Business Directory

Browse the Directory

Sign Up to the Directory

FC Business Twitter
FC business Linked in
FC Business facebook
FC Business Youtube

Fans tell MEPS – we are football!

Thu 25th Feb 2010 | Football Governance

Supporters Direct and fans’ groups across Europe on Tuesday received a big ‘thumbs up’ from Europe’s politicians at the first organised lobby of the European Parliament by football fans.

The reception was supported by the Parliament’s Friends of Football group of football-loving MEPs and by Europe’s governing body for football, UEFA.

Speaking at the event, the Chair of the Friends of Football Group, Ivo Belet said:

"Supporters are key stakeholders in football. In the European Parliament we are genuinely convinced that a properly structured involvement of supporters contributes to an improved governance and also to greater financial stability of clubs. That is of crucial importance, especially in these times, with clubs in financially turbulent waters as a result of the financial crisis and a result also of foreign ownership of the club."

The event was organised by Supporters Direct, the UK-based organisation that works with football fans to bring sustainability to clubs through community ownership, who have been developing their work in other countries over the last 3 years thanks to support from UEFA.

In that time, Supporters Direct have worked with supporters groups in 15 countries, and 11 of those were represented at the Parliamentary lobby.

They included groups looking to reconstitute Spanish clubs as members’ associations, and groups who successfully defended the system of supporter ownership in the Bundesliga.

MEPs heard from Andy Walsh, General manager of FC United of Manchester, the club formed by supporters disenfranchised by Manchester United following the takeover by the Glazer family. Outlining the club’s democratic and open character, he said:

“Professional football does not exist without supporters. Without them, there is no game.”

Reflecting on the event, Dave Boyle, Chief Executive of SD Europe said:

“The impact of the wider economic climate is being magnified in football due to the unaccountable way too many football clubs are run. The sense of fear and crisis is prompting many fans to address those fundamental problems and demand involvement in the clubs they support.

“It’s clear there’s a great deal of support for meaningful fan involvement in clubs from UEFA and from Europe’s politicians. The task now is to ensure that the European Union’s developing sports policy assists efforts of supporters to bring transparency, accountability and sustainability to clubs.”

Also addressing the meeting was UEFA’s William Gaillard, who welcomed the work of SD and increasing role of supporters, saying

“Supporters have always been part and parcel of professional football. Their loyalty to their clubs lies at the core of their personal identity, it is a lifelong commitment. At a time when the global crisis and the lack of financial discipline are threatening the very survival of many football clubs, SD offers a credible, sustainable alternative to the current model of club ownership and governance".


Add to: Google Google | Yahoo Yahoo | Live Live | del.icio.us del.icio | Digg Digg |

Related Articles

Luís Figo joins UEFA as Football Advisor

Wed 11th Oct 2017 | Football Governance

Luís Figo will bring his wealth of knowledge and experience to UEFA as he joins the organisation as a football advisor. The Portuguese icon will bring his knowledge and expertise to UEFA As a...

Kate Tinsley nominated for The Football Association Board

Thu 5th Oct 2017 | Football Governance

Kate Tinsley has been nominated to join The Football Association Board and The FA Council as an Independent Non-Executive Director. Kate is currently the Chief Executive Officer of The Buildbase...

The Football Business Academy & streetfootballworld Join Forces

Tue 29th Aug 2017 | Football Governance

The Football Business Academy and streetfootballworld join forces to further promote the idea of football for good and ensure that the next generation of football leaders embraces Corporate Social...

London FA Overhauls Board To Reflect Capital’s Diverse Football Community

Fri 18th Aug 2017 | Football Governance

The London Football Association (LFA), the largest of the County Football Associations, is undertaking a transformational overhaul of its Board and inviting applicants from diverse backgrounds to...