In his first major interview since joining Brentford, chief executive Andrew Mills tells Jacob Murtagh about his seven 'intriguing' months in charge at Griffin Park.
The former football agent reveals all about the budget, transfers, supporter-investor Matthew Benham, the dip in attendances and the ticketing issues he has tackled since taking the hotseat.
I met the board recently about the budget and remain comfortable the level we operate at is reasonable for our ambitions within this division.
The numbers I hear banded about are ridiculous.
There are a number of teams who, whether because they've been relegated from a higher division or otherwise, have significantly increased budgets on ours.
We come around 10-12 th in the league, last year we were 14 th .
When I look at Huddersfield, Charlton, MK Dons, Southampton and Plymouth, they haven't got anything more tangible than we have so far despite having much bigger budgets.
We have a sensible approach. We will not risk the long term future of Brentford Football Club for one year of glory as some others have in the Premier and Football Leagues.
We have assembled a squad of players within our budget who we will retain into next season.
We've made positive additions in playing ability; Gary Alexander, Stephen Wright, Craig Woodman amongst others, who will not accept underperforming. We've only missed out on two players since I've been here.
We've also managed to bring in a loan player of the quality of Rowan Vine for a minimal percentage of his wage, which is again within our budget.
I don't like to reveal the fee or construction of a specific transfer fee because it's never beneficial in the long term.
For example, the finances behind the Nicky Adams deal will leave the football club in a positive financial position, however had we announced the full details of the deal in the first place, I would've been in a difficult position to negotiate a sale.
We're very fortunate that we've got a passionate, discreet and enthusiastic benefactor who has an option to be the future owner of this football club.
Rarely do a club get people prepared to input the financial levels Matthew has without wanting a significant return in terms of direct control.
I hope this is a reflection of both Matthew and the boards confidence in the way I and the staff at Griffin Park have so far handled the running of the football club and I will continue to work closely with our finance director Alan Bird to achieve our ambitions.
Matthew genuinely wants his boyhood football club to play at the highest possible standard, and is doing so in a manner that is beneficial to helping us achieving that goal.
Football League attendances are down by minimum 15 per cent across the board.
I would love to say that performance and results do not affect the enthusiasm of the people coming through the gate, but in difficult economic circumstances it's a problem every football club has to face.
I would defy anyone who was at Colchester to prefer their performance to ours on the night.
It's a results business and the manager tries to achieve results in the manner he sees fit. Of course, all managers want to deliver a style of football that’s entertaining and successful, and ours is no different.
We enjoyed some fantastic highs this season along with some disappointments.
Hopefully if we can continue to develop positive results we can see progress in what we want to achieve for this year.
Having been asked about pricing for the cup games at the Fans Forum I suggested we should rather than devalue our ‘product’ look for ways to improve the matchday experience for our supporters.
Could we make the experience more comfortable, improve catering etc, but the reality was we're a business which operates around a football club and football comes first.
So having accepted my mistake I reviewed every league club cup pricing structure before setting ours at a level that I believe genuinely incentivised our supporters to attend.
It was never purely a financial decision though of course we are trying to build a profitable business.
If we end up with double the crowd for the same financial return then we've got a better atmosphere and therefore the team have got a better chance of winning games.
The Birmingham trip was a perfect example; it was a fantastic opportunity to encourage our fans to travel en masse to a Premier League ground, and seeing 26 coaches [Brentford laid on subsidised transport to the game] on the M1 was a surreal experience.
Financially we didn't make the money we might have but it was something that needed to be a shared experience with as many Brentford fans as possible.
[We're interrupted as Myles Weston comes in to sign a new contract]
I don't like undervaluing what we have here. I don't think giving away tickets gets people into this stadium enthused about the future of Brentford Football Club.
Instead we will continue to look at ticket incentives and marketing initiatives.
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