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Supporters Direct

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 16/07/2002

Supporters Direct was set up in 2000 by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to promote the establishment and development of supporters' trusts as a means of giving football supporters a greater say in how their club is run.

Philosophy and Aims

  • The aim of Supporters Direct is to offer support, advice and information to groups of supporters who wish to play a responsible part in the life of the clubs they support.

  • All models used and recommended will be based on democratic, mutual and 'not-for-profit' principles. Legitimate objectives will include:

    Influence - The formation and running of representative bodies for supporters.

    Ownership - The acquisition of shares in the football club to pool the voting power of individual supporters to further the aims and objects of the Supporters' Trust.

    Representation - Securing the democratic election of supporters' representatives to the Boards of Directors of individual football clubs.

    By these means we hope to improve the health of the whole football industry.

    Criteria for eligibility

    To qualify for the assistance of Supporters Direct, supporters' groups must be:

    Democratic in their structures and in the way they run their affairs; must be open to all fans to join, at an affordable cost; and broadly representative of supporters.

    The result of all this is that:

  • We require supporters' groups we help to adopt a written constitution and use a limited number of model constitutions. This helps to reduce or eliminate the cost of legal advice to us and to individual groups on constitutional issues;and acts as a means of ensuring that our aims and philosophy are met in each case.

    We can help by

  • Introducing you to representatives from supporter and supporter-shareholder groups who can share their experiences with you.

  • Providing support for your media campaign (in the form of press releases and interviews) and contacts.

  • Helping you to find suitable speakers for your launch meeting.

  • Attending meetings of supporters where requested.

  • Providing legal and financial advice.

  • Assisting with meeting the costs of mailings, public meetings and the formation of Supporters' Trusts.

  • Assisting with the use of the Web, email discussion groups etc.

  • Regular briefings and workshops.

  • Conferences and training courses for group leaders, club board members and trustees.

    There is a great deal more to know about Supporters Direct. I have just given a limited overview of who they are and what they do.

    To get a complete overview you can visit their website which also contains a library and information and advice for each step of the way.

    Please bookmark their website at www.supporters-direct.org



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