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Wednesday
Apr272011

Leyton Orient's fight continues

In February, the Trust supported a call from an independent fans' body at Leyton Orient FC for football fans to support their objections to West Ham United FC being awarded use of the Olympic Stadium, following the games in 2012.

We noted that the very limited consultations with Hammers fans had revealed remarkably little support for uprooting the club from its long-term home and away from its fan-base. There was even less desire for a similar move on the part of fans of Tottenham Hotspur FC. Despite belligerent statements from the directors of both clubs, the bulk of their fans remain opposed to a move. Rather than discuss the footballing and fans issues involved, many in the media have sought to polarise the matter around the personalities at the clubs involved, none of whom inspire a moment’s empathy. 

Subsequently, the Football Supporters' Federation hosted a online petition 'Save Leyton Orient Football Club' (http://www.fsf.org.uk/petitions/save-orient.php), which the Trust supports and commends to its members and fans of Fulham FC in general. 

A fortnight ago, the Os applied for a judicial review (i) over the award of the stadium to West Ham and (ii) the loan of £40 million by the London Borough of Newham (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-13082972) to a stadium company from which West Ham would rent. The borough's website is both vague with regard to detail and over-optimistic on the stadium's use and revenue generation (http://www.newham.gov.uk/2012Games/OlympicStadiumbidFAQs.htm). 

Neither West Ham United nor Newham borough have been given much thought, at least publicly, to the potentially adverse effects on the Os of having a Premier League club moving into the immediate vicinity of their established home. Part of the Os claim is that the Premier League has broken its own rules in sanctioning such a move.

This move would add even further pressure, as an alternative attraction, on professional and semi-professional football clubs in the London Borough of Waltham Forest. Although the Os are having a successful season, and are in with a chance of reaching the League One play offs, it is debatable whether they could compete with a Premier League team in terms of attendance, even if they were to be promoted. 

Within Waltham Forest, the fortunes of its lower league clubs have deteriorated considerably. Sadly, Leyton FC, Greater London's second oldest club, withdrew from the Ryman League Division One North in mid-January, 2011, their playing record being expunged for this season, It is uncertain whether the club can be resurrected. 

In the same division, Waltham Forest FC, has been ground-sharing outside the borough since 2008 (in Ilford FC's Cricklefield Stadium). Although they were scheduled to return to their Wadham Lodge ground in October, 2010, this has been delayed and the club languishes at the foot of the division, with relegation a certainty unless a major restructuring of non-league football enables them to retain their status. 

For all three clubs and their fans, the potential arrival of West Ham United on their doorstep, a move which has been termed a footballing franchise, is as unwelcome a prospect as it is to the fans of 'The Hammers'.

Friday
Apr152011

Trust to host Football Supporters' Federation (Southern Division) AGM

FST is pleased to be able to host the annual general meeting of the Southern Division of the Football Supporters’ Federation, which will take place on Sunday 17th April, 2011, upstairs at The Brewer Hall Building, St Mary's Church on Putney High Street.


In addition to the formal business of the Southern Division, topics for discussion at this meeting will include the following:

Ticketing Issues - ticket prices, away tickets, 'early bird' season ticket deadlines.

Respect - on and off the field of play. Where do you stand on the Wayne Rooney debate?. What is your club doing locally?

This is a delegates only meeting.

Monday
Mar142011

Parliamentary inquiry into football governance 

In December, 2010, the Culture, Media and Sport Committee launched a new inquiry into the governance of professional football clubs, in order to examine the broader concerns that current and future generations of football supporters of clubs across the country are ill-served by current football club regulations.

 

The coalition agreement included an undertaking to encourage the reform of football governance rules to support the co-operative ownership of football clubs by supporters. The inquiry will consider the case for strategic Government intervention in the administration of professional football clubs.

 

In so doing it will look at the scope for enhancing supporter involvement in decision-making processes and consider whether current regulatory processes – including fit and proper persons tests – are adequate.

 

Are there lessons to be learned from football governance models across the UK and abroad, and from governance models in other sports?

 

Committee Chair Mr John Whittingdale said: "The Government has said that it will encourage the reform of football governance rules to support the co-operative ownership of football clubs by supporters, and there is widespread concern that the current governance arrangements are not fit-for-purpose.

 

Our inquiry will look at the case for strategic Government intervention and improved self-regulation and will consider models which involve supporters more in how clubs are run. We are keen to hear from a wide range of interested parties, including fans, as well as the clubs themselves and their own regulatory bodies."

 

The committee is expected to finish their hearings in April and a report is due to be produced by the summer. 

FST submission

 

The Fulham Supporters' Trust supports the aims of the inquiry and made a submission based on six themes related to the questions below:

 

Should football clubs in the UK be treated differently from other commercial organisations?

 

Are football governance rules in England and Wales, and the governing bodies which set and apply them, fit for purpose?

 

Is there too much debt in the professional game?

 

What are the pros and cons of the Supporter Trust share-holding model?

 

Is Government intervention justified and, if so, what form should it take?

 

You can read the Fulham Supporters' Trust's submission here.

Evidence from others

In addition to making its own submission, the national body of supporters' trusts, Supporters Direct, has collated those from individuals, fans' groups, professional and policy bodies and these may be viewed through here.

In his capacity as a member of the Management Committee of the Professional Footballers' Association, Fulham FC's Brede Hangeland was scheduled to give evidence at the inquiry on 15th. February, 2011.

Friday
Feb112011

Erasing the O's from footie history

The Fulham Supporters' Trust has received communication from the editor of an
independent fanzine for Leyton Orient FC voicing grave concerns for the future
of the club if the use of the Olympic Games stadium, post 2012, were to be
awarded to either of two equally dislikeable Premier League clubs.

The Board of Directors of Leyton Orient FC issued a statement on 23rd. January,
2011 and this may be read on:


http://www.leytonorient.com/page/NewsDetail/0,,10439~2273878,00.html#continue


The Fulham Supporters' Trust notes that neither Tottenham Hotspur FC nor West
Ham United FC has consulted with their fans whether they desire to occupy the
Olympic stadium. Fans of the former have organised a petition against such a
move and a poll of fans of the latter was overwhelmingly against.

Despite West ham United being chosen (on 11th. February, 2011) as the preferred
bidder by Olympic Park Legacy Committee (OPLC), this requires ratification from
two government departments and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

However, the OLPC's choice has brought immediate and negative reaction from The
Football Supporters' Federation
(http://www.fsf.org.uk/news/Hammers-win-race-for-Olympic-Stadium.php), not least
for the potentially detrimental consequences for Leyton Orient.

Please help the O's by sending an e-mail to the Mayor of London at the following
address: mayor@london.gov.uk

Tuesday
Nov232010

The Fulham Supporters' Trust Annual General Meeting, 2010 

All members are invited to attend The Fulham Supporters' Trust Annual General Meeting for the fiscal year ending 30th. June, 2010.

The meeting will be held at the ‘Duke's Head’ Public House, 8, Lower Richmond Road, Putney, London, SW15 1JN (upstairs room).

Date: Saturday, 27th. November, from 12.00-14.00

This will be a closed meeting for members only.

Following an initial announcement on 6th. November, further information was sent to the membership on 15th. November, with a Treasurer’s Report and copy of the independently-examined accounts for 2009/10, to be forwarded separately.

Please submit any AGM agenda items no later than 12.00 on Wednesday 24th. November, 2010?

If you have not received the AGM documentation, or are uncertain of your membership status or have not received a membership card please contact the Secretary via e-mail?