium). It’s difficult to justify the cost of providing individual bike lockers.

NB: There will be a four-way temporary traffic light system in place in the centre of Nailsworth for the Bolton and Exeter home games and probably also Portsmouth. Supporters are advised to choose a different route, park in the town and walk up, or arrive in the area earlier.


Q  Could the Club reinstate the recorded message by a child before kick-off, asking for fans not to use foul and abusive language?

A  This appears to have been dropped after the return of supporters following lockdown.  It’s a good idea to re-instate it and we’ll try to do this soon.

Q  There were numerous concerns among questioners covering team information, bringing back a paper programme, teamsheets and/or other online information.  Additionally, there is a desire for consistent and up to date info/messages across social media accounts with a priority for information to be available on the Club website.  The FGR Website could be more effective and up to date with additional info that is easy to access e.g. away travel info, a link to the Supporters Club website for match previews.

A  The FGR website and FGR Twitter has the team information on the day when it is announced, usually around 2pm. We are recruiting a Digital Executive, whose responsibility is to update/manage all info platforms – including the website.  The Club recognizes the limitations of wi-fi at the ground, but negotiations to bring fibre optic links up to the stadium were unsuccessful.

Q  Live streaming can be difficult for International fans.

A The FGR website has a home match live streaming purchase option for International fans only, which has been working well – so we’re not sure who has been struggling, but they can contact us directly and we will help them.


Are the improvements to the away end urinals (the recycling system) is working as intended. If so, what are the future plans for this system? Will it be incorporated to the home end too?

A  The away end urinal installation should be complete around the end of August and will then be evaluated before possibly installing elsewhere.

Q  Can the TVs in the gym bar be changed for larger models as they are not big enough for persons sitting on the far side of the room ?

A  We recognize these are not ideal, but the installation of larger TVs can probably only be done following removal of the mirrors on the inner wall. We will look into this.

Q  What is happening with the Club Shop?

A  The new shop will be installed in early September. It will be three times larger with  fitting rooms, lights, more stock and proper display space – it will be open on weekdays too, which we know is going to be great for fans.

Q  Why is there black netting in the goals?

A  It looks better and led to a title winning season!

Q  Could bins be provided for the South Stand instead of the plastic bags at the front which often overflow?

A  There are bins to the side, but the plastic bags are necessary to help supporters to dispose of their rubbish near to where they stand.

The New Stadium

Q  Can you give us an update on what is happening with the new ground, timescales, etc.

A  The construction of the training ground will start on site in September, with the aim to be completed by summer 2023.  The stadium and Ecopark full planning application is being considered now in the Stroud District Council Planning Service (the Local Planning Authority).  Detailed design is envisaged to start in October 2022, with a move to the stadium 2025/26.

FGR Women

Q  What are the Club aiming to do to improve the coverage of FGR Women?  Can we introduce a bus to away games shared between the team and fans, hold more games at the stadium, live streaming, supporter sponsorship of players, etc.

The Club provide financial and resource support to the Women’s Team and their upcoming FA Cup match will be played at the stadium, plus another game later in the season (at least).  If the Supporters Club are willing to fund additional support such as the away travel then the Club will promote it happily.

Club Crest

With the cost of living crisis, would it be possible to enable people to buy club crests, that they can iron on or sew on existing clothing?

If supporters want the Club to provide different items of clothing with the Club crest please raise this with staff in the shop and we can see what can be done.

Matchday Atmosphere & Stewarding

Are the Club exploring ways this can be improved?  For example: a Master of Ceremonies role; on pitch pre-match interviews etc.

A  The choice of music is always an issue – we can’t please everyone all the time. My taste will be very different to yours, yours will be different to your neighbour. We have thought about a guest DJ each week, which would be a fan who brings their own playlist.  A new tannoy system would cost £50 to £60k – yes we’d like to upgrade it, but at that price it can’t be a priority.  It would also be obsolete by the time Eco Park arrives. The big drumstand was asked for and it was built in the South Stand – but is not used anywhere near as much as you’d hope, not sure why.  We are looking at introducing half-time entertainment on the pitch.

Q  Some stewards are very good in engaging positively with home and away fans, others might benefit from training and encouragement.

A  There is a shortage of people willing to steward.  It is critical that we have the stewards we need, so we have to contract out the provision.  That guarantees us the number we need.  The independent audit at the Ipswich game complimented the stewards.  Their focus is on safety, but we want them to have a positive relationship with supporters, both home and away and we encourage that, so we’ll see where we can improve that aspect.