Supporters Direct Briefing (10 April)
FC United of Manchester reach Community Shares target!
Following the re-launch of their Community Shares scheme, FC United of Manchester have today reached their target of £1.6m, which will allow them to go ahead with their planned stadium and community facility at Moston, Manchester – a remarkable achievement. To find out more, click here. Congratulations from everyone at SD to FC United!
Supporters Direct on the radio
Many of you will be familiar with the BBC Non League Show, which has for many years provided an invaluable place where supporters and clubs alike can discuss the issues affecting the game below the professional level. SD’s own Kevin Rye has a regular guest slot on the show, and you can listen to his most recent appearance on Episode 31 here. You can also follow the show on Twitter @nonleagueshow.
Exeter City praised for anti-homophobia initiative, annual accounts
Following the most successful season in their history, Exeter City FC are once again enjoying an eventful season in League One. But the club have also been busy off the pitch, drawing praise in the last month for their anti-homophobia stance and also releasing their annual accounts. To keep up with all the happenings at the club and the Trust, follow them on Twitter.
Local Businesses ‘Backing The Blues’
Another team enjoying an eventful season are Chester FC. Twelve points clear at the top of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League table, the Blues have also been developing their links with the local business community through the ‘Backing The Blues’ campaign. To find out more, click here. Members of City Fans United have also voted on the club’s home kit for the 2012/13 season – to take a look at the winning design, click here.
AFC Wimbledon scoop Big Society award
AFC Wimbledon recently became the first football club to receive a Big Society award, set up “to recognise individuals, groups or organisations that are demonstrating the Big Society in their work or activities.” To find out more, click here.
A busy period for Cambridge Fans United
Cambridge Fans United recently presented Cambridge United with a cheque for £10,000, receiving shares in return, and helping the club through a difficult time. This follows the appointment of a second Trust Board Member to the Club Board, Dave Doggett. To find out more, click here. The Trust have also launched an Audio-Descriptive commentary service for visually impaired supporters, and are looking to extend this service to away matches. For more information, please contact Nick Parker on 07929 589 925. To keep up to date, visit the CFU website.
One of CFU’s major priorities concerns the potential relocation of the club to a community stadium funded by Grosvenor Homes. CFU are working with Grosvenor to ensure that all supporters are given the opportunity to receive and provide feedback about the possible move. On the commerical side of things, CFU have also set up an online shop and ticketing facility which can be accessed via their website. To find out more, please contact John Bilboa on 07971 805 531.
All of this comes in the year of the club’s centenary, and CFU are closely involved in planning various ways to mark this, including a new online museum, and a book being produced to commemerate ‘100 Years of Coconuts.‘
Brakes Trust seek citizen of the year
The Brakes Trust (also known as the Leamington FC Supporters’ Co-operative) are once again running their annual search for a local Citizen of the Year. The campaign is intended to find a local unsung hero, who brightens the lives of others around them for little or no reward. To find out more, click here.
Killie Trust scoop RBS CommunityForce Award
The Killie Trust have this week celebrated the news that they have been awarded a £6275 CommunityForce award by RBS, as part of the bank’s Customer Charter. The award will be used to extend the Trust’s primary school education project, which promotes literacy, numeracy, decision making, a healthy diet and exercise activity. To find out more, visit the Trust’s Facebook page.
News from Europe
‘Improving Football Governance through Supporter Involvement and Community Ownership’ project underway
Work is underway in the ‘Improving Football Governance through Supporter Involvement and Community Ownership’ project, funded by the European Commission, coordinated by Supporters Direct and involving eight partners from across Europe, who will meet for the first Steering Committee session on April 20th. The project will last until June 2013, and will continue the drive towards better governance and supporter involvement in European football. To find out more, visit the Supporters Direct website.
Una Nuova Governance per il Calcio? La partecipazione dei Tifosi e il ruolo dei Supporters Trust
Stakeholders from across the Italian game (clubs, supporters, local government and the football authorities) were present in Venice on Saturday February 25th, organised by Supporters Direct affiliate members Venezia United, the Supporters’ Trust for FBC Unione Venezia. SD Head of European Development Antonia Hagemann was among the speakers at the event, which saw a discussion and debate about the role that Italian football supporters can play in the governance of their clubs. To read more about the event, click here.
Supporter Liaison Officer update
Ahead of the requirement for all clubs competing in UEFA competitions to appoint a Supporter Liaison Officer in time for the start of the 2012/13 season, the SLO project continues apace across Europe. To read an interview with the SLO at Swedish club Elfsborg, Eric Sjölin, click here. To find out more about the project, visit the Supporters Direct website, or contact Stuart Dykes.
Fan ownership movement continues to develop in France
On Friday March 23rd A la nantaise, l’association des amoureux du FC Nantes, held an event organised in co-operation with Supporters Direct. ‘L’actionnariat Populaire, une réponse face à la crise financière et morale du football professionnel européen’ was attended by local and national stakeholders, and the Norwich City Supporters’ Trust, with whom A la nantaise have recently twinned. The event generated some positive discussion, and clearly showed the appetite and support for fan ownership in France. To find out more, click here.