Supporters Summit: Fans join forces in Manchester (Sat 18th July)

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The Supporters Summit takes place in Manchester (Mercure Hotel, Piccadilly) on Saturday 18th July 2015 (10am-4.45pm), organised by the Football Supporters’ Federation and Supporters Direct.

  • Registrations for the Supporters Summit have now closed. The FSF AGM is on Sunday 19th July (11am) - you can still register for this by sending your name, club and any supporter organisation you are representing to: events@fsf.org.uk

The free event attracts fans from across the UK who will debate football’s big issues and seek to influence the game for the better. FIFA Question Time will see the future of the game’s governing body debated – how can fan-pressure can be brought to bear on Blatter and co?

There’ll be separate sessions on ticket prices (looking at Twenty’s Plenty), different ways to football success (with FC United and Merthyr Town), fan engagement/ownership, away fan experiences and diversity/challenging discrimination.

FSF Chief Executive Kevin Miles said: “This is a great opportunity to get involved, express fan power and make a difference. On the back of a huge top-flight media deal, we want to see ticket prices brought down and wealth spread throughout lower league and grassroots football.”

Meanwhile FIFA Question Time gives the audience the chance to debate and question our panel on the future of FIFA. What influence can UEFA exert on FIFA? Is Platini part of the problem? What can national FAs do? What role do fans have in that?

Panel for FIFA Question Time:

  • Lynsey Hooper (Host) - A football reporter and presenter with more than 10 years experience in TV and radio working for networks including BBC, ITV and Sky Sports.
  • Stephen Russell (Playfair Qatar) - The campaign shines a light on the human toll when it comes to construction for Qatar 2022. Workers are paid as little as 45p an hour and rights are severely limited because of the “kafala” system. An estimated 1,400 have died to date.
  • Jaimie Fuller (Sports Ethics Campaigner and Chairman of SKINS) - Jaimie hopes to reform FIFA and believes sponsors have a huge role to play. “It is my duty as part of the industry to call the sports governing bodies to account. It’s a disgrace how many influential voices prefer to keep quiet.” He also founded Change Cycling Now in the wake of the Lance Armstrong affair.
  • Tom Greatrex (ex-MP and former Chair of Fulham Supporters' Trust) - Tom Greatrex was the founding Chair of the Fulham Supporters Trust in 2001. He served as Labour/Co-Operatve MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West between 2010 and 2015, and as Shadow Energy Minister from 2011 to 2015.

FIFA Question Time will be followed by sessions on:

  • #ShareTVWealth/Twenty’s Plenty - Ticket prices protests show no sign of abating with the Premier League’s £5.14bn domestic media deal a 70% increase on the previous package. How can fans ensure some of this money is spent reducing ticket prices and supporting lower league/grassroots football? Find out more about the FSF’s #ShareTVWealth and Twenty’s Plenty campaigns.
  • The Expert Working Group on Football Supporter Ownership and Engagement was launched by the Government in 2014, to try and remove barriers to ownership and engagement. The full report is due in November - both the FSF and SD sit on the panel - and this workshop will look at progress to date.
  • ‘Another way’ - a different route to success will look at clubs who dance to their own rhythm. Merthyr Town and FC United of Manchester both won promotion this season, but they’ve won as many accolades for their performances off-the-pitch as on it. SD look at how off-field success can translate into a winning first team.
  • How can we continue to improve things for away fans? While prices are important they aren’t the only hurdle for away fans who are also at the sharp end when it comes to allocations, policing and the cost of travel. This is your chance to question Supporter Liaison Officers and find out more about the FSF’s Away Fans Survey.
  • Fans for Diversity is the FSF’s joint campaign with Kick It Out which tackles perceived barriers to live football. The campaign has established schemes to encourage young Asian fans along to matches, promote disability football and cultural events between supporter groups.
  • Pride in Football - The LGBT fans’ movement continues to grow and, in 2014, a national network was established for the first time under the Pride in Football banner. Find out more about that work.
  • Making fans heard - Countless decisions are taken throughout the season that affect fans – whether it be kick-off times, heavy-handed policing or reduced ticket allocations. We want to see more fans engaged with Safety Advisory Groups, influencing things for the better.

More information:

2015’s Summit will be sponsored by BT Sport which has played a significant role in allowing the event to be free for all fans. Tickets are subject to availability so book early.