Posts Tagged → Supporters Direct
When you thought it was all going down hill, finally we have some good news. Even through this isn’t the full amount of money on offer, £268,292 has been granted for Supporters Direct to carry on operating. There is another £1.2m which will be considered over the next three years and it’s important Supporters Direct sees this money.
Another article that has been doing the rounds is from the telegraph and reports on the football governance inquiry. The word ‘radical’ is used and a number of the changes should finally remove the Premier Leagues power it has over ownership. The licensing system which has been recommend by many parties will over see ownership, directors and club finances. Another important point that has been stressed again is The FA and Premier League must follow the recommendations or legalisation will be introduced. Issues to do with future football ownership of football clubs are still unknown.
Supporters Direct is currently undergoing a funding issue as the FSIF removed over £1 million of funding, due to a tweet. As a supporter of football the first thing you can do is contact your local MP and send them an email asking them to sign this supporting Supporters Direct….
You can find your local MP very easily by typing in your postcode here …. http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/
Here is an example letter you could send….
Dear ‘Insert MPs name’
As a local resident and a supporter of our local club ‘insert club’, I’d call on you to follow 17 other MPs in signing a motion declaring support for Supporters Direct. Am sure many 10,000s of ‘insert club’ fans around ‘insert town’ would ask you the same thing if given the chance. This is extremely important for not just for my club but every other football club in the country. Mainly the smaller clubs and this also includes many Rugby clubs. Supporters Direct is the voice of many 100,000s football and other sports fans in the United Kingdom and it must NOT be allowed to fail. This would be unacceptable. I hope you have the time read this and the motion that has been tabled.
The second thing you can do which is very easy and simple is join this Facebook Group showing your support for Supporters Direct. https://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_162031167197147
Do those two things and I’ll buy you a pint or a glass of wine.
The FSIF last month cut funding to Supporters Direct and group who have in turn caused many of the Premier League clubs many problems over the last year. Their official reason was a number of offensive comments from the head of Supporters Direct. The Supporters Direct board after the event, dealt with the issue and the head was lucky to keep his job but the FSIF believe one or two tiny comments is worth cutting funding to an organisation which on the face of it had nothing to do with the comments. The board members on the FSIF who made the decision are a very interesting bunch. One is Richard Scudamore. A Premier League head, telling which fan groups can and cannot get money. They might as well have appointed David Gill. Richard Scudemore and Premier League believe all their problems don’t really exist and they can sort everything out themselves. They believe debt isn’t an issue and the owners are good for the game. So when a group like Supporters Direct publish official documents saying there is an issue with both areas you can clearly see where Scudemore has an issue. Its a clear conflict of interest. He works for David Gill and the other league heads, so he’s using this as an excuse to cut funding. Cutting the bottom out of any bid to change the ownership of clubs, is a must for him. Lets get this clear Supporters Direct is an official government sanctioned organisation and it as a group has never launched negative comments about anyone or any group. It works for 100,000s of supporters and 100s of football clubs across the country. Could even be millions of fans. Any cut in funding is far more than just because of some comments. Underneath all the official comments the Premier League wants to see the fan groups dead. David Gill and the Glazers, see the Manchester United Supporters Trust as a big issue and a big problem stopping them from truly ripping everyone off. At Arsenal both the American trying to take over and the Russian trying to buy the Arsenal Supporters Trust shares, will now want to see it gone. Who ever takes over will want them well out of the way. At Newcastle Mike Ashley has been at war with the fans for years, they even pushed him to a point of selling the club. Am sure at Liverpool if John Henry has any future issues, the Liverpool Supporters Trust will cause him problems. For the Premier League and the owners to try and pull the rug out of under the carpet right now would be perfect timing. Just as the government are about to release their report on how to change football. Supporters Direct has been a large of that and it will keep playing a role. If the FSIF really cared about fan groups, it wouldn’t be cutting funding to the central body which runs ALL of the official ones.
I’ll make this very clear, the Evidence from the Football Inquiry so far is mostly saying yes, you could even judge the Premiers League Evidence as open to debate, they didn’t say no like the FA, which is very interesting. Here are just a few examples where intervention would be justified by those who submitted evidence.
Supporters Direct – “We suggest a time-limited Act which provides powers for the Minister to take all necessary action to introduce a thorough licensing regime should such not be introduced by football”
The Newcastle United Supporters Trust – “Establish a Licensing system to address club debt, financial instability and to ensure the clubs increase supporter influence.”
Football Supporters’ Federation – “Government to intervene as a facilitator to ensure that essential governance reforms are introduced by the FA”
The Fulham Supporters Trust – “We believe that, due to poor governance of a domestic game that is still riddled with money and credibility problems, government intervention in football is very much justified.”
Supporters’ Trust at Reading – “Government intervention is justified but it should be restricted to imposing a powerful, independent regulatory regime with two key objectives:”
Southend United Supporters’ Club Trust – “Football clubs should be run as businesses and the Sjrimpers Trust believe that government intervention is only justified when there is a clear case of mismanagement and a risk of bankruptcy.”
David Hodges (former semi-pro footballer, Leicester City Fan) – “Yes, The Government is investing £57.6m over the next three years of football. The Government has lost over £28m in unpaid tax from football clubs practicing poor governance procedures ”
Bradford City Supporters’ Trust – “Government Intervention should establish the core governance principles for the sport and provide powers that are sufficient to protect the new arrangements from eternal pressures, especially those arising from the excessive commercial weight of the Premier League”
Fisher FC – “Government Intervention is justified because football clubs are so important to communities, and to the supporters.”
Wimbledon Independent Supporters Association – “We believe that the path to a proper framework ensuring that football is run much more in the interests of the people who tic with it through thick and thin, whose only desire is the joy and the of having a club to support and to see it do well, lies in active government intervention tonsure that out game is suitably regulated.”
Paul Baggaley, Chairmen of Newark Town FC – “Yes”
Yorkshire Division Of Football Supporters’ Federation – “Football is our national game. As such Government has a duty to protect the game at levels for future generations.”
The Professional Players Federation – “Nevertheless government and its agencies do have a number of financial and regulatory mechanisms to exert considerable influence upon the governance of football”
Darlington Supporters Trust – “governance should be taken as sine qua non and we firmly believe that intervention of government and parliament would be welcomed in pursuit of these objectives”
Pompey Supporters’ Trust – “The justification for government intervention is clear”
I haven’t even added The Manchester United Supporters’ Trust or the Liverpool Supporters’ Union yet but they both say the same thing. The Government should allow Supporters’ Trust take hold of clubs holdings and The Liverpool Supporters’ Union makes it clearer than The Manchester United Supporters Trust and this is one of the most important paragraphs in the whole document – “As a starting point, we propose that the Government Legislates to introduce a “transfer window” policy whereby clubs that are in the process of changing ownership or ownership stake in excess of 20% are legally bound to offer a properly constituted Supporters’ Trust the opportunity to purchase a shareholding in the club”
Here is the Premier Leagues, The FAs and Football Leagues View On Government Intervention -
The Football League – “However, it does not believe that government intervention is appropriate at this time.”
The FA – “However, The FA believes that there is no justification for direct intervention by the Government into the running of English Football.”
The Premier League – “The failure of the market to deliver desirable public outcomes may also lead to intervention and in such circumstances the government or its agencies might do a better job. It is far proven that these conditions exist in the case of football”
From what I have seen so far I see no reason why in the summer the Government can’t give The FA a certain amount of time to clean its self up or introduce changes into the way football is run with a set time limit. This should be followed by possible intervention by Football to involve Supporters’ Trusts to take part control of clubs, this can either be done by the rules or if Football does not carry this through by a certain date, Legislation can be introduced by the Government. This Legislation could even be introduced before that date comes around meaning a fall back. This way in all areas of Football can be warned and given one chance, if they ignore this, any negative affects as The FA pointed as Fifa getting involved or The England team being banned, will not have been done the fault of the Government, the clubs, the owners or the fans. It will have been Football failing to compile and the only people to point at we’ll be the people on the boards of the Premier League, The FA and Football League. I believe the Premier League and FA knew it either happens with them or happens without them, rules changes would happen in a flash and I don’t think the Football League would argue against any new measures.
My next blog will on some of the shocking facts that are in the evidence.
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