On Saturday 29th June 2019 WHUISA Chair Sue Watson first made a presentation then proposed a motion against the use of the Socios app to the FSA AGM in London.
The following is the WHUISA report:
The event was attended by the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the National Council of the Football Supporters’ Association and representatives of the Trusts, Independent Supporters Associations, including WHUISA, as well as representatives of clubs in regional leagues across the United Kingdom.
A report of FSA activities was shared and agreed. Also agreed were the minutes of the Extraordinary General Meeting held 22/11/2018.
Several motions were then put to the room:
The initial presentation related to strengthening the regulation and governance of clubs. Chris Matheson MP, spoke to the meeting outlining his 10 minute bill presented to Parliament. The call for independent regulation with the comment “football without supporters is nothing” was met with applause from the room.
Aspects of financial fair play, asset and ground protection, stewardship of football clubs were all discussed. The role of clubs as ‘piece of community fabric’ along with the importance of a transparent code of practice spelling out club’s responsibilities was also debated. The strong suggestion is supporters need to be part of this.
WHUISA will generate ideas to add to the draft regulatory framework being generated by FSA.
The motion was passed unanimously and the FSA have committed to working with the Premier League, Football League and Football Association to discuss regulatory reform.
A motion regarding environmental sustainability was presented to the room.
The motion passed with only one vote against. The will support, develop and lead projects across football to improve the environmental impact of the game and work with supporters to raise awareness.
The CEO of the FSA presented a motion relating to European competition reform on behalf of the National Council.
Issues arising include damage to the fabric of football across Europe, distortion around financial reach and capacity and money remaining with a small number of elite teams. The timings for games in the English Leagues with potential rise in midweek games away from 3pm Saturday games, FA Cup moving to midweek and the sustainability of engagement in European competitions, leading to the reduction in competition was also discussed.
WHUISA will examine how it can contribute to the campaign.
The motion was passed unanimously. Conference believes the current UEFA/ECA proposals would undermine several of the principles of football in UK, and therefore resolve to commit the FSA and its members to campaign against them.
The FSA are also committed to seeking to develop this campaign across Europe in partnership with Football Supporters Europe , seeking to raise as matter of urgency, at the 2019 congress in Lisbon.
The Chair moved to the Emergency Motion presented by WHUISA by commenting the use of Socios requires urgent attention.
Sue Watson, on behalf of WHUISA, presented the motion against the principle of the monetisation of fan opinion, voice and ongoing engagement to the room.
The Trusts/ISAs, individuals and club representatives, along with FSA representatives, voiced concern over the monetisation of fan engagement, with a variety of points of opposition to the principle of monetisation, raised by the room.
The motion was passed by overwhelming majority. No votes against motion and just four abstentions. The meeting agreed a position that re-iterates the engagement role of recognised independent supporter groups and opposes any form of consultation with supporters that requires the payment of a fee to participate.
The FSA executive is mandated to take appropriate actions to deliver this position. This will be further discussed by the National Council.
WHUISA will continue to campaign against the monetisation of fan voice and engagement at our club.