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The Co-operative to sponsor Supporters Direct Fans Weekend

Fri 8th Jul 2011 | Football Industry Events

Supporters Direct (SD) have announced that long-term backers The Co-operative Group, which operates one of the biggest retail chains in the UK, is to sponsor The Supporters Direct Fans’ Weekend, including the Annual Conference and AGM at the Queen Hotel in Chester on Friday 15th July, and the Fans Day and SD Cup match on Saturday 16th July at Chester FC's Exacta Stadium.

Michael Fairclough, Head of Community and Campaigns, from The Co-operative Group, said, “Since its inception, The Co-operative Group have backed the work of Supporters Direct. For both, there is an explicit recognition that the long-term sustainability of their concerns is best served by involving in decision-making the very people on whom their long-term success is dependent. 

Brian Burgess, Acting Chief Executive of SD, said “We're delighted that The Co-operative Group are sponsoring this event. This continues the critical support they and co-operatives across the country have given us and our membership since SD was set up.”

The event takes place against the backdrop of the upcoming report on the inquiry into the governance of football by the House of Commons Culture Media and Sport Select Committee, and will also see the launch of two important briefing papers produced by SD: Financing Supporter Community Ownership and the Business Advantages of Supporter Community Ownership.’

These arrive at an important moment in the debate about how the Coalition pledge to “encourage the reform of football governance rules to support the co-operative ownership of football clubs by supporters” can be fulfilled most effectively.  

The Friday at the Queen Hotel, Chester, features a keynote speech from William Gaillard (Director of Communications & Public Affairs at UEFA and special adviser to UEFA president Michel Platini).

Saturday sees the Supporters Direct Fans’ Day at Chester FC's Exacta Stadium, with the highlight being author and Guardian journalist, David Conn. There will also be stalls and activities including The Co-operative, the Safe Standing Roadshow, and Level Playing Field. At 15:00, the annual Supporters Direct Cup match kicks off between two fan-owned clibs, contested this year by Chester and FC United of Manchester.

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