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AGM and voting process 

When and how will the decision be taken?
The decision will be taken over a series of three votes during 2018. The first, indicative, vote will be held at the Supporters Direct Annual General Meeting on Saturday 28th July 2018. The meeting will be held at the Royal National Hotel, 38-51 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0DG at 11 a.m prompt, with registration from 10 a.m.

Who will be eligible to vote?
Only those supporters’ trusts in full membership of Supporters Direct will be eligible to vote. There will be one vote per full member trust. Only the nominated individual for each trust will be able to vote. 

If you’d like to vote but can’t attend the AGM
If you are a member and can’t attend the AGM we would still hope that you will vote on the resolutions.

You can either:

1. Mandate an individual who is attending the AGM to vote on your organisations behalf, instructing them on how to vote on each resolution. You will need to register the name of the individual through the SD AGM nominated voter survey monkey link (sent by SD to full members) by noon on Thursday 26th July. 
2. Give an individual who is attending the SD AGM the flexibility to make a decision on behalf of your organisation on the different resolutions. You will need to register the name of the individual through the SD AGM nominated voter survey monkey link (sent by SD to full members) by noon on Thursday 26th July.
3. Mandate the SD Chair to vote on your organisations behalf instructing him how to vote on each resolution. You will need to complete the SD AGM nominated voter survey monkey link (sent by SD to full members) by noon on Thursday 26th July.

Please note no individual can act as the proxy for more than 3 organisations, except the SD Chair (who will only cast proxy votes as mandated by the member through the online link by Thursday 26th July at midday). Details of how members voted will be published. 

If you are unsure of what the ‘SD AGM nominated voter survey monkey link’ is, or it needs to be resent please email enquiries@supporters-direct.org 

If the Football Supporters Federation (FSF) vote against, what happens?
The FSF will be holding a similar AGM later in the day at which their members will be asked to vote on the proposal of one single new organisation. Should SD oppose a single organisation the FSF vote will not take place, and they will instead vote to adopt a new constitution based on the one proposed for the single new organisation.

Will there be scope for amendments to the constitution of a new organisation at the AGM?
No. Since the constitution will need to be approved at a later meeting there will be no opportunity at the AGM. However going forward constitutional change will be possible with a 70% vote in favour.

Will there be a recommendation from the SD Board?
Yes. The Board’s recommendation can be found at the end of the AGM pack.

Any further questions regarding the AGM should be directed to enquiries@supporters-direct.org

Continued Distinct SD

If there is a new independent SD, where will future funding come from?
Funding will, most likely, be required from alternative sources to the existing funders. Further detail is provided in the Continued Distinct SD section.

Are there any guarantees from the authorities on funding? 
There are currently no guarantees for funding for an independent Supporters Direct.

Would project based funding in an independent SD detract from delivery of core work?
This is likely to be the case, albeit work will be very much driven by what an independent SD is funded to do.

Single New Organisation

Mission and Objectives

Will SD’s core mission re supporter ownership be diluted or even lost?
The single new organisation’s mission and objectives will include those of SD. However, it will be up to the staff, council, board and members to shape the new organisations future. Active involvement from those who are passionate will help to ensure it is not diluted. 

Will the FSF\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s core mission be diluted?
As above, the new organisation will include the mission and objectives of the FSF.

Will any new organisation help supporters with questions on governance including legal and governance issues?
Absolutely, the aim will be to help on all issues supporters might encounter.

How will a new organisation support smaller clubs and not just Premier League and professional clubs?
Both SD and the FSF already work throughout the football pyramid, and the aim is for this to continue. Our national game is about all levels and we will have staff focussed specifically on the non-league and the issues they face which can be quite different to the EPL clubs. 

What will a new organisation do to increase the number of supporter-owned clubs?
As SD’s mission is included, and the current staff transferred to a new organisation, work will continue very much as it does today. Where possible, and worthwhile, supporter ownership will be pursued and supported. 

How will a new organisation extend supporter influence in  football?
A key objective of the new organisation is to push for supporters to be represented at the highest levels of football. Although nothing can be guaranteed the organisation would have a clear focus to achieve greater influence in the game.

What will a new organisation do to develop links and cooperation between supporter-owned clubs?
SD has an existing network to support and develop these links. This will be formalised in the new organisation as the network will continue to exist and be recognised in the representative structure, thus guaranteeing council representation. Further, a representative of supporter owned clubs is guaranteed a board position in the new organisation. 

How will a new organisation deliver wider community benefit and involvement in football?
Both the FSF and SD already do good work in these areas, a single organisation should benefit from staff working in those areas acting together and ensuring positive impact in communities. 

What will a new organisation do to improve club governance and sustainability?
Continuing to improve the way football and particularly our clubs operate might not be the most attractive workstream to many fans but it is hugely important and as supporters we are all likely to be impacted by it. A new organisation would have a focussed team working in this area, lobbying both Government and the football authorities. 

What will a new organisation do to strengthen existing supporter-owned football clubs, supporters’ trusts and supporter groups?
The new organisation aims to deliver all of SD’s existing objectives, and in particularly has the following objective already clearly identified. “To support and protect the interests of member supporters’ trusts, clubs, individuals and, wherever necessary, their dependents.”

Who will set policy and objectives in a new organisation?
The initial key objectives are outlined in Appendix A. Future strategic policy will be set by the members, council, board and on a day to day basis driven by the executive team.

Structure and representation

What will the organisation be called?
There is no name agreed, the suggestion is that we will create a new name, but retain the brands of SD and the FSF underneath it. We do not wish to lose the strength of either existing brand. 

Who will lead the organisation?
The interim board will determine the process for selecting a CEO. We hope that the existing leadership of each organisation will both have a role to play going forward. 

Historically there has been geographical representation, it appears this will not be the case in a new organisation?
It is true that the representational structure will not include geographical groups. We believe that representation based predominantly on the pyramid will work better moving forward. However, where there is an interest in network meetings at a geographical level which can still be supported, their output will be passed through the representative network sessions. 

Will the focus of individual members be lost?
We believe the individual member will continue to be well represented throughout this structure. A key purpose of a new organisation is to be the national representative body for all football supporters regardless of any allegiances and memberships they may or may not have.

What about things the two existing organisations disagree on?
There is actually very little that SD and the FSF disagree on. The two organisations just tend to have different areas of work and sometimes priorities. A larger organisation will allow for resources to continue work across a broad range of items. The new organisation would be defined by those working within it both as volunteers and staff. Even today you will find disagreement within each organisation on certain topics. Agreement has to be reached and the path forward supported by all.

What’s going to happen to existing staff?
There is a commitment in relation to funding and staff that suggests that all staff from both organisations should be able to keep their positions moving forward, albeit there may need to be role changes. Clearly there can be no long term guarantee, but if we are successful then continued funding will support their roles on an ongoing basis. 

What happens to existing boards and councils?
These will be cease to exist on the date a new organisation is operational. However, all England and Wales Football Council members will be entitled to stand for the new council and board. There will be an interim board put in place, made up of representatives from both SD and FSF current boards. Some of these people will be guaranteed to sit on the initial board of the new organisation. 

In the future structure of a new organisation, do we lose democracy? If, for example, matchday (FSF) issues trump governance issues does governance get overlooked?
Democracy is at the heart of the new organisation, we have worked hard to build a fair and representative model that ensures all views are heard.

What will voting rights look like in the new organisation?
These can be found in Appendix A.

Other Sports

Why won’t other sports continue to have a voice?
The FSF believe that a single national football supporters’ body should have representation only from football fans. However, they recognise the great work SD has done for other sports and believe that we can build on that work where there is an interest to fund our resources to deliver it. Other sports could now benefit from the full skillset of a single organisation.

Why are we interested in other sports that are nothing to do with football?
Other sports can learn from football, and football can learn from other sports. Many of the issues are the same or similar. If we can strengthen the organisation by delivering work elsewhere then we will all benefit. 

General

Isn’t this merger driven by funders with a view to cutting costs?
It is true that the funders believe a single organisation would be better. In relation to costs all we know is that funding will not be cut for a single organisation in the next three year cycle. During that time we have the chance to prove our value and ensure our funding continues. In reality this issue remains if both SD and the FSF continue, the key difference being it is brought forward 3 years to now. 

What is the make-up of the Fans Fund? Who appoints them?
The fans fund panel has representatives from the EPL, the FA, the Football Foundation along with independents recruited from outside football.

Why is the Fans Fund suggesting a merger?
Further detail on this can be found in Appendix C.

What are the current levels of funding from the Fans Fund for both SD and the FSF?
Further information can be found in the financial section and the most recent accounts of the two organisations which are to be found in the appendices.

Would a new organisation have to bid for the Fans Fund work packages?
Yes, although clearly there is far less likely to be competition.

Is there a possibility of looking into a third option? The two organisations remain independent with a strong partnership agreement?
As it stands there are two options on the table, however, should the new organisation not happen, it will of course be in the best interests of both SD and the FSF to find a way to work collaboratively moving forward. 

If you have any further questions which aren\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t covered above, please contact us (enquiries@supporters-direct.org / 020 7250 8138)

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