Trust Statement on Supporters Direct
Supporters Direct (SD) is an umbrella organisation established in 2000, by the United Kingdom government (with cross-party support) to provide support and assistance for its member trusts to secure a greater level of accountability and deliver democratic representation within football clubs (and, more recently, other sports) and within their governing structures. SD’s record is impressive and its efforts have led to the creation of 180 supporters’ trusts across the UK, representing 270,000 members.
The Fulham Supporters’ Trust has been a member since its inception and we recognise the vitality of a national body for football trusts and similar bodies for the independent supporters’ movement. SD gives a range of support to trusts, advising on administrative and legal matters and offering short training courses for trust officials and FST has benefited greatly from these. If a trust falters, as can happen, SD will step in to give advice and encouragement in order to galvanise.
Thus, the Trust is gravely concerned by the recent withdrawal of circa £1.2 million in funding intended for SD by the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF), administrators of the Premier League Fans’ Fund, which threatens the very existence of SD.
The Trust notes that, prior to the General Election, all three main political parties made promises to increase the influence of fan ownership in football and sport in general. Further, the current sports minister, Hugh Robertson, promised to ensure Supporters Direct would continue to be funded. The Fulham Supporters’ Trust supports the action to bring pressure to bear on the FSIF to rescind its decision.