Spirit of Shankly, like other grass roots supporter organisations, is disappointed to hear that Supporters Direct have lost their funding from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF) (Press Release here). Spirit of Shankly is fully supportive of Supporters Direct having benefited from their advice, guidance and expertise in recent years as we examined the possibilities of supporter investment and ownership of Liverpool Football Club, as well as their support both publicly and behind the scenes in our battle to rid the club of Tom Hicks and George Gillett.
Well known for their role in establishing supporter trusts and assisting fans in their ownership of their clubs, the work done by Supporters Direct is invaluable to the wider supporter organisation movement. As an organisation they have helped many supporters and shown that supporter ownership of football clubs can, and does, work. Dave Boyle, who has resigned as Chief Executive of Supporters Direct, was part of the selection panel for the recently launched Liverpool FC Supporters Committee, using his wealth of knowledge and understanding from his work to assist the Club in choosing representatives for the new committee.
An Early Day Motion tabled on 13th June has subsequently been signed by seventeen MPs calling for the Government to reaffirm its support for Supporters Direct. At a time of great uncertainty for Supporters Direct, there is also a growing optimism among supporter organisations that change can become realistic following the Football Governance Inquiry, and it is important that we are fully behind the aims and work of Supporters Direct. We would urge all our members to contact their local MP, asking them to support EDM 1909.
A template is available below for members who wish to use it to contact their MP. You can find out who your MP is and their contact details here.
Dear MP,I am e-mailing you with regards to recent news that the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF) (on behalf of the Premier League) are to remove their funding for Supporters Direct. This decision could have disastrous effects on the survival of football and rugby league clubs. Supporters Direct have shown over the last 10 years the value of their work with notable achievements with AFC Wimbledon, Swansea City and Exeter City. They have helped setup close to 200 trusts and represent around 270,000 members in those trusts. The advice they can give to aid the setup of new trusts to aid and in some cases save their respective clubs is invaluable. Their support to Spirit of Shankly, Liverpool FC Supporters Union, of which I am a member helped considerably in our previous campaign to pressure Tom Hicks and George Gillett to sell Liverpool FC. With the coalition’s stated support for greater fan involvement in clubs it is necessary that Supporters Direct is supported to deliver their aims and not lose their funding. This is particularly important at this point in time as it would be unsuitable for Supporters Direct to have to cut down or cease operations when we are close to hearing the outcome of the Football Governance Inquiry which may make Supporters Direct’s role even more important.You may be aware of EDM 1909 which has been raised and signed by other MPs and I would ask of you to also sign your name to this EDM as well. I hope you can meet this wish.
Thank you for your time.