One of the key areas of discussion at the recent Supporters Summit was communication between club and supporters. English Football League Rule 111 (reproduced below) requires twice-yearly meetings with supporters, with the club being represented by owners, directors, or an equivalent executive. The person/persons representing the club should be those with full decision-making responsibility at a strategic level.
From the last survey of supporters carried out by Supporters Direct (SD), in broad terms about a third of clubs comply and a third are making an effort to comply. As an example, in 2014, Fulham Supporters Trust were invited by the Club’s Board to attend monthly meetings and these continue to happen, so clearly the Boards of some clubs recognise the benefit of this.
SD will continue to monitor compliance by clubs and Blues Trust will be responding to an End of Season review by SD.
Birmingham City hold Quarterly Supporters Forums and management representatives attend two of these each year. The next Forum will probably be before the Bolton game on August 15 but it will not be one of the meetings attended by management.
EFL Rule 111
111 Supporter Engagement
111.1 Clubs shall hold at least two meetings/fans forums per Season to which its supporters (or representatives) are to be invited in order to discuss significant issues relating to the Club. The framework for these meetings shall be documented in the Club’s customer charter, but are subject to the following minimum criteria:
111.1.1 Clubs must be represented by the Club’s majority owner, board director(s) or other senior executive(s);
111.1.2 where meetings are not open to all supporters wishing to attend, the supporter representatives must be elected, selected or invited in line with basic democratic principles; and
111.1.3 individuals cannot be excluded by the Club without good reason (the Club acting reasonably).