WHUISA participated in this online meeting hosted by the FSA along with representatives from the other Premier League supporters' organisations. This was a follow-up to the previous week's briefing with the Premier League that we attended to discuss the return of fans.Read More
We attended this meeting jointly hosted by the Premier League and the Football Supporters’ Association, representing West Ham United supporters along with representatives from 18 other Premier League clubs.
Central Football Unit Independent Advisory Group (IAG)
Report from meeting attended on 28 October 2019 at 18:00
Minutes of last meeting
Ann Ramage, who was Chair of Hammersmith and Fulham Safety Advisory Group and attended a previous meeting of the IAG is now member of the Sports Grounds Safety Authority. She is in favour of supporters feeding into their relevant Safety Advisory Groups and she is willing to offer the IAG further advice.
Discussion of standing items
Survey of officers at sample game
There was discussion around the value of tangible data for the IAG. Amanda Jacks felt this would enable the IAG to be effective in joint working with Metropolitan Police.
- DH to discuss with Fulham Designated Police Officer re gathering information.
- Amanda Jacks to draw up questions for survey and share with DH. Any questions to be agreed by senior police officers.
The “Enable” project led by Keele University was discussed. It was felt the IAG could be considered as part of an Enabling approach.
- AJ to meet with Metropolitan Police on Enable to discuss if and how to link it with the IAG.
- AJ to invite those leading the Enable project to the IAG meeting in order to share information with attendees.
The use of dispersal notices at Chelsea was seen as an effective means of disrupting touts and there was discussion about the use of ticket spotters to report offences.
- A sub-committee will be formed with Designated Police Officer for West Ham to lead.
- LL asked for volunteers interested in joining sub-committee to let her know asap.
Procedures on ejection of supporters
Question posed – if the police obtain details from a supporter without witnessing the reasons for ejection, what happens to the details taken?
DH confirmed ejection from a ground is a civil matter (breaking ground regulations) not a criminal matter. Details should not be demanded. DH confirmed any details taken by the police will be reviewed then, if not required, deleted. Stewards should not be using physical force to remove supporters who have been ejected as this could be considered assault.
DH confirmed the Metropolitan Police has absolutely no plans to use facial recognition although individual football clubs may choose to use this technology.
DH confirmed the Metropolitan Police will not allow their information to go onto any system put in place by football clubs.
The meeting was informed there is a private company contacting all Premier League clubs hawking facial recognition technology.
Initiative on young supporters
It was pointed out that while many clubs do a lot of intervention work with young people in the communities around their grounds, not as much activity takes place with young football fans.
Often the default position for dealing with young fans engaging in anti-social behaviour is a club ban. However, Manchester United have been giving young fans the choice of doing voluntary work.
- DH to send the DFO summary on how to work with problematic young fans to trusts and ISAs.
- Trusts and ISAs will approach their parent clubs to ask if they would be happy to work with problematic fans in principle.
Arrest statistics shared with meeting
Any other business
Fulham Supporters Trust is working with their SAG.
Date of next meeting
29/11/19: This will be a special meeting of the IAG with racism and discrimination as focus.
WHUISA Minutes- FSA Premier League Fans Group Meeting
Date of Meeting: 17th October 2019
Venue of Meeting: Wesley Hotel London
1.PL Structured Dialogue
Proposal- there will be 6reps from the PL group to represent all PL clubs at FA meetings. The 6 will be rotated. PL has agreed ad-hoc meetings around specific items can be called, those that have worked on the issue will attend those meetings.
FSA will propose delegation for meeting with PL to the PL. All minutes from PL meeting to be shared with group.
2. No to European Super League
This will now go to wider consultation including with the FSA and the PL network. The motion passed at the FSA conference 2018 stands. FSA proposals accepted at FSE Lisbon AGM.
Agreed the FSA will recirculate the 6principles agreed. Fan groups to contact their clubs re the FSA letter (principles)
3.General Election and FSA Manifesto
Ahead of a General Election the FSA has drawn up a manifesto for football. There are 5subjects to approach political parties on:-
Wealth distribution with 5%to grassroots football as previously agreed.
Rail tickets prices/ flexible tickets (fan’s fare),
Independent governance of clubs and support for clubs in crisis.
Diversity issues – asking all political parties to re-commit to diversity and against discrimination.
FSA meeting with Political Parties and discussing how FSA manifesto can be included in party manifestos.
FSA to forward manifesto to Trusts/ISAs.
FSA to review opening the vote Football platform to be re-opened for election.
During discussion around what was demonstrated to PL Trusts/ISAs on Stockley Park visits re what would be shown in the stadiums, it was felt that what the Trusts/ISAs were shown originally, is not always what is happening. The in-stadia communication is seen as an ongoing issue with lack of communication a concern.
FSA to ask PL for feedback re their view of VAR to date. PL is tracking VAR use, the data generated will inform re impact. Information to be shared with Trusts/ISAs.
5.Kick off Times Working Group Feedback
The December/January announcements were late being published. They were due on 11/10/19 but came out 5pm on 17/10/19.
The FSA has been publicising the anger felt by Trusts/ISAs. WHUISA has been one of the contributors to this publication. This has been picked up by Talk Sport, Athletic publication and the Mail.
Following a discussion with suggestions re how to move forward, from those present, following action agreed.
Kick off Times working group and FSA to draw up strategy, share with network group and discuss with PL.
6.FA Cup Matters
The FSA has set up a meeting with the FA to discuss a range of fan issues around the FA Cup arrangements. Issues for discussion include semi-final/final prices-do they need to be reduced? Replays for rounds 3 and 4- these are financially helpful for lower league clubs should 5th round have replays? Extra time for replays, income from semi-finals/finals, TV fixtures and rescheduling, TV timings with 5th round mid-week how will scheduling impact on travelling to/from games? Allocation for final-should this be aligned with UEFA allocations?
Governance of Football Clubs
The FSA has called on the FA to take the lead in response to governance of football clubs.
The FSA presented a resolution that the current financial and governance regulations need strengthening. That regulatory reform is required.
The FSA proposal was agreed unanimously.
FSA will tweet out the message about regulatory reform next week. Trusts/ISAs to share message and show solidarity with the message.
a) alignment of PL transfer window to Europea leagues
PL clubs voted to close summer transfer window at the start of the season. Some PL clubs now want to reverse the decision.
Trusts/ISAs to ask clubs for their view on aligning transfer window with Europe.
Trusts/ISAs to get consensus from own members.
b) Evidence gathering at UEFA matches
Information sharing between fan groups useful source of evidence building.
Clubs participating in European games to collect evidence of facilities. This will be discussed further.
WHUISA updated meeting re Socios’ ongoing actions. The principle of fans paying for a say in their club re-affirmed as not acceptable.
WHUISA 2019 survey had 90%of respondants stating they feel it is wrong to monetise fan voice.
Discussion around how Socios operates, financial implications, potential impact on younger fans and Socios link with West Ham United, followed.
FSA board to get further information from proposers and continue working on Socios issue.
d) Football and Dementia
Discussion around projects to support mental health and football clubs.
PL Network to share current initiatives taking place at their clubs.
e) Communications for PL Network
Minutes to be shared with full PL Network group.
Meeting closed 8.30pm
The Extraordinary General Meeting held on Saturday 13th July was calm, businesslike and orderly with a small but engaged and quorate group of members fully contributing to several positive outcomes.
The new committee were fully ratified under Section 4.8 of our constitution which states:
Committee members shall be entitled to co-opt Association members to fill any casual vacancy to the Committee provided such action does not mean the Committee exceeds the number agreed at the AGM and is subject to ratification at the next General meeting.
The committee now comprises: Sue Watson (Chair), Terry Land (Vice Chair), Kevin Hind (Treasurer), Debbie Donovan (Secretary), Jack Hart and Natalie Morgans.
A new constitution was ratified following changes from a previous administration some of which fell into conflict which each other. Likewise, a new code of conduct was agreed. That suggestions from the floor were proposed and agreed was tribute to the thoughtful tone of the event.
Two motions arose from the floor. Both were discussed fully and passed unanimously.
The first from Andy Ellis (seconded by Jim Kearns) made a very clear statement around the disregard the club have for independent supporters’ groups and outlined the reasons why this association will never join the Official Supporters Board.
The second, shorter motion came from member Eamon Quinn and was seconded by Mike Casagranda. The Association were congratulated on their work on the Socios app and urged to continue apace.
Under Any Other Business questions rained in from the assembled with several now being considered by the committee for further action.
WHUISA would like to thank everybody for their attendance. We felt it was a good turnout for an out of season meeting on a warm July Saturday.
If we may, we would like to finish with a quote from member Kim Perryman made on Twitter. She said: “Reassured by what I saw and heard at the @WHU_ISA EGM. They can now move forward with a strong committee and clear purpose.” Thanks Kim!
12th July 2019
Stour Space, Hackney.
Sue Watson, Terry Land, Kevin Hind, Jack Hart, Debbie Donovan.
(SW, TL, JH, were all co-opted members until they were ratified by the EGM which followed the Cttee meeting.)
Apologies: Natalie Morgans.
1. Introduction - SW
Following on from the AGM, the aim for the coming year is to start again and make WHUISA an outward looking organisation which will work in a focused way and represent the membership. We will make connections with other organisations, such as, the FSF and IAG in order to do so.
There are two motions for the EGM, which have been submitted by members, both of which the committee support.
2. Financial Report - KH
The end of the WHUISA accounting year is 30.4 and, on that date, the balance in the account was £1821.79. Since then, there has been: Income - £389.27 from membership fees and donations. Badge sales have also increased since the new Cttee has been more active.
Expenditure - £763.99 on printing and postage. A donation of £50 was also made to the Fox’s Trust and room hire for today’s EGM was £150. Therefore, the new balance, as of yesterday, is - £1447.07.
TL proposed that membership fees should be annual, as opposed to a one off, as not only would it increase income, but also give a regular record of exactly how many members we have. It is in the new Constitution, so hopefully will be ratified by the EGM.
Two current signatories have asked to be removed as signatories, so two more are needed SW and JH volunteered. Agreed.
3. Social Media Report – TL
Instagram. Has been closed down.
Facebook. The account is ineffective, and although it can be a good way to communicate, it currently does not work. We discussed if it could be used to just notify member of events and publicise WHUISA, but it was not felt that it would be effective. It also requires a lot of work to moderate it and it is not worth continuing, if it cannot be done properly. TL will present something to the next Cttee meeting and we will make a decision about it then. Agreed.
Twitter. We went from 147,000 monthly engagements at its peak in January, to 18,000 in May. However, last month alone, we had 173,000 hits. TL and JH will continue to work on further development. Twitter was felt to be the best way to communicate things about WHUISA. Agreed.
Emails. Mailchimp costs £35 per month for 1,000 – 5,000, with anything above that being £65 per month. Last month we paid £65, due to the increase volume resulting from GDPR, but next month it will return to £35.
We need to continue using Mailchimp, as we are paying for it. WHUISA will look into using Survey Monkey more too.
Proposed – SW, Seconded – JH. Agreed.
WHUISA has applied for a KUMB account to use. Agreed.
4. Feedback from FSA AGM.
60 club reps in the room, who were all against the monetisation of fan opinion and engagement. A motion on Socios, proposed by WHUISA and backed by MUST, was passed unanimously. The FSA CEO will meet with the Premier League to discuss the issues.
5. Programme for the coming Season.
The member’s survey is being finalised, based on issues from last season and feedback already gained for this. The issues the Cttee will propose for attention are, in ascending order:
7. £700 for mascot. We discussed a delay in raising this, as WHUISA had previously auctioned one off. However, we can say that it is an issue from the previous committee on which we have reflected and have changed our position.
6. Gold and Sullivan’s loans to the club. We question why, in principle they are loans and not investments. There are also issues with the level of interest raised. Even though Mike Ashley also makes loans to Newcastle, he does so at 0% interest.
5. The £10 charge for a place on the season ticket waiting list. Why the charge? How long is the waiting list? Why is it not transparent?
4. Football Development. It is reported that the Academy is a shambles and that those working there do not even have compatible IT equipment. Its record for producing new talent is lamentable and recruitment and retention of youngsters is poor. There are also issues with the role of the Director of Football.
3. Proper fan representation to the club, instead of the OSB, which is toothless and not independent.
2. Socios. We object to that in principle.
1. Karren Brady. She was brought in to sort out the migration which has not been effective. The management of the corporates is also very poor. Therefore we question her ability to bring full value to her post. In addition, her Twitter account and Sun newspaper column bring the club into disrepute. The possible purchase of a player failed as a result of an article she did for The Sun.
The committee will want to challenge her role based on her competency, value for money and lack of professionalism at the club. It will not be in any way based on her gender and we will distance ourselves from any of the more overtly sexist criticisms of her whilst making clear what the focus is.
6. Match Day Service
The committee will publicise feedback on any questions asked of the membership and do so by posting it on the website on the Monday following the Saturday game. Agreed.
7. Equalities. KH raised the issues surrounding a gay footballer who is about to come out. This is something which WHUISA should support. We should also support Pride of Irons in line with our equality charter.
WHUISA will now more clearly support the WHU women’s team. JH reported the matchday service is going to extend the women’s home games.
There was discussion on WHUISA campaigning for the women’s team to play at the LS, in the context of the PL rule that no game can be played for 4 hours, either side of the men’s first team.
The committee will discuss with the women’s team how they want to be supported.
Meeting closed at 12.50pm