Supporters’ Direct media briefing (1st Feb)

1st February, 2013

Supporters Direct News  

Structured Relationship paper now available online  
One of the publications being launched on February 5th is SD’s ‘Recognising Value: Developing a Structured Relationship between Supporters’ Trusts and Clubs’. This paper aims to develop the thinking on what actually comprises a structured relationship and to ensure a strong case is made for supporters’ trusts being central to relationships between supporters and their clubs; with particular emphasis on encouraging increased sustainability and transparency of clubs.   

The paper is now available to view as a PDF document via the SD website.

SD responds to Deloitte Money League
This week saw the publication of Deloitte’s annual Money League, which present and profiles the highest earning clubs in football.

In response, SD chief executive David Lampitt emphasised that “football must not forget that it is ultimately supporters who sustain the game economically – whether through the turnstile or their TV subscription – as well as culturally and emotionally. If clubs are earning more, then that should mean that football becomes more affordable and accessible for all fans, as the furore over the cost of away tickets shows.” To read the full statement, click here

SD to present to FA  
On February 13th SD will, together with Locality, present a workshop to the London and South East County Football Association. This will focus on the great work being done by Supporters’ Trusts in relation to Community Shares and asset transfer, and comes on the back of the FA’s recently published Guide to Asset Transfers

Upcoming training events   
There are a number of upcoming training events for Trust board members and Secretaries at various locations around the country:

10/2: Board Members’ Development, SD offices. For more information, please click here.  

17/2: Secretaries’ Development, Peterborough (The Park Inn). This session was scheduled for 20/1 but due to the inclement weather was postponed. If you couldn’t make the original date but would like to come along, please contact Vicki Goodfellow

3/3: Secretaries’ Development, Manchester (Britannia Hotel). The venue is easily accessible from both Manchester Piccadilly railway station and Piccadilly Gardens Metrolink. For more information, please click here

17/3: Secretaries’ Development, Bristol (Armada House, close to Bristol Temple Meads station). 

For more information about any of the events or to reserve your place, please contact Vicki Goodfellow

SD Council / Advisory Group results  
The elections to the Supporters Direct Councils and Advisory Group have now concluded. To view the results, click here.  

Reminder: SD match programme articles now available
Since the beginning of the season, SD has been producing monthly columns on topical issues of interests to football fans and trust members, to be placed in match programmes. If you have not yet signed up for this service and wish to do so, please contact Ben Shave

News from Europe 

EC Project update
The coming weeks and months are expected to be extremely busy for the nine partners involved in the EC-funded project, ‘Improving Football Governance through Supporter Involvement and Community Ownership’, with national workshops on the horizon, and production of toolkits ongoing.

On February 16th, Associação de Adeptos Sportinguistas will hold their national workshop at the Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon. Featuring contributions from Secretary of State for Youth & Sport Alexandre Mestre, Liga Portuguesa de Futebol Profissional President Mário Figueiredo, and Jorge Silvério, SLO Coordinator at the Federação Portuguesa de Futebol; the event will also see supporters from a number of clubs discuss the way forward for organised supporters’ groups in Portugal.

Preparations are also underway for workshops in Italy, Sweden and Belgium. These will take place in March – more details will be available in the February newsletter.

As well as the six national workshops, eight project partners are currently producing toolkits in their native language. These will outline the importance of supporter involvement in ownership and governance structures at clubs, and also provide a key resource for organised supporters’ groups and mutually owned clubs in the future.

To find out more about the project, click here.

Supporter Liaison update   
Under Article 35 of the 2010 UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations, clubs across Europe were required to appoint a supporter liaison officer (SLO) before the beginning of the 2012/13 season to ensure a proper and constructive discourse with their fans.

With the project now in its second phase, SD Europe are providing national associations with guidance on implementation. In January SD Europe met with the Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio and Lega Serie B to discuss the project – one of many such meetings that will take place across Europe in the coming months. 

Clubs/associations in countries such as Belgium, Scotland, Ireland and England are all publicising the role, something SD believes to be crucial. To find out more about the SLO project, click here

UEFA calls for ban on third-party ownership, and describes match fixing as ‘a cancer’ 
With the twin issues of third-party ownership of footballers and match fixing becoming increasingly prominent in the modern game, UEFA has explicitly called for the banning of the former, and expressed their determination to combat the latter.

Both problems were highlighted in the recently published SD Europe position paper, ‘The Heart of the Game: Why Supporters are Vital to Improving Governance in Football’

European Parliament hearing echoes SD Europe priorities    
Last month the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education held a public hearing, focusing on two key subjects: the fight against match-fixing and financial fair play.

As a holder of Observer Status on the European Union Expert Group on Good Governance in Sport, SD Europe was present. To find out more, click here.

Bundesliga Report 2013 published   
The Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) have today launched the 2013 Bundesliga Report, in Frankfurt am Main.

The report contains a range of data relating to financial performance, attendances and the general economic state of professional German football. To find out more, click here

FREE Project: participants needed   
Researchers at Loughborough University are doing a study to investigate football governance through the eyes of the supporter. This is part of the FREE Project (Football Research in an Enlarged Europe) a pan European collaborative research project involving nine universities in eight different European countries. 

Trust News

Magpies working towards community ownership     
The board of Dorchester Town FC Community Trust (The Magpies Trust), in partnership with Dorchester Town Youth Football Club and the board of Dorchester Town Football Club confirm that negotiations with club chairman Shaun Hearn and the club board have resulted in all parties agreeing in principle to combine forces to work towards establishing Dorchester Town Football Club as a community owned club. To find out more, click here

AFC Rushden & Diamonds reveal matchday and season ticket prices
Following a vote by AFC Rushden & Diamonds members, the Match Day ticket prices for the forthcoming 2012-13 campaign in the ChromaSport and Trophies United Counties League Division One have been revealed, along with a credit card-sized swipe card system.

To find out more, visit their website

Pompey Trust continue to work towards successful takeover  
With two adjournments of the court case that will decide the fate of their club either side of Christmas, the Pompey Supporters’ Trust are continuing to encourage supporters to back their bid to make Pompey the UK’s biggest community club. To keep up to date with the latest events, visit the Community Pompey website and follow PST on Twitter

AFC Telford United launch half year report 
The Trust and Club Boards at AFC Telford United have recently issued a mid-season report, which emphasises the progress that has been made since August, including the launch of a new plan which focusses on Five F’s: Fans, Football, Finance, Future and Foundations. To read the report in full, click here. Telford supporters also distinguished themselves during the recent bad weather, shifting an estimated 1000 tonnes of snow to ensure a home match against Alfreton went ahead. 

Blues Trust issues financial analysis, open letter to Peter Pannu 
With the continuing uncertainty surrounding their club, the Blues Trust have continued to make themselves heard as a constructive voice for Birmingham City supporters. Their response to and analysis of the club’s recently released accounts followed some similarly excellent work from the Leeds United Supporters’ Trust last month, and a recently published letter to BCFC’s acting chairman Peter Pannu also raises a number of important points. To keep up with the latest events, follow @bluestrust on Twitter

Iron Trust comment on club’s future      
The Iron Trust has released a statement in response to questions about the role it hopes to play in Scunthorpe United Football Club. Since their registration in 2012 the Trust have become a key stakeholder in events at their club, and will continue their work in the coming months. 

News from Scotland 

Fans’ Charter launched 
The Fans’ Charter, compiled by James Proctor, captures the good things about Scottish football and demonstrates that supporters, clubs and authorities can find common purpose by listening to each other. What’s been achieved is a common sense view of football that puts people at the centre of the sport and provides guidance as to how to take their relationship forward.

To find out more about the charter, and read inspiring examples about what’s already happening, go to, and follow the #makefootballbetter hashtag on Twitter. 

Joining the Fans’ Parliament Network  
Scottish Fans is the new football brand that was launched on 18th October by former First Minister Henry McLeish and Head of Supporters Direct Scotland Paul Goodwin. Its objectives are to develop and maintain a network of fans groups across Scotland to ensure that fans can be properly represented with the Scottish Government and the football authorities. To find out more about getting involved, visit their website.  

Scottish Fans producing daily football news round-ups  
Looking for a one-stop guide to all the latest happenings in Scottish football? Scottish Fans have recently started a daily feature rounding up the headlines, key stories, and best analysis.

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