Supporters Direct Briefing (3rd Feb)
Supporters Direct (of which the Trust is a member) issues media briefings on a fortnightly basis, gathering news of Trusts throughout the country, and wider football issues. You can read any of these articles by clicking on the links.
SD launches Key Principles for Licensing
This past Wednesday, SD launched our Key Principles for Football Club Licensing in England in an event at the Houses of Parliament, hosted by Jessica Lee, Conservative MP for Erewash. As well as Ms Lee, there were speeches from Tom Greatrex (Labour, Rutherglen & Hamilton West), the Rt. Hon. Simon Hughes (Liberal Democrats, Old Southwark and Bermondsey) and William Gaillard, Advisor to the President of UEFA, Michel Platini. To read more about the event, click here.
On a day where the Government’s Health and Social Care Bill was receiving another reading in Parliament, and the voting bells were sounding at regular intervals, the attendance (39 MPs and over 30 representatives from the Trust movement) is a testament to the outstanding efforts from our members to ensure that their local MP was made aware of the event. Our sincere thanks go to all those who gave up their time to attend, or to spread the word about the event.
Westminster Hall Debate on the CMS Select Committee Report on Football Governance – February 9th
Following Wednesday, it is vital that we maintain the current momentum surrounding our proposals (which have been received warmly by both DCMS and the football authorities) ahead of the Government-imposed deadline for the FA and Premier League to deliver their proposals for reform, on February 29th.
The Westminster Hall debate scheduled for February 9th, with the CMS Committee Report on Football Governance as the subject, represents the ideal opportunity for the benefits of our proposals to be re-emphasised. We are therefore asking that you urge your local MP to attend the debate, which will begin at 2.30pm. If you have any questions, contact Ben Shave on 020 7273 1937 / 07985 628 215 or via email.
Parliamentary Coverage for the Trust movement
Recent weeks have seen a number of Parliamentarians use their status as Members to highlight issues of relevance to the Trust movement. Richard Burden (Labour, Birmingham Northfield),Andrew Bridgen (Conservative, North West Leicestershire), and Tom Blenkinsop (Labour, Middlesborough South & East Cleveland) all posed questions to Hugh Robertson last week, whilst Siobhain McDonagh (Labour, Mitcham & Morden) tabled an Adjournment Debate on Thursday 26th January, entitled ‘Government Policy on Football Governance and the case of AFC Wimbledon’, the entire transcript of which can be viewed here.
In addition to this, Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions saw Penny Mordaunt MP (Conservative, Portsmouth North) raised the current plight of Portsmouth FC to David Cameron.
This coverage, combined with the cross-party attendance of Wednesday’s event, reflects the high levels of engagement and support that the Trust movement has secured within Parliament and Government.
Hunslet Independent Supporters’ Trust officially take over their club!
As of February 1st, the Hunslet Independent Supporters’ Trust has taken over the day-to-day running of Hunslet Hawks RLFC, following the departure of Grahame Liles and Sean Cluderay. The takeover of the Championship One club by the Trust is a deserved reward for the efforts of all those involved, and great credit must go to HIST. Congratulations from everyone at SD! To find out more, visit the club’s website.
Darlington Supporters’ Trust working with SD
With Darlington FC now in its fourth insolvency since 1997, the Darlington Supporters’ Trust are working closely with Supporters Direct, investigating whether a community-controlled vehicle can both secure the club’s survival in the short term, and also provide a long-term, sustainable future. Clearly accomplishing such a task will not be easy, and to do so will require buy-in from the club’s supporters and local community alike, but the supporters via their supporters’ trust are seeking a workable solution.
A relatively substantial amount of financing will be required both for working capital and to bring the club out of its CVA. DST are currently seeking pledges from fans and other possible investors alike. If you feel you or your Trust can help, please contact Tony Taylor.
Pompey Trust campaigning on all fronts
In the light of the crisis currently affecting their club, the Pompey Trust are redoubling their efforts in a number of areas. A series of Q & A briefings surrounding Fratton Park and ‘Plan B’ have been published this week, whilst the Pompeys 12th Man initiative has been launched. SD is continuing to work closely with the Trust in this crucial time for their club. For more information, visit the Pompey Trust website.
HTSA continues Lime Green Campaign
Following the recent petition of former Chairman Ken Davy to “do the right thing” and return his shares in the Galpharm Stadium for the £2 they were sold for, the Huddersfield Town Supporters’ Association are planning to maintain momentum and resolve the issue which continues to affect their club. To find out more, click here.
News from Europe
First Supporter Liaison Officer training courses underway
Having introduced SLOs for clubs in the top two divisions back in 2005, the Swiss Football League have recently launched a brand-new training course, aimed at SLOs from both football and ice hockey. Those involved are required to complete the various components, and from the 2013/14 season, a certificate in the course will be compulsory for all SLOs. To find out more about the SLO project, visit the Supporters Direct website.
SD Europe handed a boost by European Parliament vote
This past week saw the ‘Fisas’ Report, which sets out the European Dimension in Sport, was ratified by the European Parliament. The report covers a range of issues, and provides strong backing for the work being undertaken by Supporters Direct in Europe, and our members across the contintent. To find out more, click here.
SD present at SFSU Annual Meeting
SD Head of European Development Antonia Hagemann was among the speakers at the Annual Meeting of the Svenska Fotbollssupporterunionen (SFSU) in Helsingborg on January 28th. SFSU are one of nine partners in the upcoming EC Project being coordinated by Supporters Direct, Improving Football Governance through Supporter Involvement and Community Ownership; and it was this project that was the main topic of discussion. For more information about the project, which is due to begin on March 30th, click here.
Conference on fan ownership in Italy planned for late February
Scheduled for late February, and sponsored by Supporters Direct, SD affiliate members Venezia United (the supporters’ trust for FBC Unione Venezia), and other local institutions, an upcoming conference on Fan Ownership in Italy is taking shape. Developed with the aim of publicising the progress of the Trust movement in Italy to date, and bringing together both supporters and the football authorities; the event will discuss issues surrounding good governance and supporter involvement at Italian clubs.
Hapoel Petah-Tikva Trust hold tournament against racism and violence
With the support of Let’s Kick Racism and Violence out of Israeli Football (an initiative founded by the New Israel Fund) and the city council, the Hapoel Petah-Tikva Supporters’ Trust and SD Affilliate members Israfans coordinated a tournament during Hanukkah 2011. Players from the Hapoel Petah-Tikva youth teams joined forces with children from local community centres to form mixed teams. The overall aim was to highlight values of solidarity, tolerance and fair play to the children involved. To find out more about Israfans, visit their website.