Football fans from across the north-west region and a former England international, gathered in Blackpool tonight (Tuesday 5th September) in support of a new campaign that aims to accelerate the process of change to the way football clubs can be owned and run.
Supporters from Blackpool, Morecambe, Blackburn Rovers and even a Bristol City fan who had travelled from the west country, were joined by former Blackpool favourite Trevor Sinclair for a passionate two-hour debate that outlined solutions to regulate clubs and the way owners can run them. A full reform document will be delivered to government after fans have had their say at four further events across the country.
Sinclair, who won 8 caps with England in a career spanning five clubs, added his support to the campaign and said: “I fell in love with the town of Blackpool and played for the club for four years, but I’m very worried about them and others too. The problem is that English football is governed, not by one body, but by two; the FA and the Premier League. The issues it creates must be taken to Westminster and football has to be given back to the people.”
The #FansNotNumbers campaign is a joint initiative between Supporters Direct, sportswear company SKINS and social media platform, SPORF and the solutions discussed included the creation of an independent regulatory body that will be given central powers to enforce annual compliance tests on clubs and owners.
SKINS Chairman, Jaimie Fuller, a sports governance campaigner who has used his company’s international platform to mount successful challenges to governance at FIFA, the UCI and the IOC said:“if an owner mismanages the local football club, the impact on the local community is massive. It cannot be allowed to happen anymore. The FA were quick to act when they thought Sam Allardyce had brought the game into disrepute as England manager, but they struggle to be as quick with club owners and adminstrators.”
James Mathie of Supporters Direct said: “The FA needs assistance and the delivery of greater powers so that it can genuinely tackle meaningful change to how clubs are run. Currently, they have delegated too much power to the leagues which is different to most of the rest of Europe where the national organisation is in overall charge of compliance.
“Club licensing needs to be applied as a pro-active and preventative measure whereby clubs can actually be properly censured or even stopped from competing. It works successfully in most European countries, so why not here? In Germany for example, you have to earn your licence. You’re a custodian and you’re accountable on an annual basis.”
4 further events are scheduled across the country to allow fans from as many clubs as possible to play their part in shaping the final Supporters Direct reform document. They are:
Manchester– Wednesday 6th September - Darlington – Thursday 7th September
Coventry-Wednesday 13th September - London - Thursday 14th September
Full details of all events at: fansnotnumbers.org - Follow the debate on Twitter #FansNotNumbers
YOUR INVITATION TO AN EXCLUSIVE FOOTBALL FORUM
BRINGING FOOTBALL BACK TO THE FANS
SKINS, the Sky Blue Trust and Supporters Direct, are delighted to invite you to attend an exclusive event to discuss the future of football club ownership and accountability.
For too long, football fans have been relegated to the bench or worse, exploited. Some owners forget that we are fans, not fools
- the lifeblood of any club and the heart of any community. When clubs fail, towns and cities do too, socially and economically.
We've seen it before. We never want to see it again.
The Arena Suite, Coventry RFC, Butts Park Arena, Coventry, CV1 3GE
Wednesday, 13th September 2017
19.00 for 19:30
Fans Not Numbers, Midlands is one of five regional events giving fans like you a national platform to:
· Hear a positive call for reform in football governance
· Join the national debate to re-shape football’s future
· Be heard as Supporters Direct and SKINS take the fight – and the plans - to government
Add your voice to our voice by joining with friends from neighbouring clubs and an exclusive panel of eminent supporters and campaign champions.
Please indicate your intention to attend by registering at:Write comment (0 Comments)
The Sky Blue Trust are delighted to see that the award of the franchise for local and inter-regional services, currently held by London Midland Trains, to West Midlands Trains specifically includes plans for the radical improvement of services to the Arena station for major events.
During 2016 the Trust actively lobbied the Department of Transport and strongly encouraged local Coventry and Warwickshire MPs, Council Leaders, Wasps RFC and Coventry City FC to contact the Department to demand two things. First, that potential franchisees should explicitly indicate the short and long term plans that they had for running appropriate train services from Coventry and Nuneaton to the Arena for major events: and secondly that the responses of the potential franchisees to these questions should be a material consideration in the allocation of the franchise.
The Trust, largely due to a well informed and dogged campaign headed up by board members Bruce Walker and Frank Smith had an excellent response from all parties to this request to lobby the Department and we are grateful to them for those responses - they appear to have achieved success!
However, the Trust also notes that the proposed service improvements are unlikely to come on stream until very late in 2018.
As CCFC supporters, supporting a Club trapped in a web of critical deadlines due to the incompetence and intransigence of the current owners, we are very seriously concerned that by the time the much needed service improvements to the Arena are implemented our Club may be elsewhere or, most worryingly, nowhere at all.
The end of the Ricoh rental agreement in the Summer of 2018 coupled with the termination of the Academy agreement at the Alan Higgs Centre in the Spring of next year, the sale of the Ryton training ground and the uncertain outcome of High Court decisions affecting the future location and very existence of the Sky Blues, means that our reaction to the proposed service improvements is one of 'Very welcome, but we have got a lot more to be worried about between now and then'.Write comment (0 Comments)
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