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Fans Are Not Fodder!

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 17/08/2002

THE government is moving to tell football authorities that supporters must be included in the consultations over the restructuring of the Football League.

The sports ministry of Richard Caborn and Tessa Jowell are backing Supporters Direct, the organisation that represents fans and assists them in forming trusts.

They say that Supporters Direct must be included in the crucial discussions and will be pressing the FA to see that it happens.

Only the FA, the Football League, the Premier League, the PFA and the accountants KPMG, who wrote the recent report on the future of English football were to be represented at the meeting but the sports minister is insisting that Supporters Direct be included also.

The Labour MP Andy Burnham, who is chair of Supporters Direct, said "We are saying that we have a ready-made solution to the problems in the lower divisions. It is the fans who can help a club out of its problems and we need a new partnership where the two can work together. Fans are no longer just fodder and it is vital that they be included in the discussions to change the structure of English football."

Supporters Direct are presently assisting Grimsby Town supporters to form the Grimsby Town Supporters Trust and have appointed a case officer to work with the steering committee which is presently being formed.

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