Latest Football Trust News from around Europe

2nd April, 2013

Annual Supporters Summit: June 22nd 2013, St Georges’ Park

Suporters Direct and the Football Supporters’ Federation will hold a joint Supporters Summit at The Football Association’s National Football Development Centre, St George’s Park, Burton, on 22nd June 2013.

The event will welcome fans from around Britain including delegates representing supporters’ trusts and groups across Europe.

The AGM’s of each organisation will be held on the following days:

Supporters Direct : 21st June, St. Georges Park
Football Supporters Federation : 22nd June, St. Georges Park

For further information, please contact: events@supporters-direct.coop – and keep your eyes out for further announcements later today.

European Commissioner Vassiliou reiterates support for SD Europe

Following an initial meeting between Supporters Direct Europe (SD Europe) and the European Commissioner in charge of sport, Androulla Vassiliou, in Brussels last month, the Commissioner has further endorsed the work of SD Europe and its partners across Europe through a video message.

The Commissioner outlines in the video message that “Supporters Direct Europe shows how fans can help to develop inclusive and sustainable structures at both the grassroots and professional levels, giving life to the concept of active citizenship and demonstrating how supporters can contribute to a better governed and more sustainable sport.” Furthermore Ms Vassiliou emphasised the EC’s view that supporters are a vital partner in collective efforts to reduce discrimination and violence, and to combat “the growing menace of match-fixing”.

To watch the video and find out more, click here.

Sky Blue Trust at the forefront as Coventry’s troubles continue

In recent weeks, Coventry City FC have become the latest in a long line of clubs to experience damaging uncertainty over their future. After an extended membership drive, the Sky Blue Trust have been well placed to be at heart of the situation – providing updates, statements and the perspectives of their members.

To keep up with the latest developments, visit their website and follow them on Twiter.

Supporters Direct News

SD Board Member Neil Le Milliere wins Football League Fan of the Year
Last Sunday’s Football League Awards saw SD board member (and Exeter City fan) Neil Le Milliere named the npower Football League Fan of the Year – a deserved recognition of Neil’s great efforts in helping supporters throughout the country over the years. To find out more, click here.

Greg Dyke nominated as FA Chairman – SD Statement
It was confirmed last week that Greg Dyke (pictured with SD Chair Brian Burgess in his current role at Brentford FC) has been unanimously nominated to succeed David Bernstein as Chairman of the Football Association, and will take up the role this coming July.

Dyke was a director of Manchester United in the late nineties and since 2006 he has been non-executive Chairman of Brentford Football Club.

To read SD’s response to the news, click here.

Making It Mutual: The Ownership Revolution That Britain Needs
A radical structural shift is needed in order to address the deep-seated deficit and underlying problems of British competitiveness, a new publication from the think tank ResPublica urges.

Making It Mutual includes a contribution from SD’s Tom Hall and Ben Shave: ‘Club Ownership: A Paradigm Shift’. The piece focuses on the achievements of the supporters’ trust movement in recent times, and why there is a clear need for supporters to play a greater role in the ownership and governance of their clubs. To find out more, click here.

Upcoming Regional Meetings and Trust Training 
SD’s seasonal regional meetings and training sessions are set to continue apace during April and May, with the following events taking place around the country:

South West Regional Meeting, Newport, 25/4 (email James Mathie)
London and South East Regional Meeting, London, 16/5 (email Vicki Goodfellow)
Board Member Development, Scunthorpe, 19/5 (email Vicki Goodfellow)
East Midlands Regional Meeting, Chesterfield, 23/5 (email Vicki Goodfellow)

News from Europe

SD Europe meets with UEFA
Earlier this month Supporters Direct Europe (SD Europe), along with representatives from Football Supporters Europe (FSE) and Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFÉ) met with UEFA at the House of Football in Nyon, in the sixth such annual meeting between European football’s governing body and groups representing supporters across the continent.

SD Europe were represented by David Lampitt (Chief Executive, Supporters Direct), Antonia Hagemann (Head of European Development, Supporters Direct) and Stuart Dykes (Supporter Liaison Officer Project Consultant). UEFA were represented by President Michel Platini, General Secretary Gianni Infantino, adviser to the President William Gaillard and various members of its administration. To read about the meeting, click here.

Il Cuore del Gioco – Italian football stakeholders meet in Rome
On March 2nd, Supporters from clubs throughout the pyramid, along with many of Italian football’s key stakeholders, gathered in Rome on Saturday; accompanied by representatives from Supporters Direct Europe, Federación de Accionistas y Socios del Fútbol Español (FASFE), Unsere Kurve, and the European Commission. The purpose: to discuss the issues currently facing Italian football, and how democratic supporter involvement in the ownership and governance of clubs can help to address them.

A full report from the workshop, which was part of the ‘Improving Football Governance through Supporter Involvement and Community Ownership’ project coordinated by SD Europe, can be read by clicking here.

Swedish fans unite in support of 50+1
Swedish supporters delivered a unanimous display of support for the 50+1 rule in Malmö on March 9th, following a series of motions at the AGM’s of some of the country’s most high-profile clubs – all in favour of preserving and protecting the 50+1 rule, the backbone of supporter ownership in Sweden. The rule stipulates that even if clubs (traditionally structured as multi-sport members’ associations) separate their professional football sections into limited companies, these must still be majority controlled by the parent association.

The event was organised by Svenska Footballssupporterunionen (SFSU), the umbrella organisation for democratic, not for profit supporters’ groups in Sweden, as part of the ‘Improving Football Governance through Supporter Involvement and Community Ownership’ project, coordinated by SD Europe. To read a full report, click here.

Belgian fans take another vital step in developing supporter involvement
Supporters from across Belgium gathered in Antwerp last weekend, as part of the ‘Improving Football Governance through Supporter Involvement and Community Ownership’ project, coordinated by SD Europe. As well as representatives from democratic organisations at a number of clubs, there were national and political stakeholders, including Ivo Belet MEP. To read a full report, click here.

Fondazione Taras celebrate first anniversary
One year ago, Fondazione Taras was established by a group of AS Taranto Calcio supporters who wanted to play a greater role in the life of their club. Since then, the Fondazione have founded and registered a new club for their city, recruited members from across Italy; and become an active part of the growing movement of democratic supporters’ groups in Italy and Europe.

To watch a video looking back on the Fondazione’s first year of existence, click here. To read about the history of the Fondazione, click here.

Swedish Government Report endorses Supporter Liaison Officer project
Last week, an official report commissioned by the Swedish Government highlighted the success that the Supporter Liaison Officer project has had in the country, and outlined how it should be developed in the future.

The report is part of a wider investigation into spectator violence at sports stadia, and one of its key conclusions is that the Swedish experience of the project, the introduction of which SD Europe is facilitating in cooperation with UEFA across Europe, has been extremely positive. To find out more, click here.

The Challenge for Europe in the Governance of Sport
SD Europe are among the organisations and institutions delivering presentations in Brussels on April 8th, at ‘The Challenge for Europe in the Governance of Sport’ conference, organised by Play the Game and the Danish Institute for Sports Studies, in cooperation with six European universities and the European Journalism Centre. SD Europe will report on the ‘Improving Football Governance through Supporter Involvement and Community Ownership’ Preparatory Action. To find out more, visit Play The Game.

Football for Equality Conference, April 26-28, Bratislava
Free Kick for Equality!” will take place from 26 to 28 April 2013 in Bratislava. It is the closing event of the project “Football for Equality – Tackling racism and homophobia with a focus and Central- and Eastern Europe”, co-funded by the European Commission. The conference will discuss cross-sectional approaches to fight discrimination, bridge gaps between different stakeholders and regions, promote sport as a tool for inclusion and will share experiences about campaigns and educational work in the field of sport. To find out more, click here.

Trust News

PST bid farewell to Hermann in fundraising friendly
Portsmouth fans have their chance to buy part of the biggest ever community share in a football club and help kick-start the rebuilding of the club as tickets go on sale this week for the Pompey Supporters’ Trust fundraising friendly with Hermann Hreidarsson’s Icelandic Premier League side IBV. To find out more, visit the Pompey Supporters’ Trust website, and to keep up to date with the latest developments in their bid to create Britain’s biggest community club, follow PST on Twitter.

FC United of Manchester one step closer to Moston
FC United were at the Court of Appeal in London last week, to find out whether a ruling that would allow them to begin work on a proposed community facility in Moston would be passed. You can read their statement on the hearing here.

Elsewhere, FCUM’s recent A Women’s Place Is At The Match event, which celebrated the role of women in football, was praised by Barbara Keeley MP, who commended “…them and all women and girls working to break down barriers in women’s sport.”

Wrexham and Grimsby produce entertaining FA Trophy final
Around 35,000 supporters from Wrexham and Grimsby descended on Wembley last weekend, with their clubs delivering an enjoyable FA Trophy final on the pitch – ultimately won by Wrexham on penalties. As Twohundredpercent’s excellent match report highlights, both clubs have experienced turbulent times lately, and Sunday’s occasion was certainly a deserved reward for all.

Latest New Posh Fans Initiative a great success
One of the Posh Supporters’ Trusts’ key activities is the New Posh Fans Initiative (NPFI). This has been running each season since 2008, providing residents of areas of Peterborough and the surrounding area an opportunity to watch the Posh for free and a discount ticket voucher for a future game. The scheme aims to welcome ‘new’ fans to London Road and to help in the continued quest to raise attendances. The latest NPFI carried out in October/November 2012 saw over 250 residents of Orton Northgate, Orton Southgate and the surrounding area invited
to watch the Posh game against either Derby County or Crystal Palace.

Of those 250, 136 recently returned surveys – and the results were certainly encouraging.

Of the 38 ‘Never been to a Posh game’ respondents:
o After the NPFI purchased a total of 98 tickets during the rest of the season.
o 1 plans to buy a season ticket next season
o 32 plan to attend games next season
o 28 out of 38 now consider themselves a ‘Posh fan’

Of the 89 ‘Been before but don’t go regularly’ respondents:

o After the NPFI purchased a total of 508 tickets
o 2 plan to buy season tickets next season (one adult, one junior)
o 85 plan to attend games next season
o 70 out of 80 now consider themselves a ‘Posh Fan’ (13 already were)

To find out more about the NPFI, click here.

Argyle and Cardiff fans call for greater transparency and dialogue
Both the Argyle Fans’ Trust and the Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust have surveyed their fellow supporters recently – and found near unanimous backing for the efforts to secure greater levels of transparency on the part of their clubs. 88% of those surveyed backed the Argyle Trust’s February call for greater transparency, whilst 83% of those surveyed asked the Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust to focus on ensuring greater dialogue between club and supporters.

In Rovers We Trust
Recent months have seen the Viking Supporters’ Co-operative work together with Doncaster Rovers on a joint campaign, ‘In Rovers We Trust’. The aim of the campaign is to take fan engagement to the next level and give Doncaster fans, through the Trust, a voice which is listened to and acted upon. The project’s latest initiative has seen supporters design next season’s home and away kits, and vote for their choices. For more background on In Rovers We Trust, read this Fan Experience Company blog post.

News from Scotland

SD Scotland continue talks with Hearts
Seven supporters’ groups have recently confirmed that talks, aimed at examining the possibility of supporter ownership at Hearts, are ongoing – with Supporters Direct Scotland also involved. To find out more, click here.

The Growth of Democracy in Scottish Football
Recently Paul Goodwin, Head of SD Scotland, produced a blog post discussing the recent developments in Scottish football that point towards supporters being a key part of solutions to the game’s problems. To read more, click here.

Dundee Survival Group visit Dens Park
On Wednesday 6th March, Dundee survival Group visited Dens Park as part of the Community Initiative. Dundee Survival Group provide accommodation for single homeless people in the Dundee area, while providing ancillary services, such as access to health care, and financial advice. To find out more, click here.

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