Supporters’ Direct statement on FA Commission
Supporters Direct has fought for 14 years to challenge and change the way that our national game is run, and to make it more representative of its supporters and communities.
We have always done this alongside our member supporters’ trusts, fans, activists within and outside football, our partners in the Football Supporters Federation, MPs and others, and wherever possible have sought to work constructively with the key stakeholders in the game such as the Premier League, Football League, and the FA.
Recent events have brought the state of the game into sharp focus.
- The FA Commission led by FA Chairman Greg Dyke has recently published proposals to introduce B-teams and ‘Strategic Loan Partnerships’. The fact that neither Supporters Direct nor our colleagues the Football Supporters Federation (FSF) were properly consulted – SD only receiving a reply from the Commission Administrator after the report was published – underscores the almost complete absence of fans from the thoughts of those overseeing our national game, despite our near one million combined membership. The resulting #NoToLeague3 campaign came from the grassroots and has amassed tens of thousands of supporters. This is not an isolated example of the frustration and anger of fans.
- The current maelstrom around the actions of the Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore has exposed, at the heart of England’s most powerful football organisation, governance concerns and an absence of checks and balances that would, in any other area of business or public life, result in calls for a radical overhaul – as has happened for example in banking, politics and the media.
- There is an apparent unwillingness by the small elite running the governing bodies and principal football leagues to implement the reform programme demanded by the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee. The fact that the Government has threatened to legislate to force reform seems not to make any difference to this disregard for the fifth major report into the running of football since 1967.
Supporters’ trusts, fans, clubs, those campaigning for better grassroots funding for talent development, and ourselves, will press ahead with our campaign to change the game.
We hope you will join us.to explore these issues further at our Supporters Summit on July 26th, along with FSF and campaigners like those from #SayNoToLeague3, Stand, and all those who want to see our game reclaimed.
Five things you can do:
1. You can sign up for the Supporters Summit via a specially dedicated website: www.supporterssummit.co.uk
2. You can watch a video about Damian Collin’s Football Governance Reform Bill via his You Tube Channel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T8QonHpu9s and ask for your MP to support it via www.writetothem.com
3. You can sign and share the #SayNoToLeague3 petition via: http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/football-association-say-no-to-b-teams
4. You can read SD’s submission to the Dyke Commission www.supporters-direct.org/homepage/research/policy/response-to-the-fa-chairmans-commission
5. You can read the FSF’s submission to the Dyke Commission www.fsf.org.uk/assets/Downloads/Misc/2014/England-Commission-FSF-evidence.pdf