Another interesting and challenging year for football passes with The FA coming under particular scrutiny on a number of fronts. Clearly The FA needs to reform its governance structure so that it better reflects the modern game and at last there seems to be an appetite from Government to ensure it happens. However, it is also important to acknowledge there are many hard working people at The FA, delivering to a high level alongside an executive who are probably as keen for reform as the rest of us are. SD will continue to work hard to influence that reform and in particularly encourage wider representation of supporters in the game.
2016 has seen the first structured dialogue meetings take place with both the EPL and EFL, something that we now need to see reflected down at club level. Clearly some Trusts will find it much easier to engage with their clubs, but where difficulty arises please get in touch to see if we can assist in brokering those discussions.
In early 2017 you should see the release of our new SD Hub, an online platform that should enable better interaction across our network and hopefully encourage others to join. There will also be opportunities for individual trusts to benefit from the development by managing their own mini-hubs and social networks.
In the New Year SD will be aiming to provide a more focussed approach to how we work with and support our Trusts, recognising the differences between different types of Trusts and becoming more responsive of their collective needs. Core to this initiative is that fact I’d like us to have more staff doing real delivery work directly with our Trusts and that will form part of our renewed funding discussions early in 2017.
The core work of Supporters Direct remains as it always has but we also need to evolveand diversify, adapting to the modern game. Ideas from the membership are important to us and please don’t feel that these can only be shared at the annual conference, get in touch and share your thoughts, hopefully the new platform will encourage you do to so.
Fundamental to the success of the organisation is our board and England & Wales, Scotland and Rugby League councils, all of which are about to hold elections. I would like to encourage members to consider standing, we need enthusiastic people who feel they have something to offer and would like to help drive Supporters Direct forward in the coming years. Our existing board & council members come from a wide range of backgrounds, bringing different skills with them. SD is keen to promote and embrace diversity and as such I hope we see this reflected in the range of candidates.
Finally I’d like to thank all Trusts and clubs for all their hard work throughout the year and wish everyone a happy Christmas and the very best of luck for 2017.
&W Football Council Reports Link to November 2016 Minutes
Power to Change (P2C) Funding Award
We are very pleased to announce that we have been successful in securing funding to enhance our offer to community owned clubs in 2017/18.
Power to Change, the organisation set up to grow and support community businesses in England will fund us to hold a workshop, club learning visit or webinar once a month until June 2018. If your club would like to host a workshop or learning visit or if you have a particular topic that you’d like us to discuss please email James Mathie as we plan the next 6 months of activity.
Better co-ordination and representation for members within SD’s governance structure
During 2016 a network group was set-up to recommend how SD UK’s networks and governance under the Board are best organised and structured. Represent ation was drawn from members in the Premier League (PL), English Football League (EFL), Non-league (NL) and supporter owned club communities. The consultation showed both a desire for individual network activities and priorities but also for collaboration across networks. As a result the England and Wales Football Council and the SD Board have agreed the following approach:
For SD to facilitate network groups for PL Trusts, EFL Trusts, NL Trusts and supporter owned clubs to meet at least twice a year on topics relevant to SD’s mission and expertise (if there is sufficient demand).
For each of the 4 network areas to have a ‘champion’ who can adequately represent them at the Council meeting. The quarterly meeting will have an agenda aligned to these 4 network areas with m inutes shared with the membership. Initially these roles will be drawn from the existing Council members or will be co-opted if a suitable person can’t be found to represent each network. The Council will make a recommendation at the 2017 AGM whether they think these 4 network champions should be elected in following years.
The Board has recommended that similar network reviews are carried out in Scotland and Rugby League to establish their member’s priorities and fair representation. For Info press button1 below