Football Supporters Association AGM
By Rob Nichols
Wednesday 03 Jul 2019 17:50:00
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A sweltering London was the location for a historic national fans meeting last Saturday. Historic because it was the first of the newly unified supporters, reverting once more to the FSA name. Also historic because several key issues affecting football fans were debated and voted upon. Even with the sun blazing out of doors the renewed threat of a European Super League cast a shadow over the meeting.

First things first and the two supporters organisations representing fans have now completely merged as one body, Supporters Direct and Football Supporters Federation will be hereafter known as FSA, a familiar name for the unified body.

An annual review was available to members and affiliate members who paid their own way on the trains to the capital. Then the new formation of the officers and minutes of the last meeting were voted in as well as lots of procedural stuff before the first of several really pressing topics were tackled..

First off the very topical matter of how to stop clubs going to the wall, rogue owners and the failure of the FA/EFL Owners and Directors Test. In fact there are three and yet still we had the Oystons, Coventry City playing home games in Birmingham, a food bank for Bolton Wanderers staff.

The FSA meeting heard from Chris Matheson MP about his10-minute Parliamentary rule bill and then there was a presentation about a new proposed Club Licensing System – something that has been broached with the FA calling for independent regulation under the Football Association. No repeats of Karl Oyston being on the committee that rubber stamped the present Coventry City SISU owners.

The proposals were agreed unanimously. There are some dire situations at all levels of football at the moment and it is of the utmost importance that football is regulated and properly governed.

Another motion popularly supported concerned Environmental Sustainability. What could we learn from other sports and music festivals etc to help green up football. The planet is under such threat that reusable beer tankards at Chelsea and replacing plastic straws for paper would be small but very welcome advances.

The biggest section of the afternoon was hearing Kevin Miles outline the imminent threat of a Europe Super League and how this could cast a shadow on all football from Premier League to Northern League. Put simply the big European clubs and UEFA don't want another Leicester City they want to protect their investments and slam the door shut on promotion and relegation to a new two tiered Super League. There would lots more fixtures, with five clubs from each country. These extra fixtures would mean domestic leagues and cups would be massively disrupted and here is where gets really bad. The real revenue is from televised Saturday football and that is what is being eyed up.

This would spend the end for the League Cup. So what? The League Cup final alone brings in a third of the media money distributed from the EFL media contract. It would likely relegate the FA Cup to a midweek affair. It would mean that all domestic football had a glass ceiling. Whatever we think about SKY and their version of football there would be no trickle down to grass roots from the new super league. In fact we would be the grass roots level and we would be left to wither and wilt on hardly any money at all.

Bleak and discussions are going on right now. No wonder the Premier League and every league in Europe is against it. But can they block the route. We will need everyone pulling together on this and the key to note is everyone, right down to village team will be affected. Revenues will be ring fenced and we are not inside that privileged area.

Watch this space for action plans.

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