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Written by Alex Barclay   
Tuesday, 05 April 2011 09:39

Hello Allan,

With football fixtures running out this season we want to make sure one of your own makes it into the diary. The Annual Conference will be taking place in Chester on Friday the 15th and Saturday the 16th of July, and for the first time we will be combining it with the SD Cup which sees Chester FC play host to FC United.

We're not the only people that have been busy this month as you'll see from the monthly SD and Trust round up

SD Fans' Weekend, including the Annual Conference & SD Cup

The Supporters Direct Annual Conference and SD Cup will take place in Chester, on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th July 2011.

The Conference will be held at The Queen Hotel on the Friday and the SD Cup will form part of a Fans’ Day held on the Saturday at the Exacta Stadium, Chester FC.

Following on from 2010's event, we are hoping that this year's edition will be our most successful yet, and are sure that it has something for everyone. David Conn, David Goldblatt, senior figures from the Football authorities and much, much, more. You can take part in the whole 2 day event for just £37 early bird rates for members of a Supporters Trust or £42 for non-members, or pick and choose the bits you want.

Attractions for the Fans’ day will be stands, a marquee that will host the speakers for the day, a BBQ and the SD Cup between Chester FC and FC United.

We are delighted to confirm that our charity partner for this year's conference will be the Homeless World Cup. This is a unique social enterprise, aiming to end homelessness around the world. £1 from every ticket sold for the conference, comedy night and Supporters Direct Cup will be donated to this great cause.

Friday's Conference

We'll be launching two of our five 2011 working papers; 'Financing Community Ownership & Supporter Involvement' and 'Business Advantages of Supporter & Community Ownership'. These will be launched at the opening plenary and followed by two practical workshops.

The strand will be hopefully provide both inspiration to all supporters’ trusts and individuals that want to see a transformation of ownership both at their clubs and across the game.

There will also be four other strands, each with either one or two sessions.
Full strand descriptions.

The day will finish with our Annual General Meeting.

Admission starts from £15, which includes a meal. If you also pay for the comedy night some food will be provided between the two events.

Full details or register.

Friday’s Comedy Night

The Comedy night will be headlined by Bob Mills, supported by Jeremy O’ Donnell.

It begins at 8pm finishing at 11pm. It will also take place at the Queens Hotel. Tickets a snip at just £12!!

Full details or buy ticket.

Saturday's Fans’ Day, including The SD Cup

Saturday sees the events move outside into the (hopefully) blazing July sun. Our marquee will be the hub for the day's events.

The SD Cup is a now-traditional friendly which will be contested between hosts Chester F.C and F.C United, two of the movement's leading lights.

Prior to the game, there will be a rally in the marquee, with keynote speeches from David Conn (The Guardian), David Goldblatt (author of The Ball is Round), Andy Walsh (General Manager of F.C United), Chris Pilsbury (Chester F.C Chairman), and more to be confirmed. There will also be a barbecue on site. The event will be compered by Jeremy O Donnell. Also in the marquee will be various stalls and it should have a licensed bar (TBC).

Following the conclusion of the game, we will return to the marquee for the presentation of the man of the match, bringing the curtain down on the weekend.

Full details or register

How can our Trust help to promote the event?

1. Make sure your members are aware. This means circulating the details of the event, in as many ways as they can. Newsletters, Message boards, Twitter, Facebook, word of mouth.

2. Make sure each online reminder contains a link back to the event page.

3. Mention the main attractions: David Conn, David Goldblatt, Mark Bradley, SD Cup.

4. Be sure to highlight the advantages of booking early.

5. Mention the event to any friendly local journalists or media types who might be interested in covering it.

6. Start now! The sooner people are aware of the event the more time they have to book the Friday off work, sort out accommodation (info on the SD website), etc. And keep reminding them!

Full details or register

Select Committee update

All the evidence submitted in writing to the committee has been
made available

There was a fantastic reception from the Trust movement, with trusts or people associated with them submitting over half of the total evidence received. We've analysed all 85 submissions, and there's a clear trend. Over 80% of respondents think that clubs shouldn't be treated as if they were normal businesses, the same majority who agree the current governance structures of English football aren't fit for purpose and that there's too much debt in football.

SD gave evidence to the committee last week, alongside colleagues from the Football Supporters Federation. As the session was at Burnley FC's ground, they didn't have access to the usual facilities to stream footage of the proceedings. However, cameras were present, and the session will be uploaded to the committee's website in the near future, as will a transcript of our evidence.

Linked to the committee's works, we've commissioned two policy position papers that recommend options both for the Government and the football authorities. We will be launching them on May 11th in Westminster. We'll also be asking trusts who submitted evidence to send people along to lobby their own MPs first, and we'll be in touch about that very soon.

Supporters Direct Meets with Uefa in Nyon

Last week SD along with other supporters groups met with UEFA representatives to discuss a range of topics including the fan liaison position. UEFA President Michel Platini was at the meeting and declared that "the fans are football people – they represent football’s identity, both at national and club level"
Read more

Independent Examination service launched by SD

Following interest from the SD Christmas Survey we are happy to reveal that we are now offering an Independent Examination service to Supporters Trusts. The cost depends on the time it will take our Company Accountant to prepare or carry out the Examination

Read more

SD Governance

Following the conclusion of the election for places on the SD Scottish Council, we're now ready to launch the new Council covering England & Wales and Scotland.


20 Trusts voted, a turnout of 77%. The results were as follows:



Neil Bone


Elected for 3 years

Colin Pike


Elected for 3 years*

Alasdair Galloway


Elected for 2 years*

Grieg Ingram


Elected for 1 year

Michael Barile


Elected for 1 year**

Barry Richmond



Fraser MacDonald


Ian Kelly


Nick Robinson


Marie McCusker


* As the number of votes received was tied, the allocation of candidates to serve for 3 and 2 years respectively was undertaken by the drawing of lots by a member of staff at Co-operativesUK, the umbrella body for all UK Co-operatives.

** As the number of votes received was tied, lost were drawn to determine which candidate would be deemed elected. The draw was undertaken by a member of staff at Co-operativesUK.

The Council will meet for the first time on March 28th.

England & Wales

2 nominations were received from three places, from Tony Taylor and Malcolm Turner. They will join the remaining 6 members of the Board representing English and Welsh trusts on the Council which mets for the first time on April 19th.

Rugby League Advisory Group

No nominations were received, and the board is in the process of co-opting members to this group.

News from the Trust Movement

K.H.I.S.T gain Board Place

Following a difficult period at the club Kidderminster Harriers Supporters Trust have secured an invitation for a fans representative to join the board of directors at the club. A Trust statement discussed the new partnership and said ‘We want the club to attain maximum possible success on the pitch but only within available and sustainable financial and human resources.’ Congratulations to KHST and good luck to Karl Davies in his role as Supporter Director.

Read more

The Beartown Trust (Congleton Town) gain Board Place

In addition to buying a 10% stake in the club the Trust have now accepted the Club’s invitation to take up a seat on the Board. A Trust statement said ‘this has given us the means to have a key voice in the future direction of the club and to ensure that the views of Supporters and the Local Community are both heard and taken into account’

Find out more about the role of Supporter Director on the SD WIKI

AFC Wimbledon fans say no to sugar daddy approach

This was one of the headlines from an ongoing process by the Dons Trust to determine the future model, direction and location of the club.

Read more

Forever Bury want you to drink their beer

Thought that might grab you! For the 7th year the Forever Bury beer festival is taking place between the 24th and 26th of March. Over 50 beers and coders will be on offer as the Trust looks to raise more money to build on its 14% shareholding in the club. They’ve already raised over £9,000 in sponsorship and that’s before a drop of ale has been drank.
Read More

Fancy running your own, find out how Forever Bury does it on the SD WIKI

Brakes Trust (Leamington) launch Citizen of the Year Awards

Last month the Brakes Trust launched a new initiative, the Citizen of the Year Awards which is a competition to find the individual who has done most to brighten up the lives of people in the South Warwickshire area. The project will enable the Trust to engage with and reward the local community whilst raising the profile of the Trust.

Peter Bowen, Vice Chairman of The Brakes Trust said “We are looking for those people who we all rely on, who work behind the scenes, to make life comfortable and more enjoyable for others. They are the volunteers who do the unenviable or difficult tasks, and who are so important in making things happen when we are struggling to get through the week,”

Read more

And some more!

Wrexham Supporters Trust continue in quest for community ownership

Dorchester Town Supporters Trust release vision for the future of the Club

Cambridge Fans United answer questions about their bid for ownership

And finally…

In case you missed it watch again an uplifting feature on Football Focus last Saturday highlighting the revival of fan owned Chester FC and a crowd of nearly 2,000 against Salford City watching a 3-1 win.
Not bad when you compare that to 460 in their last match in the Conference before the supporters took control (fast forward to 21 minutes in)

If you want to see the story unfold in person make sure you get along to the Fans' Weekend on July 15th and 16th!

Supporters Direct Media Briefing, Friday 10 December 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alex Barclay   
Tuesday, 21 December 2010 11:39


Plymouth Argyle to fight for survival in High Court
BBC News

Charlton Athletic takeover bid accepted

WikiLeaks cables: Burma general considered Manchester United buyout
The Guardian

FC United extends pioneering community share offer

Watford help secure £4m in Government funding for community project in Harrow
The Watford Observer

Supporters Direct

Parliamentary committee to focus on debt in football and FA structure
The Guardian

Comments & Blogs

The £5m Argyle Black Hole

The Danes Are Back, And Croydon Should Be Wary
Two Hundred Percent

Mandaric takeover buys time for Sheffield Wednesday
When Saturday Comes


Clyde Learn Their Lessons The Hard Way
Two Hundred Percent

SFL clubs struggling as big freeze hits crucial cashflow
The Scotsman


Fan Power and the Brown Revolution
In Bed With Maradona

FC Porto's Buy Low, Sell High Strategy
The Swiss Ramble

Uefa plan for new TV and sponsorship deal puts FA cash in jeopardy

Rugby League

Crusaders signal intent for long-term stability with new CEO
The Guardian

Supporters Direct Media Briefing, Friday 26 November 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alex Barclay   
Friday, 26 November 2010 22:29

Here's your new weekly media briefing, courtesy of Supporters Direct. You'll find a selection of news stories, opinion articles and blog posts discussing some of the issues which have made headlines in the last seven days which we think should interest people on Trust Boards.

We want it to be as useful as possible to you and your Trust, so feel free to forward it onto your colleagues on the Trust Board, send it to members, put it on your website, etc.

There will be four trial briefings over the next month, and we welcome any feedback on how useful and informative they are for you. If you don't want to receive any more, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with your name and email address.

Additionally, if you or your Trust are involved in any news-making events that we've haven't picked up on, please feel free to send them over for the next briefing.


Ben Shave (SD Intern)


Sir Dave Richards and the ailing fortunes of Sheffield Wednesday
The Guardian

Peter Ridsdale holds talks with struggling Plymouth Argyle
The Guardian

Sheffield United Group announces restructuring

AFC Telford in profit for sixth year
Shropshire Star

Millwall reveal increased turnover in latest accounts
FC Business

Supporters Direct

Plymouth Argyle, Peter Ridsdale & Peter Reid: A Match Made… Well, Somewhere
Two Hundred Percent

Omid FC and 'SD United' join forces to support Mehdi Mirzae
Supporters Direct

Rotherham United & FC United of Manchester: Grounds For Celebration United
Two Hundred Percent

Comments & Blogs

Why Bolton Wanderers have so much debt
The Swiss Ramble

Held to Account
SW19's Army

You’re Gunner be skint
The Football Supporters' Federation

Seeking Asylum in Football
In Bed With Maradona


Gers fans group want to be heard
The Press Association


Debt-ridden Feyenoord fear for the future
When Saturday Comes

FIFA under investigation by Swiss corruption officials
FC Business

Regional revolution for Germany's lower leagues
When Saturday Comes

Rugby League

Cash-strapped Crusaders hit by redundancies
BBC News

Supporters Direct Media Briefing, Monday 22 November 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alex Barclay   
Tuesday, 23 November 2010 13:32

Here's your new weekly media briefing, courtesy of Supporters Direct. You'll find a selection of news stories, opinion articles and blog posts discussing some of the issues which have made headlines in the last seven days which we think should interest people on Trust Boards.

We want it to be as useful as possible to you and your Trust, so feel free to forward it onto your colleagues on the Trust Board, send it to members, put it on your website, etc.

There will be four trial briefings over the next month, and we welcome any feedback on how useful and informative they are for you. If you don't want to receive any more, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with your name and email address.


Ben Shave (SD Intern)


Conference clubs show improved financial stability
FC Business

Bedlington Terriers FC receive investment from US billionaire
The Guardian

Healthcare land offer to help North Yorkshire club
FC Business

Mansfield Town, Keith Haslam and that controversial dividend
The Guardian

Supporters Direct

Foxes Trust Register Complaint to Football League
Supporters Direct

A New Dawn For Italian Football Supporters?
Pitch Invasion

Venezia United look towards fan ownership model
When Saturday Comes

Comments & Blogs

Sheffield Wednesday - An Inside Job!
Lee Strafford

Chester's new club pulls in the crowds
When Saturday Comes

Clinging to a glorious past
The Seventy Two

Groundhog Day for the Trotters
Football Management


Administrator praises Dundee fans
The Press and Journal

Dundee FC's Harry MacLean speaks to A Different League
A Different League


In which I watch volleyball & think about fandom
Spangly Princess

Why Ajax are no longer Dutch Masters
The Swiss Ramble

Rugby League

Blackpool Panthers omitted from 2011 Championship One
BBC News

In-administration Crusaders face wages uncertainty
BBC News

RFL fight government cuts
Last Tackle

Supporters Direct Newsletter - October 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alex Barclay   
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 20:57

Supporters Direct Newsletter - October 2010

Hello Allan,
Welcome to a slightly belated October round up of news from SD and the Trust movement. It's been a crazy month with supporters from Liverpool to Ilkeston being left to wonder whether their clubs will survive court room battles. In this edition we hear from Dave Boyle on the situation at Liverpool and after a different verdict for Ilkeston Town at court, news of a community led resurgence which needs all of your support. Other Trusts too are campaigning hard, such as Bristol City for a new stadium and Halesowen to understand what is happenening to their club. Thankfully there are some more positive stories from Trusts too. Enjoy!

SD Comment - Dave Boyle

Too big to fail to notice

When clubs like Chesterfield and Exeter became owned by crooks, people didn't seem to care that much, because neither were big clubs, like Liverpool.

When Portsmouth's owners turned out to have been functionally innumerate, or broke, or maybe to not even exist (or maybe all of those things), people didn't seem to care much because Portsmouth were just a small club which seemed bigger just by dint of the league it played in. It wasn't a big club like Liverpool.

And now we have Liverpool. No-one could have foreseen just how messy it would end up being, but that the club was fundamentally in grave difficulty was foretold. The only counter to the predictions was that it couldn't happen to a truly big club. Something would turn up, someone would come forward. They were too big to fail.

So it was with a perplexing degree of incredulity that the world's media watched as the team who share the record for most English championships, third in the all-time European Cup honours board, were fought over by lawyers desperately trying to keep Hicks and Gillett in the box seat and lawyers trying to keep the club out of administration for unpaid purchase debts they should never have had in the first place.

The drama was end to end stuff, but with no pause for breath and reflection, the wider lessons were never reflected upon. Once the saga had unwound, it was time to start the football again, and lest anyone start to get notions of thinking this through, along came Rooney to keep people's minds of it.

What minds need to focus on is that the unedifying spectacle is exactly what regulation by the market looks like. Being intensely relaxed about who owns clubs, why they own them and how they own them ends in courtrooms because English football has acted as if it were somehow unseemly to do something as have a view for the wider good. The absence of any comment whatsoever from the FA, as one of the jewels of the game they are charged with protecting was undermined so publicly, was as depressing as it was predictable. Maybe the silence is the calm before a storm, before a raft of regulations are proposed to ensure that leveraged takeovers can't happen again, but there's a point where having hope over experience ceases to be optimism in the face of adversity but insanity.

As so we have Tom, one of the new US owners of Liverpool said they'd not be having any debt at the club from their purchase of it, but the last American called Tom who owned them said that too.  One way they could help reinforce the sense that they're different is to adopt the Arsenal approach and open their shares to fans. At their AGM, club Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis underscored his reputation as the most progressive administrator in the game by drawing attention to their model of stable ownership and sustainable finances, and linked the two to their support for fans having a place in the ownership of clubs.

We know their approach has won admirers in government, but we'll be pushing for the government's policies to be something that can help trusts at all levels, not just that very small number with public quoted markets in their shares. No club is too big or too small to be immune from leveraged buy-outs, appalling owners after satisfying their own financial interests first, asset strippers and ego trippers. That's why people in trusts have to have a role in the club, on the board, in the AGM, and doing all they can to bring some sanity to a game in great need of it.


Trust News

The fans of Ilkeston Town FC need your help in convincing the local council that a community club is the best way, please sign the petition


Bristol City Supporters Trust continue stadium campaign with 'the hidden side of Bristol City fans video'

Stockport County Supporters
Co-operative celebrate launch of new Appearance Number Scheme designed to emphasise and strengthen the special relationship between the supporters, the players and the Club


Cambridge Fans United launch fan stories book

Lincoln City Supporters Trust access grants for a new community campaign

"Don't kill our club" Yeltz Trust tell owners

Relaunched Community Shares website features FC United -


What are Community Shares?

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 October 2010 21:01
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