This week some of the House of Fisher team enjoyed a trip to Wembley, supporting our local club Reading FC. The occasion was a Championship play-off final, often dubbed as football’s most valuable match. This year reports suggested the winning team could earn £290m over the next 3 years from a victory*! After a season comprising of 46 league matches, a two legged semi-final and 120 minutes at Wembley, it came down to a penalty shootout. Unfortunately, that is where Reading’s adventure ended and the deflated players collapsed, distraught once Christopher Schindler’s spot kick hit the back of the net, sealing Huddersfield’s return to the top flight after 45 years and leaving Reading to regroup and start again next season, on equal points with 24 other teams.
Reading FC’s incredible season, has helped bring the spotlight back to our town, which is fantastic for local businesses such as ourselves and certainly boosts the local economy. The rise of Reading FC draws parallels to the thriving business environment all around the club. Reading is flourishing with large corporate companies and we see continuous investment in this area, with new offices and business parks being launched regularly.
House of Fisher have an affiliation and history with Reading FC. Our Chairman John Fisher has always retained close ties with the club, including sponsorship and support (John was of course at Wembley on Monday)! This affiliation goes way beyond the convenience of location but to the core values of both House of Fisher and Reading FC.
Amongst football fans Reading FC is prominent for remaining a club with a family culture. The family section in the ground is larger than most, affordable family tickets are available and these fans are actively encouraged by the club. House of Fisher mirrors this within our company’s vision. With year on year growth and success, we remain family owned and these same values are reflected by our team. House of Fisher understand the importance of family, emphasised by the flexibility and support provided wherever possible to our team.
Reading FC have both a strong youth system and a great coaching structure to develop their team to reach their maximum potential. House of Fisher invest significantly within our team providing professional training, personal development and funding professional qualifications. Currently five members of the team are completing adult apprenticeships, including NVQs – read more here. House of Fisher also work closely with universities providing internships, as well as local schools and colleges to offer apprenticeships. The benefits include providing the fundamental foundations for future generations and we have benefitted from the fresh thinking, input and drive to succeed from these schemes. Examples are Aneal Sadiq, promoted this year to Head of Business Development and Niall Williamson, who gives a compelling interview about his time at the company, one of our many apprentices over the past five years.
Competing against the ‘big boys’
Reading FC have a stadium capacity of 24,161. Amongst the 23 other teams in that division Villa Park hosts 42,788, Hillsborough 39,732, Elland Road 37,890 and Pride Park 33,597 to name but a few**. Despite larger crowds and greater income Reading FC managed to finish above all of them this season. They achieved this success by focussing on their core strengths and on the efforts of the entire team, not just the ‘starting 11’, but everyone involved in the club. Likewise, at House of Fisher we can compete against much larger organisations by being the best at what we do and providing our unique selling proposition. The House of Fisher team are handpicked and developed to the best of their ability, motivated by management and rewarded for their fine performances. We also have a great support network out of the ‘starting 11’ providing us with expert advice, ensuring our systems and process are industry leading and that we perform to our full potential.
Monday may have been the cruellest of finishes for Reading FC, losing out to a team 4 points and 2 places lower at the end of the season by the ‘lottery’ of penalties. Whilst the wounds will feel deep and the recovery likely slow, Reading FC have so much to be proud of and their fans will fully agree. With the input of Jaap Stam’s management style and the core of this team it is now time to regroup and invest in the squad, whilst retaining the spine that came so close to utopia on Monday 29th May 2017. The season has been very successful and we thank Reading FC’s efforts in ensuring the spotlight is being shined on our prosperous town. Rest assured the support from House of Fisher will be with you throughout the season ahead, singing at the top of our voices!
*Source The Independent – http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/football-league/championship-play-off-final-how-much-do-they-win-is-it-worth-premier-league-promotion-a7755796.html
**Source Football Tripper – http://footballtripper.com/europe/england/championship