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Supporters' Lobby of Parliament

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 02/03/2003

SUPPORTER representatives from professional clubs from the Premiership and all divisions of the Football League through to the non-league pyramid will be lobbying MPs of all political parties at Westminster on Tuesday 1 April 2003.

The event is being organised by the Football Supporters' Federation which groups over 100,000 supporters of teams throughout England and Wales.

The lobby is timed to coincide with a Commons adjournment debate that week on the theme of football and television.

Supporters will be lobbying on a number of themes around this issue, including:

  • Movement of games from weekends to midweek or to inconvenient kick-off times to suit TV - the FSF is calling for at least half of every teams home games to kick off at 3.00pm. The FSF is also calling for games moved to midweek to feature teams within easy travelling distance of each other.

  • The distribution of TV money - The FSF wants a quarter of all TV money from all contracts to be equally distributed throughout the professional game.

  • A midweek TV free evening - the FSF believes there should be a midweek evening set aside when there are no live games to help the gates at lower division and non-league clubs

    FSF co-chairmen Malcolm Clarke, a Stoke City supporter, and Ian Todd, who follows Sunderland, commented, "We want EVERY football supporter who can make it to London on that day to be there with us to lobby their MP. We also want supporters to write to their MPs before the lobby to tell them of supporters' concerns on this issue.

    "If supporters aren't sure who their MP is or how to contact them, they can get in touch with our Development Officer Steven Powell on 07881 950613 or at He'll be delighted to help. Please also let him know if you're coming to London on the day. Those who do make it will be sure to find a warm welcome amongst fellow supporters.

    "The FSF has already got an undertaking from the football authorities to consult supporters on the forthcoming contract talks covering the Premiership, the FA Cup and England internationals. We all know what an impact the cold-hearted decision Grenada and Carlton took to pull the plug on ITV Digital had on Football League clubs. It's time for us to stand up and voice our concerns loud and clear."

    The Fishy will be attending the event, and would like as many Grimsby fans as possible who can make it to come along and make yourselves heard. We will be posting details on the site closer to the time, but in the meantime send an e-mail to Rob Sedgwick if you are interesting in coming along.

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