Football Management

Commentary on the management of over 160 English football clubs by Dr John Beech, winner of the FSF Writer of the Year Award 2009/10 Twitter: @JohnBeech Curator of! Football Finance

Supporters Direct Conference

Posted by John Beech on October 17, 2009

For those of you who didn’t attend, my commiserations!  A very interesting event indeed.

Much of the day was spent in structured discussion along a choice of themes, using a technique called ‘fishbowl’, which worked really well.  My clearest impression of these sessions is of just how broad the church of Supporters Trusts is, the sheer number ensuring that there was a fascinating variety of Trusts represented at very different stages in their development, stretching from those in ownership through to the fledglings. I’m not personally involved in a Supporters Trust, but this was no barrier to getting a great deal out of the day.

The climax of the day was a series of presentations by major movers-and-shakers – the charismatic Lander Unzueta, Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer of FC Barcelona, who admirably demonstrated that it is possible to be a major world brand and fan-owned, Alex Phillips, Head of Professional Football Services at UEFA, and our very own Ian Watmore, Chief Executive of The Football Association.

Watmore does not appear to be a regular reader of the Supporters Direct blog, where the Fit & Proper Person tests have recently been a major theme, or, rather more worryingly, the views he expressed yesterday are representative of what he actually thinks.  The good news is that he does see issues with the current situation – the lack of effective harmonistaion between the PL, FL and FA versions – citing the problems with Chester City and their move from the FL to the Conference (and hence the application of the FA rather than the FL version of the test).  The bad news is that, even when pressed by a number of questioners – it wasn’t just me I hasten to point out – he showed a marked reluctance to express any concern about the remarkable ease with which would-be directors and owners currently sail through with flying colours.

Perhaps the news items I cover in my next posting may help him see the light.


One Response to “Supporters Direct Conference”

  1. […] Supporters Direct Conference […]

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