On Saturday 2nd July 2019, the annual general meeting of the Football Supporters Association took place. The Football Supporters Association (FSA) is the new name for the organisation formed out of the merger of the Football Supporters Federation and Supporters Direct. As an affiliate member BIAS hold two votes on all motions. There were no elections at this AGM, this was due to the fact that there was an EGM in November in which a new council was appointed.
Once the formalities were complete, an update was provided about the FSA’s recent work around Regulatory reform and a recent presentation that was made to the FA Board. We also heard from Chris Matheson MP who had recently debated a 10 minute rule bill in Parliament calling for robust independent regulation of football. An item that couldn’t be more apparent with the recent news of Bury being expelled from the EFL.
There were six motions for discussion, all of which passed:
Motion 1: Club Licencing System
This was to re-affirm a motion that was first raised in 2017 to lobby for a licencing system for clubs, overseen by an independent regulator. It was also agreed that that the FA/EFL Owners and Directors test was not currently fit for purchase and there was a worry about the increasing number of clubs in crisis.
Motion 2: Regulation and Governance.
This motion to confirm that the FSA should continue to press for better reform and regulation as mentioned earlier.
Motion 3: Environmental Stability
The room noted that we are in a real climate emergency and that the association should help to support and develop projects across football will lessen the environmental impact of football.
Motion 4: Various issues
One delegate raised several ongoing issues which were agreed to be taken forward by the chair.
Motion 5: European Competition Reform
This motion had the largest debate time, it was around the likelihood of a reform of the European Club Competitions in an effort to prevent the biggest clubs from breaking away and forming a European Superleague. It was made clear that larger European Competitions would have a devastating effect throughout the football Pyramid, with potential impact to the protection of the Saturday 3pm black out, the validity of the EFL Cup and maintaining FA Cup as a weekend competition.
Things were moving very quickly and it was acknowledged that action had to be taken quickly to voice our concern against this. There was also to be coordination with Football Supporters Europe over this issue.
Motion 6: Socios.com and West Ham
An emergency motion was raised regarding the partnership between Socios.com and West Ham United. This appears to be a way of monetising supporter engagement, it was also noted that by launching this tool West Ham had explicitly ignored representations made to them raising concerns about this.
After the motions had been heard there were two awards that were presented; firstly The Jacqui Forster Memorial Award, awarded to Christine Seddon of the Blackpool Supporters Trust for the campaign to remove the Oystons from the club and secondly the Richard Lillicrap award went to Nick Hawker of the Exeter Supporters Trust. More details of the awards can be found at http://www.fsf.org.uk/blog/view/jacqui-forster-and-richard-lillicrap-memorial-awards-2019
The FSA have produced their first Annual Report which can be downloaded here.
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