1. At the AGM we heard about the SD governance review. What is happening with this and when will we know the recommendations and outcome?
The independent consultants leading this review have completed their work and submitted a report with recommendations to the SD Board. Thank you to everyone who participated in the workshops, telephone interviews and the online membership survey. The report with recommendations has also been considered by the Scottish Council, the Rugby League Council, the European network group and the England and Wales Council. The board of SD met on 1st February to consider the recommendations of the review and to make decisions on the future structure of SD.SD Governance Review Final Report Final 4.12.5 Supporters Direct Governance Review Appendices
2. What is the outcome of the review?
The review looked at the overall governance structure of SD and in particular the most appropriate structure for SD Europe. This is currently part of SD and led by Antonia Hageman with her team. SD Europe has grown to support a network of national organisations, trusts and clubs in more than 20 countries and the overwhelming feedback from the review was that it has now evolved to a position where it needs to be an independent pan European body with its own legal identity and membership.
3. Has the SD board supported this recommendation?
Yes. The board agreed that it is now the right time to establish an independent pan European body for SD Europe. An interim steering group has been established with colleagues from 7 countries including Ireland, Italy, Spain, France and Israel, with Andy Walker (FC Utd) sitting on the steering group for SD and Neil Bone (The Honest Men - Ayr Utd) sitting on the steering group for SD Scotland.
4. How long will this take?
There is a lot to do but the steering group will be working hard to prepare an implementation plan. The steering group will be looking at the practicality of a go live date of July in time for the start of the new season . We will keep members updated on progress.
5. What will the role of SD continue to be in the new pan- European organisation?
SD is a national membership organisation and members will be able to vote to endorse SD membership of a new pan European body.
6. We already have Football Supporters Europe. How will this new organisation be different?
The new pan European body will continue to work closely with FSE in the same way that SD Europe currently does. We work well together because we have a different but often complementary purpose. Supporters Direct Europe will continue to focus on issues of governance, structured supporter involvement and supporter ownership of their clubs.
7. How does this change affect my trust or club?
This change will not have a noticeable impact on your trust or club on the day to day level. However as members of SD you will have the opportunity to vote to endorse SD membership of the new pan European body and this gives greater voice and impact to our movement across Europe. This demonstrates the success and growth of supporter involvement and ownership within their clubs. It also offers all of us new opportunities for knowledge sharing, joint initiatives and activities at a pan European level.
8. This is interesting about Europe but what about SD in England, Wales or Scotland?
The feedback on the mission and purpose of SD was positive. Our stakeholders believe overwhelmingly that SD would be missed if it did not exist. Our members are positive about the support we provide. Our members, staff and stakeholders share a vision for SD as an independent and distinctive body promoting collective supporter ownership and structured influence directed at delivering more sustainable clubs which are embedded in their communities, and better club governance. However, the structure of SD was unclear for many. Some respondents felt that the strategy wasn’t as clear as it could be and that they could be more involved in the decision making of the organisation. Also many of our members knew of the councils operating within SD but they were unclear on the purpose or output of these councils.
9. What does this all mean?
We are clear that we need to look more closely at how we keep our members informed about the important decisions and activities of the organisation. If the current council structure isn’t working we need to look at how this can be improved and we need to consider how we can involve members more in the work of SD.
10. What happens next?
We will consider a few options for the structure of SD including the roles of councils and other options for member engagement and we will look at good practice from other membership organisations. We will share some of these proposals for discussion at the AGM in July and will then start to implement the agreed changes in the second half of 2016.