The Trust attend the FSA AGM
Company Secretary Simon Duke was one of the members of the Trust board that attended the recent FSA AGM. He penned this review for us of an interesting and informative day.
The FSA AGM was held at a hot and sunny Plough Lane on 16 July. The facilities were ideal and our hosts excellent. I attended in my role as a Fulham Supporters Trust representative on the FSA Premier League Network.
Attended in person by around 150 officials and members from around the country, a number of others joined by Zoom. The morning session was taken up with the usual statutory affairs and election of officers. Of note was the re-election of our own Chair, Tom Greatrex, as Vice Chairman of the FSA for a further term and the first time election of Jamie Dapaah, Fulham FC Equality, Diversity and Inclusion as an individual member. As a Trust and Club we are well represented at the FSA.
After lunch there we a number of break-out sessions. I attended one on “Women’s Voice in the Mens Game”. Others which I did not attend covered Diversity, Sustainability and Cryptocurrency. Facilitated by Sports Broadcaster and presenter Lynsey Hooper, this was a discussion about Women supporter’s experiences in the Mens game. The session covered subjects such as what has it been like for female football fans since the return to full stadiums after Covid? Are there differences between the home and away fan experience? Why don’t more female supporters take part in the mainstream, post match talk-in shows? What can we all do to make sure women feel welcome at football.
The attendees were from a wide range of Clubs, Premier League down to National League. There was also a good balanced of men and women.
The overriding view of those in the room was there is some way to go before the majority of women can feel comfortable attending Mens games.
There were many themes which came up during the discussion, the most common being:-
- Facilities for female supporters, particularly toilets.
- Language used by male supporters when women are in the vicinity;
- Safety when travelling to and from games, particularly at night;
- Unacceptable behaviour mainly of younger supporters;
What was particularly interesting was that the work we as a Trust Board have undertaken over the last 18/24 months, which included a survey and focus groups, was aligned with the challenges viewed by the majority of those in the room. For us progress has already been made in addressing a number of these issues with the separate formation of Fulham Lillies and our support for the #HerGameToo initiative. It does however remain work in progress. The FSA have committed to undertaking further work in this area over the coming year.