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“Hooligan” stats just don’t add up

Today’s news that incidents of football hooliganism involving younger fans have almost trebled in the past three years will be news to most football fans. In fact, we suspect most will file this “news” under the category “rubbish”. It doesn’t tally with most supporters’ experience of going to games, and it certainly isn’t backed up by the stats.

Fan solidarity “too political” say Leicester

A group of Leicester City supporters who backed a campaign by rival Scunthorpe fans have astonishingly been silenced by their own club. Keep Scunthorpe Standing, launched to protect and retain the standing area at Glanford Park, was given whole-hearted backing by Foxes fans’ group the Fosse Boys during their team’s 3-1 home victory over the Iron on Saturday (see pic). What should be an entirely positive story – one set of fans back another’s campaign in a show of supporter solidarity – unfortunately left a bitter taste as Leicester City’s hierarchy thought differently and instructed stewards to remove the banners. The decision has gone down like a lead balloon amongst many Foxes fans who resent the suppression of legitimate fans’ views.

FSF ‘just the ticket’ for Man United fan

The FSF’s work doesn’t just involve high-level meetings with the game’s governing bodies, it’s individual casework with fans that really makes us tick. Just one example from many in our heavy workload since the season began is the story of James, a Manchester United fan, who got in touch with us in late August.

Fans can fight back against unjust laws

Following the coalition government’s pledge to scrap unnecessary and “nannying” laws which restrict our rights the Your Freedom website was launched. The site gives the public the opportunity to tell government which laws and regulations they think should be scrapped – and as football fans we certainly have a couple we would like to see repealed:

Leeds United as families fight for justice

The campaign to secure justice for two Leeds United fans murdered before their team’s Uefa Cup semi-final with Galatasary has won the backing of Leeds North East MP Fabian Hamilton. It is now more than 10 years since Chris Loftus and Kevin Speight were brutally stabbed to death and the victims’ families are appealing to football fans across Britain to back their fight. (See the bottom of the page for details on how you can help.)

Operation Phantom Hooligan

Amid a blitz of publicity the police’s World Cup operation to stop hooligans travelling to South Africa was launched. But did it all stack up? Now the World Cup has ended The FSF’s Michael Brunskill reports on a cosy relationship between the media and police that means everyone’s a winner. Except the fans.Most reports back in June followed the exact same lines. Something a little like, “Police crackdown on hooligans travelling to South Africa for World Cup.”  If it’s a tabloid they’ll also throw in a few choice words like “amok” and “yobs”. The tabloids love dangerous words like that, words that no one uses in real life.

Happy ending as Walsall fan ban is lifted

Good news from Walsall as it’s been announced that the club has rescinded bans on a number of fans. As the FSF reported in April discontent grew after supporters clashed with the club’s chairman and chief executive over financial allegations.

Batman and Robin save Accy Stanley assistant manager

Crewe Alexandra are to launch an internal investigation after Accrington Stanley assistant manager Jimmy Bell was wrestled to the floor by five stewards following his team’s 5-1 defeat on Saturday.

Walsall Chief Exec fans the flames of protest

There’s a great deal of discontent down at the Banks’s Stadium. Off the pitch matters regarding club ownership and finances have led to supporter unrest, and in tempestuous times like these it’s often calm heads that prevail – unfortunately for Saddlers fans, it appears Chief Exec Roy Whalley has not been reading his copy of ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’.

Job done – FSF helps fan avoid ban

It’s not often we blow our own trumpet at the FSF, we’re far too shy and retiring for that sort of thing and prefer to let our work do the talking. That’s why it’s always nice when someone else bigs us up and gives us a great big thank you for a job well done, which was the case this week.

Leeds fans exonerated over Exeter incident

Leeds United fans who made the long journey to Exeter’s St James Park for their club’s League One clash earlier this season have been exonerated of any blame for a crush which developed in the away end.

Saints pray for more seats

Southampton fans have had a tough time of it lately. 2005’s relegation ended 27 years in the top-flight. It was followed by administration and relegation to League One. But things are looking up with a new (seriously rich) owner and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy (JPT) final around the corner. They’ve sold their full 44,000 allocation but many will miss out as the Football League has refused to release more tickets to the club citing safety reasons, despite there being many more empty seats available inside Wembley.

Sit Down, Shut Up!

Michael Brunskill shares his thoughts on the FSF’s inaugural Question Time-style event Sit Down, Shut Up (Thursday March 4th). With the FSF receiving complaints about policing and stewarding on an almost daily basis from across the divisions he asks – can fans convince the authorities to police with consent, rather than cause dissent?

Pompey force John Portsmouth FC Westwood into silence

Following advice from the local Safety Advisory Group (SAG) Portsmouth are threatening to silence their most famous fan, John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood (yes, that is his real name after he changed it by deed poll).

FSF Event – Sit Down, Shut Up!

Vibe Bar, London, Thursday March 4th, 7pm.

Who polices the police?

Regular visitors to the FSF site will know we’ve been involved in a long running dispute with Northumbria Police over an incident which occurred on Saturday 8th August. A group of approximately 40 Sunderland fans arrived at Newcastle’s Central Station following their team’s pre-season friendly with Heart of Midlothian.

Liverpool fan’s SOS distress signal

FSF affiliate and Liverpool fans’ union The Spirit of Shankly (SOS) is probably one of the best known supporters’ groups in the UK and they’ve even taken to breaking national news stories.

FSF makes small beer of Boro fan ban

One of the most common emails we receive is from fans who’ve been treated like hardened criminals for the ‘crime’ of drinking within sight of the pitch.

FSF statement: Sunderland fans at Central Station

The Football Supporters’ Federation welcomes news that files of evidence have been passed to the CPS for 42 of the 44 fans arrested following the incident between police and football fans on Saturday August 8th at Newcastle Central Station – see this link for information on the original incident.

FSF fans defence earns award nomination

The FSF are very proud to announce that we’ve been jointly nominated, along with Stoke City, for the JUSTICE/Liberty Human Rights Award of 2009. This is for “support of football supporters returned to Stoke from Manchester without reason which led to an out-of-court settlement and an apology from the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) for mistreatment.”

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