Supporters Direct works in two major areas:
SD England and Wales
Currently we work with the supporters of English and Welsh clubs playing in the English Football Pyramid.
All of the Supporters Trusts in the U.K have been set up by Supporters Direct under our model rules and we provide training and support to this network.
It is the largest network of democratic football supporter organisations in the U.K
We also operate through the Scottish Fans network, covering wider issues such as ticketing and matchday issues, and also the anti-sectarian Colour of our Scarves project
We also work in others sports including Rugby League, and Rugby Union.
The work we do is extensive, but here's a snapshot:
During establishment of a supporters' trust
From the outset, we provide support and advice to an individual supporter or group of supporters who are interested in establishing a supporters' trust. If we can help, we then provide support & help for meetings, paperwork and registration during its establishment.
Once formed, our role becomes less intense, and focuses on developing the trust, providing ongoing strategic, tactical and campaigning advice, how to increase activists within the trust, and work in the local community. We also provide support for practical things like how to run the organisation - including training.
We also play an important role to help grow the influence of supporters' trusts in the ownership and running of its club.
We provide specialist support to Clubs that want to become community owned, and a range of support to those that already are through our consultancy SD Club Development.
Maintaining and growing the network
Our work reflects that of a movement - the Trust Movement. We all stand for similar things, like more openness, involvement of supporters and communities in the ownership and running of their clubs and our game, and we try to bring our members and activists together as much as we can.
In England we operate Premier League and Championship networks, providing support to member trusts and campaigning on the big issues along with our colleagues at the FSF. We maintain through Club Development a Community Owned Club network, where we collaborate with and support clubs owned by their communities, reaching from the likes of Portsmouth and Wimbledon, to Wrexham, Enfield Town and Saffron Walden Town, sharing ideas and best practice.
In Scotland, our work is extending beyond the traditional boundaries of supporter representation and the ownership and running of football clubs, and into the wider issues of policing, anti-sectarianism, ticketing and safe-standing.
Utilising nearly 15 years of experience working with supporters groups, clubs and authorities to improve governance and encourage greater engagement between clubs and their communities has enabled us to build up a wealth of evidence based research.
The September 2012 issue of ‘FC Business’ magazine, commented:
”There is simply no debating that some of the best literature and talk over the past few years on the governance of the game has come from Supporters Direct. The release of a number of briefing papers in government and the industry, and their coal-face experience of the issue continue to put them in a privileged position to make respected comment on the most pressing issues facing the governance of our game.”
Changing the game
We don't just deal with the issues at supporters' trust or club level. We want a game that is better run, as well as clubs that are more reflective of their communities and the people who sustain them. That is why we lobby and also crucially work with the football authorities, in local & regional government, nationally at Westminster, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Brussels, and across Europe.
Whether they relate directly or indirectly to supporters' trusts, or community owned clubs, we want changes that will provide greater protection, make it more sustainable, reward well run clubs, and a more open and representative of the role that supporters play in the lives of their clubs - and the wider game.
Read through this section, or Read our FAQs to find out more.