Football fans from across the country gathered together on Saturday 24th June at Manchester Metropolitan University for the FSA’s 2023 AGM. Supporters discussed the organisation’s work throughout the year and proposed new policies on a range of issues affecting match-going fans.
Minutes from the July 2022 AGM held at Plough Lane, AFC Wimbledon, were accepted by delegates while resolutions to receive and adopt the annual review and financial statements for the year ending 31st December 2022 were passed unanimously.
The meeting considered the following motions for new areas of FSA policy:
Motion 1: FSA organisational membership categories
Proposed by – Jazz Bal (Everton FC Fan Advisory Board)
Seconded by – Nigel Summers (Brighton & Hove Albion Fan Advisory Board)
Currently, there are two categories of organisational membership within the FSA; Affiliate and Associate. Affiliate members are groups who have a democratic structure and constitution. Traditionally these tend to be supporters’ clubs, community-owned clubs and supporters’ trusts. Associates are non-democratically structured fans’ groups who would like to associate themselves to the FSA. They can still participate in the FSA’s democratic processes but, like individual members, they only have one vote (as opposed to five votes for affiliates).
Strategic Recommendation F, from the Fan-led Review of Football Governance stated “As a uniquely important stakeholder, supporters should be properly consulted by their clubs in taking key decisions by means of a Shadow Board.” Furthermore, the Premier League’s Fan Engagement Standard (under the ‘Collaborate and Participate’ theme) requires clubs to commit to the introduction of a Fan Advisory Board to promote meaningful dialogue between clubs and fans.
We ask that the FSA creates a new organisational membership category for Fan Advisory/Shadow Boards, which permits:
- A Fan Advisory/Shadow Board member to stand for election, to be an FSA Network Representative on the National Council.
- The Fan Advisory/Shadow Board to have 5 votes at FSA AGMs.
Vote – Motion remitted to FSA board
Motion 2: Continued action to address abuse at football and eradicate tragedy chanting
Proposed by – Arsenal Supporters’ Trust
Seconded by – Manchester United Supporters’ Trust, Spirit of Shankly, Leeds United Supporters’ Trust, Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust, Chelsea Supporters’ Trust
The AGM Notes:
The huge progress made in recent years to make football more welcoming to all and the improved experience many report attending matches. But also notes that there sadly remain issues with hate and abuse directed at people in the football community.
This includes on-line abuse directed at players and others in the game including referees, club officials and other supporters. There is also the spectre of tragedy chanting which causes distress to many fans.
That supporters have been increasingly involved in the campaigns to address these issues such as the work by Joe Blott of Spirit of Shankly on the All-Football Tragedy Chanting workgroup and Akhil Vyas of the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust on co-ordinating messaging encouraging fans to report on-line abuse.
Welcomes the FSA’s Fans for Diversity campaign – a partnership with Kick It Out to celebrate diversity in football to ensure all fans feel safe and welcome at the game, regardless of; age, disability, gender, race, faith, sexual orientation or any other protected characteristic and the wider work taken to stamp out all forms of abuse in football.
The AGM calls for the following actions:
For the FSA to:
- Support the work being led by Kick-it-Out to secure meaningful change in the On-line Safety Bill currently before Parliament
- Continue to develop and promote its Fans for Diversity work
- Support the work arising from the All-Football Tragedy Chanting working group and contribute to education and awareness initiatives that will help eradicate this activity.
Vote – Motion carried unanimously
Motion 3: Guidance to young adult supporters
Proposed by – Janine Bailey (Oxford United Supporters’ Panel)
Seconded by – Ian Bridge (Bolton Wanderers Supporters’ Trust)
We call on the FSA to actively support and empower young adult supporters at clubs. In particular through:
- supporting the establishment of atmosphere groups
- facilitating the sharing of ideas between atmosphere groups at different clubs
- sharing relevant information and guidance
- providing a named point of contact
Vote – Motion carried unanimously
Motion 4: Disabled fans’ group network in the FSA
Proposed by – Ted Morris (Liverpool Disabled Supporters’ Association)
Seconded by – Manchester United Supporters’ Trust
This AGM resolves to establish a network of Disabled Supporters’ Associations throughout the football pyramid as part of the FSA’s activities and structures. We believe that in addition to the existing inclusive practice of involving disabled fans’ groups in the FSA’s league-based networks, a dedicated network would allow for greater sharing of experiences, more detailed focus on the full spectrum of disability issues, and better representation in the relevant forums for disabled fans.
This AGM further expresses the hope that with the development of this new network, then over time it could also be formally established on a constitutional basis within the FSA, with direct representation onto the FSA National Council and a dedicated network manager to support its work.
Vote – Motion carried unanimously
At the AGM there were a number of elections to fill seats on the FSA’s National Council. Dave Pennington stood down from the board and National Council and did not seek re-election.
Additionally, Roger Titford, Geoff Bielby, Anielka Pieniaczek, Martin Cantrell, Nilesh Chauhan and Tracy Brown also stepped down from the Council and did not seek re-election.
FSA chairman Malcolm Clark paid tribute to those who have served on the National Council and placed on record our congratulations to those elected, and our thanks to all those who stood for election.
The following were elected to the FSA National Council for three years (until AGM 2026):
- Andrew Madaras (Dunstable Town FC) – Community-owned Club Network
- James Laley (Rainbow Blades) – Fans For Diversity Network
- Sian Wallis (Proud Lilywhites) – Women’s Game Network
- Richard Tomkins (Hereford United Supporters’ Trust) National Game Network
- Joe Blott (Spirit of Shankly) – Premier League Network
- Steve Turner (Millwall Supporters’ Club) – Championship Network
- Ian Bridge (Bolton Wanderers Supporters’ Trust) – League One & Two Network
- Frankie Harrington (Her Game Too) – Associate member
- Kat Law – Individual member
- Tony Wilkinson – Individual member
The following was elected to serve for two years (until AGM 2025):
- Peter Tarbitten (Hull City Supporters’ Trust) – Championship Network
The following were elected for one year (until AGM 2024):
- Malcolm Hirst – Associate member (Love Football Hate Racism)
- Ted Morris – Individual member