Supporters Direct Media Briefing (Dec 3rd)

3rd December, 2012

PST launch Community Share Issue 

Following last month’s great news that the Pompey Supporters’ Trust had been confirmed as preferred bidders for Portsmouth FC, PST officially launched their Community Share Issue on November 19th. 

Described on the SD website as “a landmark day for supporters of football everywhere”, the share issue underpins PST’s ambition of creating the biggest community club in the UK. To find out more about their plans, visit the Community Pompey website, and follow PST on Twitter. You can also view an update from PST’s Colin Farmery by visiting the SD YouTube channel

SD Europe launches position paper in Brussels

On November 7th, SD Europe launched a position paper, ‘The Heart of the Game: Why Supporters are Vital to Improving Governance in Football’, at an event hosted by Ivo Belet MEP at the European Parliament in Brussels. Representatives from the supporter ownership movement in eleven European countries were present at the event, along with football’s key stakeholders. To find out more about the event and to listen to a recording of the discussions, click here

The paper sets out our key policy positions, and provides evidence of how supporter ownership and involvement can help improve European football. Recommendations include: a revival of the members’ association model of club ownership, expansion of existing national networks of organised supporters’ groups, and the implementation of club licensing and financial fair play-type rules in all European leagues.

The paper is available in English, with French, German and Italian versions to come. To find out more about SD’s work in Europe, visit our website

Supporters Direct News  

Reminder: Membership Fees  
Don’t forget: SD membership fees are increasing to £100 from January 1st 2013, a change passed at the 2012 SD AGM. If your Trust/Club are currently out of SD membership or are due to renew by the end of the year, please make sure you do this before December 31st otherwise the cost will increase to the higher fee. To check your trust’s membership status, or for further membership information, please contact Vicki Goodfellow, via email or on 020 7273 1592.   

Coming next month: Supporters Direct Survey! 
During December we will be sending all Trusts/Clubs in England and Wales our latest Survey, which will cover a number of topics as well as providing you with a chance to have your say on issues affecting your Trust/Club. As ever, the more respondents we receive the better the results will be in terms of influencing our work over the next year, so please keep an eye on your inboxes.  

East of England Secretary’s Training, January 20th 2013   
If your Trust is based in the East of England, January 20th is a date for your diary, as this season’s Secretary’s Training is to be held on that date at a venue TBC. The event will provide practical advice and support to existing Trust Secretaries, and will be delivered by SD’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs Manager, Jacqui Forster. Places are limited so please confirm your attendance in advance – for more information, please contact Vicki Goodfellow

Notice of Election: England & Wales Council, Rugby League Advisory Group   
Nominations are now being sought in the election to the Supporters Direct England and Wales Football Council, and to the Rugby League Advisory Group. To find out more, please visit the SD website

FA Asset Transfer Guidance 
In response the ongoing Localism agenda the FA have produced a “Guide to Asset Transfers” aimed at community football clubs that have opportunities to take control of assets that may currently be held by the public or private sector.

SD receives several mentions as experts on sports cooperatives and raising capital finance for cooperatives; it also includes a case study on Enfield Town’s new stadium and how they have applied an asset lock to ensure the stadium is protected for future generations of their fans to enjoy plus the wider community.

We will be supplementing this by running a workshop for FA Development staff in the New Year.

In response to the Localism Act SD are currently producing a guide on how sports stadia can be listed as Assets of Community Value. Designation as an Assets of Community Value would enable community groups to have a moratorium period to submit a bid to purchase these assets if they was ever put up for sale.

For further information on opportunities from the Localism Act please contact Tom Hall. To view a copy of the Guide please visit our website

Trust News 

Fisher FC’s Back to Bermondsey campaign at critical stage  
Fisher’s campaign to return to their traditional home, the Surrey Docks Stadium, has reached a crucial stage as the ground and surrounding land is about to be sold off. The supporter owned club are continuing to work alongside SD, Simon Hughes MP and other stakeholders to ensure the Fish are able to return home and play a role in their local community. To find out more, visit their website

Northwich Victoria supporters vote to start new club – 1874 Northwich FC  
At an open meeting earlier this month, supporters of Northwich Victoria voted overwhelmingly in favour of starting a new club under democratic supporter ownership – a hugely significant moment. Their convictions were given further credence when current club owner Jim Rushe fell foul of the Fit and Proper Persons’ Test shortly after – Twohundredpercent rounds up the story. To find out more, visit the NVST website.  

FC United to launch Football Youth Academy 
FC United of Manchester have officially teamed up with Manchester College to launch their new jointly run Football Youth Academy, which will open its doors to the first group of players in September 2013 at a new state-of-the-art community facility at FC United’s planned new stadium in Moston. To find out more, take a look at this video from FCUM’s YouTube channel. 

Two new Championship Trusts   
The ranks of Championship Supporters’ Trusts have grown this month, with Rovers Trust (Blackburn Rovers) and CAS Trust (Charlton Athletic) both off and running. Rovers Trust were launched at an event held at Blackburn Cathedral, whilst CAS Trust will celebrate the 20th anniversary of their club’s return to the Valley at an event on December 5th. Welcome to both Trusts! 

Bradford City to launch Supporters’ Board 
Bradford City have announced the formation of a Supporters’ Board, which has been developed with advice and support from Supporters Direct, following an initial meeting between the Bradford City Supporters’ Trust and the club. To find out more, click here.  

Argyle Trust to repeat Christmas Foodbank Appeal  
The Plymouth Foodbank was set up as a community project to help those in need throughout the year. On Saturday 8th December the Argyle Fans’ Trust is holding a Christmas Foodbank Appeal at the home match against York City. Fans will be asked to donate food and money to help ensure the Foodbank can help as many people as possible this winter. To find out more, click here

Iron Trust receive support from Chairman  
Scunthorpe United Chairman Steve Wharton has called on supporters to back the Iron Trust, as they continue to work towards a future for the club which places supporters at its heart. With over 200 members, the Trust are currently establishing a structured relationship with the club, are shareholders, and hope to be represented on the Board of Directors.  

Fred Keenor Statue unveiled 
Standing proud at the Cardiff City Stadium is the 15ft high tribute to Fred Keenor, captain of the Bluebirds’ 1927 FA Cup winning team. Hundreds of fans gathered around the statue to see Carla Shore and Yassin Mohamed, pupils from Fred’s old school, Stacey in Roath, pull a cord to release a Welsh flag and unveil the statue, the construction of which was coordinated by the Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust. To find out more, click here

News from Scotland

SD Scotland Conference held at Falkirk Stadium    
On November 25th the annual SD Scotland Conference was held at Falkirk Stadium, with keynote speeches from SFL Chief Executive David Longmuir, SD Chief Executive David Lampitt, Head of SD Scotland Paul Goodwin, Professor Stephen Morrow and Stephen Pressley. To catch up on the event, visit the Scottish Fans website

David Longmuir outlines proposals for reconstruction 
As part of the Scottish Fans Glasgow Roadshow on November 26th, SFL Chief Executive David Longmuir outlined his proposals for reconstruction of the Scottish League, as part of his ongoing efforts to learn the views of all stakeholders. To find out more, click here.

‘Saving Scottish Football’ now available – all proceeds go to charity
Our Head of Scotland, Paul Goodwin, has published a book: ‘Saving Scottish Football’. The book outlines his personal views on the game in Scotland with suggestions on how it can be improved and put back on track. All proceeds go the Prostate Cancer Research. To find out more and to purchase the book, click here

Scottish Council welcomes Richard Atkinson 
Earlier this month, the SD Scottish Council welcomed Richard Atkinson as the newest member. Richard’s experience includes the recent bid made by fans’ group ‘10000Hours’ to purchase the majority shareholding of St Mirren FC. To find out more, visit the Scottish Fans website.  

Killie Trust update on community ownership   
Earlier this week the Killie Trust issued a press release, which updated members and interested parties on their efforts to bring community ownership to the club. To find out more, visit their website.  

News from Europe

UEFA reiterates support SD’s work in Europe
Following the launch of SD Europe’s position paper in Brussels, at which UEFA was represented by Senior Advisor to the President William Gaillard, UEFA covered the event and reiterated their continuing support for the work that SD is doing in Europe. To find out more, click here

Fourth meeting of EU Expert Group in Good Governance 
As a key stakeholder in the field, representing the interests of fans and supporters across the continent, SD Europe holds observer status on the EU Expert Group (XG) in Good Governance. As one of the main organizations working to promote better governance and sustainable practice in sport, SD Europe supports the XG in a number of areas, particularly: the fight against match-fixing; stakeholder involvement; increasing transparency; and issues relating to agents and player transfers. The XG’s fourth meeting will be held on December 13th – to find out more, visit our website

EC Project Workshop held in Cork 
“I am very encouraged to see football supporters coming together like this for the first time to develop ways of addressing the long-term challenges facing football in Ireland.” Those were the words of Irish President Michael D. Higgins, praising the work done earlier this month at the first of six workshops relating to the SD-coordinated, EC-funded project, ‘Improving Football Governance through Supporter Involvement and Community Ownership’. To find out more about the weekend, visit our website.  

EU budget debate – what does it mean for sport?      
Much has been made of the recent summit between European leaders in Brussels, which ended without agreement. This will not only have political implications, but also potentially for the sports movement in Europe. Whilst a funding cut for the newly-established sport budget remains an (unlikely) option, delays in negotiations at European Council level could result in some future funding programmes, particularly Erasmus 4 All, being delayed. However, there remains broad support across the European Parliament for future sport funding streams, and it is hoped that next year’s negotiations will prove more fruitful. 

SLO Update: FAQs, additional translations and interview now available
As the Supporter Liaison Officer project continues to develop across Europe, many of you will be interested in how the position works on a day-to-day basis, as well as the recruitment process. SD has produced some FAQs, which aim to answer some of the queries received in recent months. The SLO section of our website also contains a new interview with Vibeke Kilian, the SLO at Aarhus in Denmark, and additional translations of the handbook.

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