This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.
Against League 3 (AL3) is a fan run campaign launched in opposition to the FA Commission’s proposals to introduce Premier League and Championship ‘B’ teams into the English football pyramid. AL3 has the support of the Football Supporters’ Federation and Supporters Direct. Find out more below and sign the petition here…
Since launching our campaign two weeks ago, AL3 has generated fantastic support from all areas of the national game. AL3 continues to stand against, and offer vocal opposition to the FA Commission’s proposals to introduce ‘B’ teams into the English competitive football pyramid.
Supported by SD and the FSF, we have now also received backing from a number of fans groups and supporters’ trusts from across the country. In addition to this, a number of clubs and chairmen based in lower leagues continue to speak out against the plans.
We have now emailed the FA, asking for official recognition of our campaign, and the number of people standing against the proposals. In that email we asked to meet with the FA to talk about our concerns as fan views have not yet been taken into account at any point since the creation of the commission itself.
The correspondence we have received from fans has asked us for organised action. We continue to plan that aspect of our campaign, but we see no reason why the FA would refuse to communicate with us when our aims are essentially the same: we all want to improve the national game.
AL3 is incredibly grateful to all those who have backed our campaign.
Quotes from supportive fans’ groups below [FSF note – if you’d like your group to get involved email [email protected]]:
Spirit of Shankly said, “We are opposed to the formation of a new league and B-teams. It is in solidarity with supporters and clubs further down the league pyramid, that we oppose such changes. We are disappointed and angry, though not surprised, at the lack of consultation and engagement with national supporter organisations or individual trusts. We will be encouraging our members to work closely with the FSF and Supporters Direct and attend their forthcoming Summit. We will discuss a similar protest to the one of June last year, against the football authorities who so willingly try to ignore and exclude us.”
The Manchester United Supporters’ Trust said, “The game in this country exists for the enjoyment and benefit of the entire footballing community, whatever the size of the club and its fan-base. For the FA Commission to want to impose such radical and potential damaging changes to the underpinning football pyramid without so much as a word of consultation with representative supporter groups, such as the Football Supporters’ Federation and Supporters Direct, is totally unacceptable.”
Chelsea Supporters’ Trust said, “While the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust believes in the need for reform of player development at a national level in line with the FA Commission’s identification of the deficient number of qualified coaches and grassroots facilities in this country – with the goal of increasing the number of English and home-grown players at professional level – we do not endorse any measures that threaten the integrity of the English footballing pyramid. In particular, the CST condemns the astonishing lack of supporter consultation undertaken by the FA Commission with neither Supporters Direct nor the Football Supporters’ Federation deemed to be significant stakeholders in the English game and we urge fans to join the upcoming Supporters Summit in London to make their views heard and to debate ways forward acceptable to all.”
Everton’s Blue Union said, “A healthy lower league, bringing through talented young players increases competition and allows for a more successful and exciting national game. We cannot as Everton fans, after a period of good form, forget the health of the football pyramid and will be at the Wembley conference in July to move forward under one banner.”
Arsenal Black Scarf Movement said, “At the BSM we value the traditions and history of our great game. The further changes are made, the less fans connect with the game. If the custodians of our game are not careful they’ll awake one day to nothing. The fans would’ve gone, closely followed by the corporates etc. and they’ll have left is 22 blokes kicking a ball about. Doesn’t matter if you’re Arsenal, Man United or Rochdale your club means everything to you. Changes that affect us all must first be put to the fans. Without fans football is nothing.”
Aston Villa Supporters’ Trust said, “We consider it unacceptable that the FA Commission has prepared and published its report without any effective consultation with supporters of our national game. It goes without saying that the major stakeholder is the supporter base. Without that there is no atmosphere, no funding and ultimately no game. We call on as many fans as possible to attend the FDF/SD summit later this summer.”
Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust said, “While Premier League clubs are seen as potential beneficiaries of the FA Commission’s proposals to develop a B League, the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust does not believe undermining the integrity of the pyramid system will do the game any good. Having achieved significant success this season by consulting with our own club, we are dismayed at the lack of supporter consultation the FA undertook with supporter groups, particularly the marginalisation of Supporters Direct and the Football Supporters Federation. We will be attending the upcoming Supporter Summit that debates the real reforms needed to protect our national game.”
An overwhelming majority of fans of non-league clubs are in favour of reforming the voting structure of the National League, according to the results of a Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) survey.