At a meeting this week, the Board of Supporters Direct held discussions about the investigation and evaluation of the desirability and viability of the creation of a single supporters organisation incorporating a merger with the Football Supporters Federation.
With regards to the board statement, Supporters Direct Chairman Tom Greatrex said, "Enabling supporter ownership of clubs and campaigning for better governance and involvement of fans in decision making to protect valuable community assets is the core of the mission of Supporters' Direct, both in football and a range of other sports.
It has been suggested that a new, single supporters organisation will enhance our ability to meet those goals. As a democratic organisation, formed and structured as a mutual society, owned wholly by our member Trusts, it is the responsibility of the Board to ensure there is consideration given to proposals that might protect and strengthen our mission.
That, in consultation and discussion with our member Trusts, is precisely what we will do - so that they, as the owners of SD, are able to make an informed decision on the future, based on a developed set of options.
Whether as part of a new entity, or a continuing independent organisation, an open, democratic structure with strong governance arrangements to pursue the goals of supporter involvement in, and ownership of, clubs on the co-operative model, will be pre-requisites for SD.
Anything which diminishes or dilutes our core mission will not be in the interests of supporters and the sustainability of their clubs."
Supporters Direct Board Statement
At its meeting on 27th September 2017, the Board of Supporters Direct agreed to actively engage with the FSF to investigate and evaluate the desirability of the creation of a new single supporters organisation, combining, protecting and enhancing the talent, expertise and mission of both SD & the FSF.
The SD board are clear that consideration of any single supporter organisation can only be on the basis of a democratic structure, underpinned by strong governance & robust financial control, operating with a modern streamlined board & council structure.
To achieve this, we believe the best solution to be the creation of a new organisation incorporating the strength of both existing brands and enabling the continued support for supporter ownership in a range of sports.
In parallel, and with equivalent resource and time allocated to it, SD will thoroughly investigate and formulate proposals to remain as an independent organisation, with potential scope to develop a broader range of activity than now, with a view to presenting a clear and informed choice for Supporters Trusts to make at the 2018 AGM.
Consultation with our member Trusts will be key, and we will make arrangements to ensure there are opportunities for comment and discussion from all member organisations in the period ahead.