Reading FC and the Supporters Trust at Reading (STAR) have agreed a new protocol for disputes to ensure fans are “treated equitably and consistently”.
Supporters who the club believes have contravened its ticketing or ground regulation are now entitled to a one-on-one meeting with the club, and representation from an STAR official.
STAR officials will provide the supporter facing sanctions with advice and guidance; liaise between the supporter and club; accompany the supporter to meetings with the club and refer the case to the FSF, league bodies or Independent Football Ombudsman where appropriate.
Paul Ellix from STAR said: “On many occasions over a number of years, we’ve been asked by Reading FC supporters to give them advice or to represent them in meetings with the club where it has been alleged that they have infringed regulations.
“Whilst undertaking this work it became clear that a framework was required, to ensure that STAR, Reading FC supporters and the club could have confidence that in all cases there would be fairness, consistency and equity.
“The result was that, through working collaboratively with the club’s SLO, Jackie Evans and with the full co-operation of the club, we have agreed and jointly entered into a protocol that provides a formal basis for representation of supporters.”
The protocol is an example of good practice – particularly in an area where too many clubs are quick to hand out sanctions, such as stadium bans, to supporters with little recourse.
It has been signed off by STAR and the club for the next three years, after which it will be reviewed.
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