The FSF AGM was held at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, July 17th, here we provide a round-up of all the matters dealt with and motions up for debate…
Football fans from across the country gathered for the FSF’s AGM to discuss another 12 months of campaigning and propose new policies for the organisation on a range of issues affecting match-going fans.
Former-treasurer Caroll Clark was recognised for his contribution to the FSF and its predecessor organisations, stepping down after some 40 years volunteering for the supporter movement. Caroll was presented with a trophy and vouchers by FSF chair Malcolm Clarke.
FSF chief executive Kevin Miles adressed the meeting – talking through the successes of the Twenty’s Plenty campaign, progress on Fans For Diversity, the Expert Working Group and much more. He commended the annual review to the AGM. The meeting endorsed the review.
Nine new members were appointed to the FSF National Council and Martin O’Hara was elected unopposed to continue as deputy chair.
The meeting then moved onto to debating the following new motions:
Motion 1 – Independent Football Ombudsman:
This meeting believes the arbitration process should have the confidence and trust of fans. We note the concerns raised by various supporter groups about the independent Football Ombudsman.
We call for the following –
- That the Ombudsmen and the Advisory Panel should stand down and the football authorities, in consultation with fan’s organisations, appoint a wider selection of Ombudsmen that reflect the diversity of fans and an Advisory Panel is chosen that also reflects the diversity of fans.
- A mediation process that meets with aggrieved fans, not just the club.
- The IFO to monitor adjudications and to report back on compliance by clubs.
Motion 2 – ATOS:
This meeting notes that the Premier and the Football League fixtures are organised under contract by Atos Origin. This is the same company whose healthcare division was responsible, from 1998 – 2015, for Work Capability Assessment for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
In August 2015, statistics from the Department of Work and Pensions revealed that 2,380 people had died between 2011 – 2014, soon after being found fit for work through disability benefit assessments.We note that in 2014, the DWP negotiated an early exit from the existing contract with the Atos, after raising concerns about the quality of its work.
We therefore call on the FSF to organise a meeting with the relevant football authorities and request that the contract for fixtures is withdrawn from Atos.
- Vote – Motion defeated (113 against & 51 in favour)
Motion 3 – EFL Trophy:
The FSF reaffirms it total and complete opposition to “B-teams” or academy teams competing in the EFL and EFL trophy.
Motion 4 – FSF North West division – Withdrawn as AGM vote not required to re-establish the NW division
Motion 5 – Grassroots football:
This meeting calls on all supporter’s groups to back the campaign for more investment into grassroots football, the starting place for every football player. Grassroots football is going through very difficult times at the moment with many kids and adults walking away from the game, mainly due to the cost and poor facilities, this at a time when there has never been so much money at the top of the tree, especially with the Premier League’s new £8.2Bn TV deal.
In 1999 there was a Task Force Agreement that the Premier League would contribute 5% of its TV rights to grassroots football, this has never been the case. It has only ever been 1% or less. Millions of pounds of investment didn’t make itback to grassroots football. 5% of the New Premier league TV deal would see over £400m coming back into grassroots football, this would go a long way towards improving facilities and coaching.
We believe the failure, yet again, of our national team is due to lack of investment into grassroots football. Our FA would sooner spend £757M on a stadium we struggle to fill. The FA also spent £105m on St Georges Park. The Grassroots Football Campaign calls for more financial support from the FA and the Premier League to go back into the roots of our game.
Motion 6 – Affordable football & ticket allocations – remitted to FSF National Council for refinement of wording
Motion 7 – Pyrotechnics & laser pens:
This meeting, whilst recognising the excitement created for some football supporters by the use of pyrotechnics and laser pens, calls on the National Council to develop a prevention strategy in the interests of the health and well-being of all supporters, players and others attending football matches.
Motion 8 – Governance of the game:
Football supporters need to be able to directly influence the governance of the game in this country. Direct ownership of clubs and the recent recommendations of the Expert Working Group are all useful beginnings but until supporters have direct representation at the highest levels of governance, the impact we are able to have will always be limited.
This AGM endorses the submission made by FSF and SD to the FA governance review that supporters should be represented on main FA board and senior committees of the FA.
It instructs NC to keep under review the best way of increasing the supporter participation and representation in the leagues at all levels of the game.
Some of the motions voted on here feature alterations to their wording. Please see the AGM packs here for the original wording. If you have any further queries email firstname.lastname@example.org