Hull City have excluded the largest democratic group at the club from its fan engagement meetings this month, contravening national guidelines on supporter dialogue.
At the club’s recent Supporters Committee meeting, Hull City Supporters’ Trust (HCST) were barred from attending - due to a dispute between HCST and the club.
Hull City’s owners are unhappy with an elected official at the trust and won’t allow the group to take part in their supporter meetings until they are replaced – HCST say this would significantly undermine their independence and democratic legitimacy.
HCST said this week: “Whilst disappointed with the current stance taken by the club, we wish to remind our members, (and the wider Hull City fan base), that HCST is an independent organisation, fully affiliated to both the FSF and Supporters Direct, (of which we are grateful for their guidance and feedback in recent months), and cannot allow the Club to dictate its board structure and operation.”
Hull City’s exclusion of a democratic fan group goes against the guidelines set out by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) on ‘structured dialogue’ which were adopted into the EFL rulebook.
Under EFL rules senior club officials are required to meet supporters or supporter representatives at least twice a season – those attending the meetings must be chosen in line with democratic principles. DCMS guidelines say that supporter trusts should be automatically included.
HCST said: “It is hard therefore, not to conclude that this is a continued and deliberate delaying tactic by the club to avoid meaningful dialogue on some of the major issues that have upset thousands of Hull City supporters in recent years, which is increasingly evident by the declining attendance figures at home matches.”
The FSF will be taking this issue up directly with senior EFL officials at one of our regular meetings on November 14th. The FSF will also be bringing the case to the attention of DCMS.
Thanks to PA Images for the image used in this story.