As an organisation, Supporters Direct believes that football clubs are something different, something special.
You don’t get your ashes scattered in Tesco, or have it tattooed on your arm. The relationship between fans and their clubs transcends normal loyalties.
So, like most of you, we’ve been angry at what is happening at Hull City AFC.
The cases of Coventry City, Cardiff City and as far back as Wimbledon in 2002, to name but a few, have offered stark enough warnings of what happens when you leave the stewardship of important social, cultural and historical institutions (for that is what football clubs are) in the hands of a wealthy elite with short-term interests and a short-term outlook.
The very identity of football clubs, and their fans and communities, is simply too important to be entrusted to temporary owners, who are generally more interested in what they can take out of a club rather than what they can put back in, and whose decision-making does not take account of the wider interests of those who count their loyalty in tens of years and generations.
The most frustrating aspect is that these issues can be so easily avoided by the adoption of some simple principles, and there is no reason why they can’t be acted upon right now.
- Firstly certain matters regarding the intrinsic identity of a club (colours, name, badge home ground) should only be changed with the agreement of a club’s supporters (through a simple and open democratic process);
- Secondly that this requirement be included within FA rules so that it is mandatory for all clubs.
This simple change would have a significant effect. It was exactly this type of reform that was contemplated by the CMS Select Committee as part of its Inquiry into Football Governance in 2011 and 2012.
The recommendations from that Inquiry are still gathering dust and the deadline of a year that the Select Committee set the football authorities for meaningful action is nearly up. So whilst they fiddle, the very soul of some of our country’s most important sporting and community assets continue to go up in smoke.
For more about SD, please head to our website http://www.supporters-direct.org/homepage/what-we-do/faqs