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Reading fans join the protest

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

Reading fans were the first to demonstrate their support for the NO TO GAM£ 39 campaign, when they unveiled a huge banner at Sunday’s home game with Aston Villa.

With the Sky cameras rolling and Reading Chairman John Madejski – a backer of the Premier League’s proposals – out on the pitch for a pre-match presentation, the FSF’s NO TO GAM£ 39 banner was paraded around the ground.

And, amid warm applause and shouts of support, was then unfurled in the crowd at the Madejski Stadium when the match was in progress – while hundreds of black balloons bearing the legend NO TO GAM£ 39 were also released.

“The banner worked well and was much appreciated as we took it round the ground – there were lots of supportive comments and plenty of applause as we passed people”, said FSF Deputy Chair Jon Keen.

“Even better it was going round the ground just as Reading Chairman John Madejski was on the pitch making a presentation – so he saw it for sure, and got the message loud and clear.”

Predictably, Sky TV indulged in a spot of selective reporting and studiously ignored every aspect of the protest.

But they’re going to find it increasingly difficult to justify such a stance as supporters’ protests gather momentum up and own the country during the coming weeks.

Because, at a series of meetings up and down the country, fans have been plotting a series of protests which will leave those running our national game in no doubt as to how their paying customers feel about Premier League proposals to play competitive domestic fixtures on foreign shores.

Fans put aside traditional rivalries as they converged on meetings in London, Wigan, Birmingham, Gateshead and Sheffield to discuss various means of protest, details of which are due to confirmed here on the FSF website during the next few days.

Supporters’ representatives, who were elected at those regional gatherings, will tomorrow accompany FSF Chairman Malcolm Clarke to a meeting with Premier League officials at Soho Square in London, will inform them of the scale of the backlash they’ll face should they try to push their proposals through.

Keep checking the FSF website for updates on NO TO GAM£ 39 activities taking place in your part of the country during the coming weeks.

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Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund


  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • SD Europe