FSF Awards 2009 - The Winners

At Fans’ Parliament in Newcastle on 20th June, the FSF announced the winners of our annual awards for Services to Supporters, Football Writer of the Year and Fans’ Publication of the Year. We received a number of nominations from fans in all categories, and Ian Todd, chair of the awards panel, had a tough job to do. He tells us about the winners.

“The Services to Supporters Award was given to the human rights organisation Liberty for their sterling work in obtaining redress for the Stoke City and Plymouth supporters who had been prevented from attending their games by what has been accepted by police as unlawful use of Section 27 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act.  In accepting the award on behalf of Liberty, solicitor Anna Fairclough commented on how this work had been a refreshing but rewarding change from the organisation’s normal business.

The FSF’s Football Writer of the Year award was given, for the third time, to David Conn (pictured to right of above photo) of The Guardian.  The judging panel had sought nominations both from FSF’s membership and newspaper sports editors, and David’s name headed the list of nominees. One editor wrote that David “remains Britain's most powerful campaigning voice on football's finance, ownership structures and social responsibilities” – a summary which encapsulated the support he received from other quarters. Particular mention was made of his coverage of the ongoing fight for justice of the Hillsborough families, and of his comparison of the ownership structures of the Champions League finalists.

The award for Fan’s Publication went to the Stoke City fanzine The Oatcake, which was up against competition from many other fanzines and websites.  Its success was based upon its regularity of publication over a sustained period, supported by comments from the judging panel of it being well produced, well thought-out, and a readability which struck a good balance between pictorial and written content, interest and humour.  It was understandable why it was such a "must buy, must read" for so many Stoke City supporters.  

Although there is no specific award for club good practice, we were pleased to commend Burnley Football Club who, on promotion to the Premier League, have promised to refund the season ticket cost of those season ticket holders from last season who had renewed by a specific deadline.  There was also recognition of the initiative of FC United of Manchester, who have given their fans the right to choose the amount they will pay for their season tickets in the coming season.”