Let nobody pretend that being in Birmingham is anything but incredibly damaging to the future of the Sky Blues.
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In a little over four weeks millions of football fans will head out to cast their vote in December’s General Election – and the main political parties will be publishing manifestos including policies which could affect football.
With that in mind the FSA has pulled together some core campaign ideas and asked all the major political parties whether they support The Fans’ Manifesto.
The FSA does not favour one political party over another and football fans come from all walks of society. That means supporters can have wildly different views but we do think every fan should be informed and we aim to help with that. It’s then up to each fan where they put their X.
The Fans’ Manifesto:
Grassroots – Share the wealth
At a time when there is more money in and around football than ever before we should be enjoying a golden age of grassroots football. No local club or school team should have to endure crumbling infrastructure or lack of funds to encourage participation and develop tomorrow’s star players. The FSA wants to see more of the wealth of football – and of those like agents and betting companies who live off it – used to support the base of the game.
Standing – Stand Up for Choice
The existing legislation which aims to stop supporters standing at the game is deeply unpopular and should be scrapped. We believe there are different mixes of stewarding approaches and standing technologies which clubs can use to manage fans standing at football and it should be up to each club, in conjunction with its supporters and the local Safety Advisory Group, to develop appropriate stadium plans based on sound and rigorous risk assessment. The FSA believes clubs and fans should be empowered to work together to decide what mix of standing and seated areas is right for them.
Transport – Flexible football rail tickets
Supporters travel the length and breadth of the country following their club, often at great expense, while working around last-minute changes to games due to TV demands or football schedule clashes. The introduction of an affordable and flexible rail ticket which is tied to a game, rather than a date, could reduce costs for fans and generate new revenue for train operators at times which are often outside peak hours. The Premier League and EFL support this concept: the FSA calls on government to make it happen.
Governance and regulation – Protect our pyramid and heritage
Football is our biggest cultural expression of community identity and no other country exhibits such depth of support for clubs from the top to the bottom of the pyramid, yet this heritage can be at the mercy of unscrupulous and incompetent owners. The football authorities must be required to establish an independent process of regulation for professional clubs with a tougher Owners and Directors Test, increased financial transparency, and a requirement of owners to exercise proper stewardship over clubs, all in close co-operation with supporters’ organisations.
Equality – No to discrimination
A commitment to diversity and inclusion underpins all of the FSA’s activity and we oppose all forms of discrimination or violence in relation to football. To this end, we call for a real engagement and investment in promoting inclusion and combatting discrimination in football. The Football (Offences) Act should be extended so that it is not limited to ‘racialist or indecent chanting’ but includes all protected characteristics from the Equality Act.Write comment (0 Comments)
The immediate goal of the Sky Blue Trust, its members and the vast majority of supporters is the return of Coventry City Football Club to the city which bears its name.
The current circumstances, in which the first team plays at St Andrew’s, must not be allowed to become the accepted norm nor should it be acceptable for it to play anywhere outside of Coventry.
That means the club must return to the Ricoh Arena at the earliest possible opportunity because there are currently no practical alternative venues for professional football in Coventry.
Therefore, the Trust is endeavouring to engage with ALL relevant parties towards that end, as it has done since December 2018.
Those relevant parties include:
Coventry City FC management (Dave Boddy and Tim Fisher)
Coventry City Council (all parties and senior officers)
The English Football League (senior leadership)
Sisu Capital Limited (Joy Seppala)
Wasps Rugby Club (its directors)
Every party has been and will continue to be challenged to play their part in Coventry City’s return and in so doing honour commitments made to supporters.
The long-term aspiration of the Trust and its members is to see Coventry City FC under ownership which allows supporters to have a meaningful say in the running of the club.
We would also hope for ownership which has the financial standing and business acumen to return the Sky Blues to the eminent position it held before relegation from the Premier League in 2001.
To that end, we will encourage all current and future owners of the club to do three things:
- Recognise publicly that the club is not to be used solely to serve their commercial interests but is an essential part of the fabric of the community and a vital part of the lives of tens of thousands of supporters in Coventry and beyond.
- Ensure the long-term future with sound and transparent financial planning to avoid the crises and scandals which have beset football clubs in the past and present.
- Develop the best possible method of involvement of supporters in the management and ownership of the club.
The current owners, Sisu Capital, have consistently failed to meet our aspirations for Coventry City.
In almost 12 years of their ownership, the club has suffered two periods of exile, firstly at Northampton, now in Birmingham as well as two relegations and a period in administration.
Sisu Capital have never shown any likelihood of meeting our benchmark for fit and proper owners - therefore, the Sky Blue Trust and its members urge them to make an early, responsible and dignified exit from Coventry City.
The formal objects of the Trust as contained in the constitution, are appended below:
The Society’s objects are to benefit the community by:
4.1. Being the democratic and representative voice of the supporters of Coventry City Football Club and strengthening the bonds between the club and the communities which it serves.
4.2. Achieving the greatest possible supporter and community influence in the running and ownership of the club.
4.3. Promoting responsible and constructive community engagement by present and future members of the communities served by the club and encouraging the Club to do the same.
4.4. Operating democratically, fairly, sustainably, transparently and with financial responsibility and encouraging the Club to do the same.
4.5. Being a positive, inclusive and representative organisation, open and accessible to all supporters of the Club regardless of their age, income, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexuality or religious or moral belief.Write comment (0 Comments)
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