News from the SC
August 19, 2009
Welcome to the first evening fixture of the new season and a special welcome to the supporters of Aldershot Town.
For the second time in as many days we greet a former player who is now in charge of a league club. Gary Waddock will be remembered by many of us not only as a very good player but also as captain for a time. It is good to see Gary doing so well as a coach and manager at league level.
Over the past few seasons we have enjoyed the excitement that goes with a prolonged cup run. The Cardiff final was a great occasion and sparked our recent revival. We turned out in our thousands and proved to the football world just how big a football club we can be. A quarter final place in the FA Cup for only the fourth time in our long history was a fine achievement.
Last season was a massive disappointment. We were knocked out of all the cup competitions in the respective first rounds which left us with only our very decent league position to fight for. Tonight we have the opportunity to make amends. Let’s get right behind the team tonight and look forward to some really big games as the season progresses. Come on Rovers, come on you Blues.
FANS’ PARLIAMENT 2009
The Football Supporters’ Federation, of which we are members, held its annual meeting in the close season.
A number of reports were accepted by Fans’ Parliament and referred to the
FSF’s National Council for action. They included:
CLUB GOVERNANCE AND OWNERSHIP
The workshop on club ownership and governance saw an enlightening and
interesting discussion leading it to recommend a number of important
changes to the Blueprint. Principle actions recommended were:
To form, with Supporters Direct, an expert panel to develop
detailed policy in this area.
The enforcement of an enhanced and prospective rather than
retrospective “fit and proper person” test for club owners and
The passing by Parliament of a Sports Law covering the rights and
responsibilities of governing bodies to ensure they are able to
adequately govern their sports without conflict with employment
and competition law.
The diversity workshop was facilitated by the Justin Campaign who fight
against homophobia in football. They were founded in memory of Justin
Fashanu, the world’s only openly gay professional footballer who tragically
committed suicide in 1998.
The session focused on homophobia and the misconception that
homophobia only effects gay people or is ‘banter’ – something which is
not true. This means applying the same punishments and sanctions used
in racial incidents.
To make this clear the group recommended that the wording of official
documents should reflect this, clubs should proactively advertise this in
stadiums and police stats should break down separately homophobic
incidents, rather than publish under the umbrella of ‘other arrests’.
TICKET PRICING & DISTRIBUTION
The workshop recommended the Fans’ Blueprint included the key point
that leagues and clubs should also offer special deals to away fans – the
FSF heard many complaints last season where away fans were paying
considerably more than home fans, this is not acceptable. The Blueprint
was also changed to recommend that clubs use facility fees from televised
matches to subsidise away tickets.
A number of actions were drawn up to take the work of the ticket pricing
and distribution workshop forward, including:
Campaign for maximum away ticket price at each tier
Build Ticket Pricing database via reps from each club and overall
Continue existing work to reduce misuse of FA Cup Final tickets
It was agreed that the FSF would work as closely as possible with Stand
Up Sit Down (SUSD) who are also keen to become more involved in the
FSF’s work. This is a very positive development. The Safe Standing policy
group intend to go to Germany and Austria to look at safe standing in
practise at more grounds and gather images.
POLICING AND STEWARDING
The workshops proposed clubs use local assessors when imposing bans –
too often they are judge, jury and executioner. Fans deserve the chance
to put their side of the story.
It was also agreed the FSF should oppose any attempts by the police to
recover policing costs from clubs.
For further detail on motions and breakout discussions visit
www.fsf.org.uk and log in to the members area. Alternatively
email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 08702 777 777.
Admission to the Supporters Club Bar
A stricter policy is being observed over gaining entry to the bar on match days. Members must show their membership cards at the door. Some members may not have yet received their cards for this season so please have last seasons available until the end of August.
There will be the opportunity for visitors/non-members to purchase day ticket on the door to gain entry for that one game. Also we will have application forms available for people to join the Supporters Club on the spot.