Latest Supporters Trust news

3rd February, 2014

Opposition to Hull City name change remains resolute

The campaign led by City Till We Die – a group representing fans and, fanzines, and groups like the Hull City Supporters Cooperative (the supporters’ trust) – is continuing to hit the headlines, with the final decision in the hands of The FA Council.

Their petition now has over 13,000 signatures, and figures from across the game are lining up to condemn Assem Allam’s campaign to rename the 110 year-old Club for spurious reasons – connected to a dispute with the City Council over the future ownership of the KC Stadium.

Supporters’ Trusts from across the divisions have also been submitting, from the Premier League to the Conference Premier, condemning the attempt, but also calling for a formal consultation process for fans so that future cases like this can be dealt with in the right way. To find out more, click here.

Polonia Warszawa to be community owned

It was confirmed last week that after a turbulent eighteen months, one of Poland’s biggest football clubs will soon be owned by its local community. Polonia Warszawa finished 6th in the 2012/13 Ekstraklasa, but financial problems saw the club fail to secure a 2013/14 licence, and they were demoted to the fifth level of Polish football. After the departure of the club’s former owners, Wielka Polonia (a democratic supporters’ group) stepped up their campaign to secure a sustainable future for the club, which has culminated in a letter of intent signed by the club and Wielka Polonia. The letter’s key points can be viewed in English via the SD website, and more information about Wielka Polonia is available via their website.

Supporters Direct News

Supporters Direct and Sandlanders Football sign partnership
Supporters Direct and Sandlanders Football have announced a partnership. In it, the two recognise their common interest in football as well as its development driven by supporters and with respect for the values of sport and democracy. Over the coming months, SD and Sandlanders will further strengthen their relationship, as well as promoting improved governance and supporter involvement in African football. The two organisations have agreed a set of priority areas for work, a strategy for addressing these. To find out more about Sandlanders visit their website, and keep an eye on the SD website in the coming weeks.

Thank you Wrexham Supporters’ Trust
Many thanks to Wrexham Supporters’ Trust for their kind donation to Supporters Direct, received this month.

Wythenshawe Amateurs working with SDCD to secure Club Futures grant
SD Club Development are working with Wythenshawe Amateurs to help the club become community owned and a member of SD. The Club are in desperate need of a facility they can call their own home, and have plans to create a community hub at Hollyhedge Park. They have already been successful in securing £50,000 from the Budweiser Club Futures Programme, but are now going head to head with other regional winners to secure the £100,000 grant. You can view entrants’ videos and vote for your favourite online by clicking here.

SD meets with Sports Minister
Supporters Direct this week met with the new Sports Minister, Helen Grant MP. It was largely an introductory meeting, along with our colleagues at The FSF, but also gave us the opportunity to offer our views on the status of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee review of football governance.

Update on upcoming events
With the new year well underway, a fresh round of training sessions and regional meetings have been put in the diary. Over the next six weeks, the following events will be taking place:

South West Regional Meeting: Thursday 20/2, 19:00-21:30, Newport County AFC, Rodney Parade
Secretary’s Development Training: Sunday 23/2, 10:00-16:30, SD Offices, London
Board Member Development: Sunday 9/3, 10:00-16:30, Stockport County, Edgeley Park
Yorkshire & NE Regional Meeting: Thursday 13/3, 19:00-21:20, The Midland Hotel, Bradford
Board Member Development: Sunday 16/3, 10:00-16:30, Peterborough. 

The basic Agenda for regional meetings is:

7.00 p.m. for refreshments, business commences at 7.30 p.m.
Guest speaker – sport and credit unions 
SD Messages and upcoming SD events
Assets of Community Value – a presentation with a local case study
Each group’s biggest achievement in last 12 months
Close at 9.30 p.m.

For Secretary’s Development and Board Member Development training sessions, lunch, refreshments and all materials are included, and delegates need to bring along a copy of their own trust/club rules. For more information, please contact Jacqui Forster.

For further information or to register email or visit the website – please note that due to technical gremlins event times are currently not displaying correctly, contact us to confirm!

News from Europe

Taranto overturn closed doors sanction, Ancona to remove stadium barriers
It was confirmed in January by the Corte di Giustizia Federale (CGF) at the Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio (FIGC), that the sanction imposed on Taranto FC 1927 to play one match against ASD Manfredonia Calcio behind closed doors has been reversed. The CGF’s decision, which stands as a landmark moment for both the Italian supporters’ trust movement and Italian football as a whole, was taken following an appeal launched by the club, which is part-owned by the Fondazione Taras, a democratic supporters’ trust and member of Supporters in Campo (the national network for democratic supporters’ groups in Italy). To read more about the successful appeal, click here.

Elsewhere in Italy, US Ancona 1905 and Sosteniamolancona (the supporters’ trust that holds two seats on the board and a rights-attached shareholding in the club) announced that after a period of discussions, the two have agreed that the barriers between pitch and stands at the Stadio del Conero will be progressively removed. To find out more, click here. Both stories clearly show the impact the growing network of democratic supporters’ groups in Italy are having on their game – long may it continue!

Associação de Adeptos Sportinguistas highlight Portugal’s problem with ticket prices
Associação de Adeptos Sportinguistas, the democratic supporters’ group at Sporting Clube de Portugal, have recently highlighted the continuing problem of away ticket prices across the country. In a statement issued earlier this month, AAS called upon Portugal’s footballing authorities to address the issue, which is directly linked the country’s continuing problem with match attendances at all levels. To read the statement in full, click here. AAS have also recently announced their annual Pensar Sporting event will take place this year on Saturday 22 February – for a full report, keep an eye on the website.

Pour un foot plus durable, l’actionnariat populaire entre dans le stands
In a recent interview with the French magazine Terra Eco, Supporters Direct Europe and A la Nantaise, l’Association des Amoureux du FC Nantes (the supporters’ trust at FC Nantes) outlined the benefits of supporter ownership and involvement, as well as the growing movement across Europe. French sociologist Nicolas Hourcade is also interviewed on the issue, and highlights in particular the origins of football as a community sport. To find out more about A la Nantaise, visit their website.

German Fankongress looks to the future
Over 700 supporters from throughout the German pyramid gathered in Berlin on 18-19 January, for the national Fans’ Congress, organised by national organisations Unsere Kurve and ProFans. A whole range of topics were on the agenda – including an in-depth presentation of the ‘Mein Verein – der Perfekter Verein?’ handbook produced by Unsere Kurve as part of the ‘Improving Football Governance through Supporter Involvement and Community Ownership’ project. For more information, visit the Fan Kongress website.

Trust News

KHIST sponsored walk in memory of Steve Millington – update
After a fantastic response, 42 walkers have already committed to taking part in the two day 65 mile walk for Macmillan Cancer Support, which has an ambitious target of raising £10,000. The walk is being organised in memory of former KHIST chairman Steve Millington who sadly passed last month after a short illness. Steve was the driving force behind Kidderminster Harriers Independent Supporters’ Trust and it was his drive and enthusiasm that helped to rescue the club during its darkest financial days. To find out more, click here.

Lewes FC launch Football Therapy mental well-being strategy
Lewes FC have announced the launch of a new three-fold initiative in the area of mental well-being: Football Therapy. Though schemes like this run elsewhere in the UK, the idea to run something locally was the brainchild of Lewes fan and turnstile-volunteer Sean Macleod. Sean started volunteering for the Rooks to help boost his own mental well-being and it gave him a real lift. To find out more, click here.

SISU evade Sky Blue Trust on straight questions
In the same month as supporters from a number of clubs showed their backing to the Sky Blue Trust in the run-up to Coventry’s FA Cup tie against Arsenal, The Sky Blue Trust have published the replies received after they wrote to all the parties involved in the current state of affairs late last year. Those were ACL, Coventry City Council, Otium/CCFC and the Football League. The answers (or lack thereof) are set out at the Sky Blue Trust’s website.

Attila the Stockbroker, Saturday 1st February, Enfield Town FC
Sharp-tongued, high energy, social surrealist rebel poet and songwriter. His themes are topical, his words hard-hitting, his politics unashamedly radical, but Attila will make you roar with laughter as well as seethe with anger.. Attila is also a massive football fan , as reflected in his material, and a supporter of fans owned clubs – that’s why he is playing at Butlers Bar. To find out more, click here.

Swindon, Tranmere and Hereford the latest Trusts to achieve ACV status for their stadia
Three more English stadia have been confirmed as Assets of Community Value in recent weeks – Swindon’s County Ground, Tranmere’s Prenton Park, and Hereford United’s Edgar Street. To find out how your trust can ensure a greater level of protection for your home ground, visit our dedicated ACV microsite.

Palace Trust and Independent Supporters’ Association to merge
The Palace Independent Supporters’ Association (PISA) is to become part of the Crystal Palace Supporters’ Trust, the organisations have announced. The Trust will continue with its main aims and objectives of developing and strengthening bonds between Crystal Palace Football Club and the local community, promoting the involvement of supporters in the running of the club, and benefiting the community by promoting and encouraging the furtherance of the game of football. To find out more, click here.

NUST shut out permanently by Ashley
A second meeting of the Fans Forum, postponed from Monday 16th December, took place on Monday 6th January 2014 but, due to a ban imposed by the Club, Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) were not able to participate in the discussions. To read their take on the matter, click here.

Barnsley and Charlton Trusts work in tandem over cancellation
Following the recent late postponement of the game at Charlton Athletic, Barnsley Supporters Trust issued a statement expressing their disappointment with the events and the lack of professionalism shown by Charlton Athletic. They also wrote to the club, the Football League and FA, liaising with the Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust. To find out more, click here.

Runcorn launch prize draw to raise money for local school
Runcorn Linnets are launching a prize draw to raise money for a school in the town for children and young people with learning disabilities. The raffle is being run in association with town centre business Runcorn Framers, who have framed a replica Linnets home shirt signed by the club’s 2013-14 playing squad as the prize. Proceeds will be in aid of Cavendish High School , the North West Counties League club’s official charity for this year. To find out more click here.

News from Scotland

SD Scotland Annual Review 2013 out now
‘As you get older they say the years get faster and I am certain that 2013 falls into the ‘very fast’ category for all of us here at Supporters Direct Scotland…’ – so begins Head of SD Scotland Paul Goodwin’s introduction to the 2013 SD Scotland Annual Review, which is now available to view online by clicking here. It was quite a year.

The Colour of Our Scarves
The issue of sectarianism in Scotland is one that has been discussed and debated, with countless attempts to address the issue seeing varying levels of success from Governments, Charitable organisations, Football clubs and independent bodies. Sectarianism itself is a deep rooted cultural issue that dates back generations and e­ffects society as a whole. Supporters Direct Scotland through the creation of The Colour of our Scarves programme with Scottish Government funding will attempt to help play a part in addressing the issue – to find out more, click here.

Supporters Direct Scotland Strategy Day
January 26 saw representatives of 16 different supporters’ trusts and fan groups come together for the Supporters Direct Scotland Strategy Day, held at Stirling Albion’s Forthbank Stadium. To read a full report on the day’s discussions, visit the Scottish Fans website.

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