Football Trust News from around the World – Nov 13

29th November, 2013

SD participate in Parliamentary hearing, and launch a new publication

Monday 25 November was a busy day for Supporters Direct, with a hive of activity centred around Westminster. First on the agenda was a hearing organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Mutuals, ‘Football Supporters Trusts – What is the vision for the future of supporter-owned football clubs?’ Among the witnesses were SD Chief Executive David Lampitt and William Gaillard, Special Adviser to UEFA President Michel Platini. To read more about the event, click here.

Following the conclusion of the hearing, many of those present decamped to St Christopher’s Tavern in Westminster where, as well as debating the hearing over a refreshing drink, SD launched a new publication.

Titled ‘Supporter Share Ownership: Recommendations on how to increase Supporter Ownership in Football’, and co-authored by Tom Hall, Adam Brown and Jim Brown, it looks at some of the barriers to supporter ownership and includes recommendations on how the number of supporter owned clubs can be increased. To read the paper, click here.

Hard copies of the summary and full report will be sent to supporters’ trusts on renewal of SD membership.

HSV Not For Sale

The ‘German model’ is rightly praised as a best practice example for good governance, financial health, and supporter involvement. However, the rule has also created tensions between the collective interests of club members, and the interests of those who would still see the game take a more privatised approach.

These tensions have been particularly acute at Hamburger Sport-Verein, one of six clubs competing in the Bundesliga this season that remains an e.V, 100% member-owned. There is a feeling, encouraged and stoked up by certain wealthy, influential supporters and sponsors, that the recent lack of on-pitch success would be addressed (some would argue solved) by allowing private ‘investment’ into the club, and diluting the influence of members.

We, along with the HSV Not For Sale campaign, believe this argument is wrong, misleading, and a threat to the club itself. That’s why we are supporting the campaign, which ahead of the AGM in early 2014 is aiming to build momentum amongst the membership for change – but of a positive kind, that ensures the club remains 100% controlled by its members. Supporters’ groups across Europe have already demonstrated their backing for the campaign, with banners appearing in stadiums across the continent.

If you would like to display a banner at your stadium, please contact us. To download a banner to display on your website, please click here.

November haul leaves ACVs top of the table

Another month, another four stadiums confirmed as Assets of Community Value thanks to successful applications from supporters’ trusts. During November it was the Blues Trust (St Andrews), Foxes Trust (King Power Stadium), Stockport County Supporters Co-operative (Edgeley Park) and Prescot Cables (Valerie Park) who were celebrating good news; and with a number of other applications in the pipeline, December will hopefully see further developments.

If you’re interested in protecting your club’s stadium by pursuing ACV status, take a look at our microsite and contact Jacqui Forster.

Supporters Direct News

David Lampitt
As many of you will already be aware, we announced with regret earlier this month that Chief Executive David Lampitt will be leaving Supporters Direct at the end of the year. To read our full statement, click here.

Chair Brian Burgess said: “SD has been very fortunate to benefit from David’s commitment and expertise over the last year and a half, and we will be sorry to lose him. We know that he has not taken this decision lightly, and he leaves SD in a much stronger position than when he arrived. We thank him for his hard work and dedication, and I know he will maintain a keen interest in our continued development.

On behalf of everyone connected to the organisation, I wish him well for the future.”

Steve Millington
Known to many in the movement as a driving force behind the establishment and subsequent success of the Kidderminster Harriers Independent Supporters’ Trust, and also the friendly face of an independent examination of accounts, Steve Millington sadly passed away earlier this month after a short illness. A minute’s silence was held at the Harriers’ 4-1 home win over Sutton United, and many Harriers will be embarking on a sponsored memorial walk next April. All funds raised will go towards Macmillan Cancer Support. SD will be making a donation – to do the same, click here.

SD Council / Advisory Group Elections
Nominations are now being sought in the election to the Supporters Direct England and Wales Football Council, Scotland Council and Rugby League Advisory Group. To find out more about the eligibility criteria, click here.

SD match programme articles
A growing number of supporter owned clubs and supporters’ trusts are receiving our monthly match programme articles, which take a look at some of the stories to emerge from the movement of late. If you’d like to sign up, please contact us.

FA launch England Commission
The Football Association Chairman Greg Dyke has set up a Commission to investigate the future of English football, more specifically the dearth of English players playing in the Premier League. To find out more about you can get involved, click here.

News from Europe

Fondazione Taras call for dialogue between Supporters in Campo and authorities
Fondazione Taras, the democratic supporters’ trust and part-owners of Taranto FC, have called for dialogue between Supporters in Campo, the national network for Italian supporters’ trusts, and the country’s football authorities. In a move sparked by club President Fabrizio Nardoni’s decision to call for an away ban on Taranto supporters to be overturned, the Fondazione have emphasised the role Supporters in Campo can play in increasing the level of supporter involvement in the ownership and decision-making processes of Italian football. To find out more, click here.

Mein Verein – der perfekte Verein?
Supporters Direct Europe were among the organisations present at an event in Hamburg earlier this month, organised by the HSV Supporters Club: ‘Mein Verein – Der perfekte Verein?!’ Taking its name from the handbook produced by Unsere Kurve as part of the ‘Improving Football Governance through Supporter Involvement and Community Ownership’ project, the event provided Supporters Club members with an opportunity to discuss and debate the direction HSV is taking, and the importance of remaining a 100% member-owned club. To find out more, click here.

SD Europe presents at Play the Game 2013
Earlier this month, SD Europe was present at the bi-annual Play the Game conference in Aarhus, Denmark. The conference, billed as ‘stepping up for democracy in sport’, featured contributions from a raft of stakeholders over five days of debate and discussion. SD Europe was there to present the outcomes of the ‘Improving Football Governance through Supporter Involvement and Community Ownership’ project. An archive of all presentations from this year’s conference can be found by clicking here.

FSE launch first European travel guide app
The first edition of the FSE FANS’ GUIDE app put together by Football Supporters Europe (FSE), by fans, for fans, is now available. The app enables fans who travel to away matches to have all useful information relevant for football supporters with them through their mobile phone. The app is an independent non-profit project and available for free. Almost all info provided by the app is available offline and can be used without an internet connection once it is downloaded. Hence, this means that especially travelling fans can save expensive roaming costs abroad. To find out more, click here.

EU Sport Forum resources now available
In September, SD Europe was among the organisations present at the EU Sports Forum in Vilnius, Lithuania. The annual event was attended by over 300 delegates representing EU institutions, national governments, sports governing bodies and supporters. Presentations, speeches and a video archive of the Forum are now available by clicking here.

‘We are the club’
The current issue of Austrian football magazine Ballesterer bears this title, and examines stories of phoenix clubs from England, as well as Austria and Germany. It also looks at the challenges faced by re-formed clubs in the early days, as well as competing against a regulatory system that does not always want them to succeed.

To view an extract from the article (in German), click here.

Member owned clubs on the rise in Spain
Although Athletic Club, CA Osasuna, Barcelona FC and Real Madrid CF remain the most famous examples of socio-owned clubs in Spain, there is a growing movement of phoenix clubs in the lower leagues, the development of which is being supported by Federación de Accionistas y Socios del Fútbol Español (FASFE), the national organisation for democratic supporters’ groups. To read about the story of U.C.Ceares, Club de Accionariado Popular Ciudad de Murcia, CD Palencia, FC Tarraco, Xerez Deportivo and Atlético Club de Socios (in Spanish) click here.

Trust News

First spade in the ground for FC United
Following last month’s news that work could finally begin on a new community facility in Moston, FC United of Manchester officially kicked off construction on Sunday 17 November – the same day as the club’s 2013 Annual General Meeting, and the day after a 3-0 win at home to Frickley Athletic. The club’s YouTube channel has a number of videos chronicling the occasion – click here for more.

Wrexham unveil anniversary badge at AGM
At their second AGM under supporter ownership, Wrexham FC unveiled a commemorative badge to mark the club’s 150th year of existence, which will be celebrated in 2014. A full report of the AGM will be available soon via the club’s website – topics on the agenda included discussions with members on how to take the club forward, and plans for the 150th celebrations.

NUST: fans not welcome at fans forum
As the only elected body representing fans, the board of Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) welcomed the invitation to take up a permanent position on the Fans Forum organised by Newcastle United. However, the Trust have now found themselves unwelcome at future Forums. To read their take on the matter, click here.

Enfield launch Football Tales project
Fan-owned Enfield Town FC have launched their Enfield Town Football Tales website, a history project centred around Enfield Town FC, and involving older people, local schoolchildren and others. It captures the memories and experiences of professional and non – professional former players of Enfield Town and other Enfield football teams, people behind the scenes who help to make it all happen and not least the supporters of all ages. To find out more, click here.

Tranmere takeover campaign gathers pace
Donations have been pouring in from around the globe as the Tranmere Rovers Trust’s campaign to purchase a controlling interest at Prenton Park gathers pace. More than £25,000 was raised in one week alone, supporters from 21 different countries have donated to the campaign, and the Trust website has attracted more than 6,500 visitors from 25 countries. To find out more, click here.

Lewes launch owner boards
When you own something it’s natural enough to want to decorate it according to your personal tastes. In the view of Lewes FC that goes double for a football club, and in that spirit they have recently introduced Owner Boards. To find out more, click here.

Ipswich Town 1st express concern over departure of Community Trust
Ipswich Town’s Independent Supporters Trust were saddened and concerned to learn that the Ipswich Town Community Trust has left its premises at Portman Road and no longer has a connection with the football club, having been renamed Inspire Suffolk. To find out more, click here. The Trust also addressed a number of follow-up questions to the club’s Supporter Liaison Officer – these can be viewed via their website.

Corby Supporters’ Trust welcomed to Parliament
In a recognition of their various achievements over the past twelve months, the Corby Town Supporters’ Trust were invited to a recent Parliamentary event by local MP Andy Sawford. The Trust have been active since 2012, when it was formed by a group of supporters aiming to preserve the club for future generations. To read more about the event, click here.

News from Scotland

The Colour of Our Scarves
Together with the Scottish Government, SD Scotland will help address the issue of secterianism through the ‘Colour of our Scarves’ project. The programme will colllect much-needed research through a nationwide campaign of surveys, educational workshops and visual displays utilising the services of renowned football photographer Stuart Roy Clarke. With the assistance of all senior football clubs and the national governing body for the game in Scotland,  we hope to help address sectarianism and anti-social behaviour for the benefit of football supporters in general and those people living in the communities surrounding football Stadia. To find out more, visit the Scottish Fans website.

BuyRangers scheme now offers direct debit
The Rangers Supporters Trust has launched a direct debit scheme in a bid to help fans acquire shares in the club, after raising £250,000 over the last year. Chairman Gordon Dinnie said: “This is a significant step for the trust and the wider Rangers family in facilitating the collective purchase of a major shareholding in our club.” To find out more, visit their website.

SD Scotland to publish wide-ranging research into Scottish football
Supporters Direct Scotland are proud to announce they’ll be publishing a document containing 10 individual pieces of research into Scottish football next year. The document, to be produced in both paper format and as a PDF will be freely available and contain research into the topics of womens football, pricing of tickets, the alcohol ban, safe standing and governance among others. To receive the PDF, please register with the Scottish Fans website.

SD Scotland sponsor Scottish Women’s Football Award
SDS were delighted to sponsor the 1st Division Player of the Year Award at the Scottish Women’s Football Awards on Friday 22 November. Scottish Council chairman Neil Bone presented the winner Rebecca Young with the award at Hampden Park.

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