In 2012 there was a commitment by the Football Authorities that “Clubs will be required under league regulation to set out in a structured format the ways in which they will consult & engage with different supporter interests & groups.”
In 2014 the Government launched an Expert Working Group (EWG) on issues relating to Supporter Ownership and Engagement.
In 2016 the EWG report put forward a series of recommendations in relation to structured dialogue that were endorsed by the PL, EFL & FA.
You can read the full report HERE.
Key points from the EWG report
- “Clubs will meet with a representative group of supporters at least twice a year to discuss major issues”
- “The Leagues will recommend that this representative group of supporters includes the club’s Supporters Trust”
- “The Leagues will advise clubs that no individuals should be excluded from the meetings without good reason”
- “If attendances at these meetings is restricted to a small group of supporters – which is the preference of SD/FSF –a significant proportion of this representative group of supporters should be elected, selected or invited to these meetings in line with basic democratic principles”
- “Senior representatives from the clubs – either club owners / directors and/or senior executive management should represent the club at these meetings”
- “Whilst SD and FSF believe these meetings would be most productive with a tighter, independently democratically elected representative group of supporters with an interest in strategic and governance issues, the PL and FL support clubs having the flexibility to invite a broad and open group of supporters”
- “Each of the Leagues will provide a template to clubs outlining the minimum level of information which should be shared at these meetings”
- “Although the focus of these meetings will be on strategic and major issues, all parties will be able to table additional topics where relevant and timely, to ensure that the issues which matter to supporters and clubs are discussed”
- “Building trusted partnerships can be a step towards a sensible, managed exit route by owners who intend to sell, and giving supporters a transparent and visible view of the strategic direction of a club, is a good backdrop for dialogue on potential supporter ownership/ investment opportunities”
- “The Leagues will oversee these commitments and, if needed, clarify them in their rule books and will take into account any feedback received from SD and the FSF on the effectiveness of this approach”
- “The Group would recommend that any substantial changes to club colours or crest are discussed as part of the structured dialogue”
Check out the Fulham Case Study Video for their take on developing a structured dialogue between Supporters Trust and Club.