This followed issues raised last year by the union on behalf of supporters, during which time the club changed their policy of banning supporters pending an investigation and began updating the supporter charter.
We note the recent improvements by the club, and engagement with the union and supporters to improve this. We fully understand the need for the club to investigate as they see fit. We have consistently called for this to be done in a robust, fair and transparent way.
Whilst we will endeavour to continue to work with the club, and believe recent changes are a step in the right direction, including appointment of an independent person to the appeal panel stage, it is our view that the club can do more to improve this process.
Allowing supporters to attend their sanctions and appeals panel for example, something currently not allowed, would help build trust that the system and processes are fair to both sides.
Working with supporters, we believe the club can and should set the Premier League standard in all that it does, and not seek to replicate others.
Therefore, we call upon the club to:
– Provide letters and documentary evidence to supporters at the earliest opportunity that explain in detail what it is alleged they have done, why this is wrong and on what basis the allegation has been made
– Provide all evidence to any supporter prior to an initial sanctions panel and appeal panel stage
– Allow for the supporter to attend and panels or hearings, with representation if requested
– End the widespread targeting/harvesting of tickets fairly used by friends and family until such time that the club has enacted a friends and family policy in consultation with supporters.
We believe these changes would build trust and enable club and supporters to concentrate on more pressing matters.