Latest news from Supporters’ Trusts around the world
Portsmouth in the hands of the fans
Portsmouth FC are to become the biggest community owned club in Britain following the resolution of the case brought by the Club’s administrator, Trevor Birch, at the High Court in London, over the sale of Fratton Park.
The deal, which means that Fratton Park can now be sold to the Club, removes the final hurdle which has seen fans of the Club pledge funds to a Pompey Supporters Trust Community Share Issue, and which will result in majority ownership by the Trust. They now have a further year to purchase as many shares as they can.
SD were among the many, many organisations to welcome the news, which has delivered a massive boost to the supporter ownership movement across the UK and beyond. Congratulations PST!
Swedish FA follows supporters in backing retention of 50+1 rule
Members of Svenska Fotbollssupporterunionen (SFSU), and supporters of the game as a whole received welcome news last week, with confirmation that the Svenska Fotbollförbundets (Football Association) would support the retention of the ’50+1′ rule at the Sports Confederation.
Swedish clubs have traditionally been structured as democratic members’ associations, but in recent times the future of this model has been thrown into doubt, as private interests attempted to exert a greater level of influence over football.
However, earlier this year members of many clubs (including AIK, Djurgarden, Elfsborg, Helsingborg, IFK Göteborg, Malmö FF and Hammarby) put forward motions at their AGMs, demanding that their clubs actively lobby in favour of retaining the rule.
News from Europe
A la Nantaise launch ‘Au Couer du Jeu’ toolkit and ‘Yes, We Canaris!’ campaign
Earlier this month A la Nantaise, l’Association des Amoreux du FC Nantes launched a landmark publication for French supporters, as well as announcing France’s first campaign by a democratic, organised supporters’ group to raise finance with a view to achieving an ownership stake in their club.
Supporters Direct Europe, who have worked with A la Nantaise since 2010, was represented at the event, which took place at the Maison de la Bretagne in Paris. A la Nantaise members and other French supporters were also present.
Portuguese supporters launch landmark toolkit
This month saw the launch of a landmark publication in Portugal: ‘Associações de Adeptos – Fortalacer a voz dos Adeptos no Futebol Português’, which has been developed as part of the European Commission-funded project ‘Improving Football Governance through Supporter Involvement and Community Ownership’, which involves nine partners from eight European countries and is coordinated by Supporters Direct Europe.
The toolkit, which has been developed by project partners Associação de Adeptos Sportinguistas, covers a range of issues, including: how democratic, organised supporters’ groups can contribute to the improvement of football in Portugal, the current national and European context, the role supporters can play in the day-to-day lives of their clubs, and perhaps most importantly how Portuguese fans can go about forming a group. It also contains a variety of best practice examples, and recommendations for Portuguese football’s key stakeholders.
Supporters Direct Europe presents at Serie B workshop
Supporters Direct Europe was among the organisations represented at a workshop convened by the Lega Serie B in Milan earlier this month. Those present were informed about the growing supporters’ trust movement in Italy and across Europe, as well as the work done in the country as part of the ‘Improving Football Governance through Supporter Involvement and Community Ownership’ project; coordinated by SD Europe and involving nine partners from eight different countries. To find out more about the workshop, click here.
European football stakeholders adopt joint position on match fixing
At a recent meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria, the Professional Football Strategy Council (comprised of representatives from UEFA, the European Club Association, the European Professional Football Leagues and FIFPro Division Europe) unanimously adopted a joint position paper which includes a concrete action plan to protect the integrity of football and fight match-fixing. This document was also ratified by the UEFA Executive Committee. To find out more, and about SD Europe’s position on the subject, click here.
Fussball Kultur Kollektiv: SV Babelsberg – FC United
One At the end of May FC United of Manchester will travel to Germany to participate in a friendly against SV Babelsberg 03, a match which will be the centrepiece for a number of other events. To find out more about the programme, and the supporters organising it, click here, and see below.
The Challenge for Europe in the Governance of Sport
SD Europe was 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 reported on the ‘Improving Football Governance through Supporter Involvement and Community Ownership’ Preparatory Action. To find out more, click here.
1895 Trust hold first AGM
The 1895 Trust, representing supporters of Shelbourne FC in Ireland, reached a milestone last week with their first Annual General Meeting and the election of a first full committee.
Elsewhere, the Trust will be the main sponsor for the club’s home match against Bray Wanderers next Monday, May 6, and at half time, the Trust will be presented with the matchball on the pitch. To find out more about the 1895 Trust, click here.
Success for supporter owned clubs, and those with supporter directors
Another exciting season has hurtled towards the finish line over the last month, and plenty of clubs with supporters at their heart have been enjoying success on the pitch. Chester FC and Scarborough Athletic have lifted the Conference North and Northern Counties East League Premier Division titles respectively, with the former climbing up to the Conference National and the latter currently seeking promotion to the Evostick Northern League First Division North.
Elsewhere, Merthyr Town FC and FC United of Manchester are both preparing for the trials and tribulations of the play-offs, with the latter seeking to end something of a post-season jinx.
Further up the pyramid, the final Conference National table was a remarkable one for the movement, with the top five either owned by supporters (Wrexham) or with supporters playing a key role in the running of the club (champions Mansfield, Kidderminster, Newport County, and Grimsby Town). Additionally, Doncaster Rovers were promoted as champions from League One, capping a fine season on and off the pitch for the Viking Supporters Co-operative.
Congratulations (and best of luck for the play-offs) to all involved.
MUST and Spirit of Shankly seek protection of Old Trafford and Anfield
MUST, the independent Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (MUST), and Spirit of Shankly (SOS), the Liverpool Supporters Union, announced this month that they have both submitted separate nominations to Trafford Council and Liverpool City council for Old Trafford and Anfield respectively to be registered as ‘Assets of Community Value’ under the “Assets of Community Value Regulations of the Localism Act (2011)”. To find out more about this joint action, click here.
CAS Trust announce working relationship with their club
In a joint statement issued last week, Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust and Charlton Athletic have announced that they are to begin a closer working relationship, with the aim of bringing supporters closer to the South London club, and ensuring that it is protected for current and future generations. Since their launch at the end of 2012, CAS Trust have brought over 1800 Addicks supporters into their network. To find out more, click here.
Blues Trust lead drive to increasy transparency at St Andrews
Following a number of stories relating to the ownership structure at their club, the Blues Trust have, together with the Often Partisan website and the Birmingham Mail, been coordinating an extensive investigation into Birmingham City’s finances, and other related matters. This has been widely covered in the Mail and national press, whilst the Trust themselves have also commented. To keep up with the latest, follow them on Twitter.
Sky Blue Trust meet with their club’s administrator
Representatives of the Sky Blue Trust and Supporters Direct met the Administrator for Coventry City Football Club Limited, Mr Paul Appleton of David Rubin and Partners in London earlier this month. Following the succession of concerning stories relating to the club, the Trust used this opportunity to make clear their intention of playing a positive role in its future. To keep up with the latest, visit their website.
Walsall Trust dig deep for charity
The Walsall Football Supporters Trust handed over a cheque for £2,600 to Dean and Danielle Holden at their End of Season Party earlier this month, from monies raised at their various events this season in support of Meningitis Trust. This event was the latest in a long line of charitable initiatives organised by the Trust throughout the season, and was attended by club manager Dean Smith among others. To find out more, visit the Trust’s website.
News from Scotland
SD Scotland comments on league reconstruction
Following this month’s news that the Scottish league will not be restructured, SD Scotland’s Paul Goodwin released a statement expressing disappointment at the impasse, and reiterating the organisation’s willingness to work towards a solution. To find out more and to read the statement in full, visit Scottish Fans.
SD Scotland announce joint partnership with Alzheimers Scotland on Football Memories project
Recently SD Scotland were delighted to announce a working partnership with Alzheimer Scotland and their Football Memories project. The project was launched two years ago and trains volunteers to spend time with people with dementia who have an interest in football, talking about teams and matches from the past and working with images and memorabilia to stimulate memories. To find out more, click here.
Killie Trust Board comment on Kilmarnock Redevelopment
Following the announcement that a community-based multi-sports facility could soon be coming to their town, the Killie Trust has welcomed the news, and expressed their intention to play a key role in the consultation process. To find out more and to read their statement, click here.