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Thread: Statement by Alistair Kirkwood, NFLUK Managing Director

  1. #1
    UK Forum Admin chip's Avatar
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    Default Statement by Alistair Kirkwood, NFLUK Managing Director

    Due to the issues surrounding the television coverage of the Draft plus other recent gripes from many UK fans on other matters, NFLUK Managing Director - Alistair Kirkwood has made the following statement:

    "There has been a lot of discussion on our nfluk.com forums in recent weeks about the amount of information you the fans receive from us about ongoing developments in our business, and our level of pro-activity in responding to comments in our nfluk.com forums. Therefore, I thought was a good time to explain some of the issues we face - and also to announce an idea that we feel will help to create a more open dialogue.

    First of all let me say that when nfluk.com was established we had less than a tenth of the number of registered fans that we have now. The original idea of creating a forum - the first of its kind of an official NFL site - was to allow you to find and communicate with like-minded fans. It was never intended to be a place to post questions directly to us and we felt it was better for us, most of the time, to stay out of the forums and allow it be your own territory.

    Of course, the forum has evolved and I know that your incredible passion for the NFL means that you?d like to have details of every discussion that takes place in regard to the sport in the UK. I understand this because it obviously has an impact on your experience of following the sport. But there are a couple of reasons why it is hard for us to lay all of our cards on the table all of the time.

    When we are in television negotiations, for example, we can't explain fully exactly where those discussions have got to because we have to respect the concerns and confidentiality of the other parties? business. We also do not want to run the risk of saying anything that might show a partner, or potential partner, in a bad light. I'm sure you'll agree that it is simply not appropriate to stage important business negotiations on a public forum.

    We also know that when we try to give an indication of where a certain piece of business might be heading, or give you some information about something we are planning, it runs the risk of being thrown back in our faces by some if it doesn't come off. I think you'll agree that you can't expect us to be completely open about everything that is being discussed without accepting that things are constantly changing. Therefore, we are discouraged further from saying anything until things are 100 per cent confirmed.

    Look at the 'three steps forward, two steps back' comment I made a couple of years ago when describing our television negotiations. At that particular moment, that was an accurate reflection of where I saw the negotiations concluding. However, like in almost every deal I've been part of, unexpected turn of events or curveballs took place. What might seem like an accurate picture one day can become very different the next. By giving you what you often appear to want, ie. a play-by-play on all our negotiations, we might only achieve further frustration and misinformation.

    Sometimes it is in our collective interests for us to remain quiet on certain issues. It is at times like that when we hope there is an element of trust from the fans based on the developments we have seen in the sport over the last few years.

    I do believe there is a misconception among some people that the NFL is simply looking at ways of making as much money as possible out of the UK. Our free-to-air broadcast deals with the BBC and Channel 4 are not lucrative for us; they are about spreading the sport as widely as possible. Similarly, if we were simply out to squeeze money out of the fans, we would not be spending large amounts on things like the NFL Fan Rally and Super Bash - all of which are free events.

    Often I see cited comments about mainland European fans getting better treatment than UK counterparts. I don't think it's always straightforward to compare. In some countries, there is only one pay service to follow the sport. We are in the fortunate position of having four broadcast partners in the UK. There is no other European territory that has coverage on two free-to-air broadcasters (in many, not even one). We are constantly balancing the need to offer avid fans as much as possible, while reaching out to new and casual fans and those, such as university students, where a purely pay-TV option might not be suitable.

    Having said all of that, we know that we can do some things better. We welcome constructive input from our fans and accept that there will be times we are criticised, sometimes with every justification. That is why nfluk.com welcomes your views, uncensored, about all aspects of the league - from discussing the sport itself to telling us what you think of what we are doing.

    In an attempt to increase the transparency of what we do and to help us interact more closely with the fans, I am proposing that we set up an NFL Fan Committee. This would comprise about 20 fans, who would join us for regular meetings (in-person, on the phone or online) and can then, via our forums or other methods, share some further insight with other fans. The idea is that we'll look for a mix of fans - some who have been following the sport for a long time and are among the most committed users on our forum; others who are no less committed but are perhaps not always as vocal.

    We'll be giving you further details of how that Committee will be selected, how you can get involved and how you can nominate potential members in the near future, so keep an eye out on nfluk.com for that information. And, of course, let us know what you think of that as a concept. Is it something you would welcome?

    Finally, let me thank you once again for your fantastic support of the NFL. We know that your feedback, negative or positive, is born of your passion for the sport and without that none of the progress we have made in the past few years would have been possible. With your continued support we can together take the NFL to even greater heights in the UK in the coming years."

    Anyone interested in joining the NFL Fan Committee?
    Last edited by chip; 05-01-2012 at 06:50 AM.

  2. #2
    UK Forum Admin bothfeetintheendzone's Avatar
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    Exclamation We Should If We Can Put Someone Up

    We are after all the official UK voice of our franchise..

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    Member Blueboy's Avatar
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    Anyone interested in joining the NFL Fan Committee?

    I nominate Noggs!!! Im sure he would ruffle a few feathers........of course we could also use our international TV celeb Deano!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blueboy View Post
    Anyone interested in joining the NFL Fan Committee?

    I nominate Noggs!!! Im sure he would ruffle a few feathers........of course we could also use our international TV celeb Deano!
    I'll do it

  5. #5
    UK Forum Admin chip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noggs View Post
    I'll do it
    After all, you are now on first name terms with Roger Goodell, following last years fan forum pre the Wembley game.

    Nige - If you are seriously interested, you may wish to see this post within the NFLUK forum and get your name down:

    http://forum.nfluk.com/showthread.php?t=89783
    Last edited by chip; 05-05-2012 at 12:29 PM.

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    The idea of it does appeal.........somewhat.

    But I can only imagine the types of weirdos that site attracts, that would be seriously interested & reading thru the thread it confirms what I thought.

    Not sure I'd fit into the profile they'd looking for..........thankfully.

  7. #7
    UK Forum Admin bothfeetintheendzone's Avatar
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    Default Way to Go Nigel

    Voice of the 12, has got to be heard..

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    I nominate Ian

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    Elite Member SuffolkBlue's Avatar
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    Can we not do a competition like they do on "The Voice" to pick a nomination!

    (personally I just want a chair which revolves when I push a button... But then again I am easily pleased)

  10. #10
    UK Forum Admin chip's Avatar
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    If Noggs (or anyone else is interested), NFLUK have now released a further statement on their proposed NFL Fan Committee:

    http://forum.nfluk.com/showthread.ph...67#post1592467
    Last edited by chip; 06-20-2012 at 07:50 AM.

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