Workshops (2016)


Opening session (Ian Lenagan, EFL chairman) – 10:30 to 11:45

It has been a summer of great change at the Football League and Ian Lenagan joins the organisation at a time of rebranding (they are now known as EFL) and competition overhaul. The Football League Trophy, formerly the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, begins a one year trial this season which sees sixteen Premier League academy sides in a new group-stage format.

There has also been talk of a proposed revamp to the overall league structure, with the addition of eight sides to make up four divisions of 20, rather than the current three divisions of 24. The clubs will vote on the planned structural changes in the summer of 2017. Ian will discuss this and other Football League initiatives with Guardian journalist Owen Gibson; fans will have their chance to quiz him on some of the details in a Q&A session afterwards.

Workshop First Session – 11:45 to 12:45

  • Fan Culture - A chance to get an insight into the workings behind the voice of the fan media, with input from the traditional (The City Gent, Bradford fanzine) and the new (The Fighting Cock, Spurs podcast and The Anfield Wrap, Liverpool podcast) on what motivates them to do what they do. A perfect opportunity for creative fans to get together, and existing fanzine writers or podcasters or vloggers to network and share their experiences.
  • Fans For Diversity - An update on the Fans For Diversity project from FSF Diversity and Campaigns Manager Anwar Uddin on the work undertaken in 2015/16, and plans for the coming year. Pride in Football will also be on the panel, presenting their work and updating fans on the situation with regards to LGBT fan groups and campaigns across the country.
  • Structured Dialogue between clubs and supporters - A recap from James Mathie (SD) on the campaign to ensure a minimum level of communication and consultation between supporters and leaders of clubs. Premier League and Football League clubs now both have obligations for 2016/17, this workshop will look at what they are, and how we can continue to work together to improve and develop the commitments that have been made. 
  • What is the secret to a good supporter-led campaign? - With a focus on the Olympic Stadium Coalition and the Dons Trust ‘back in two ticks’ ground sale campaigns, we hear from key people involved (including Kat Law from THST, Richard Hunt from CAST, Jeremy Gardner from QPR 1st, Jane Lonsdale Dons Trust and SD’s Nicola Hudson) to find out the secrets of their success, and will discuss the learnings for future campaigns and collaboration.

Workshop Second Session – 14:15 to 15:30

  • Creating Change: Scrutiny, Protest & Pressure - Looking at the different roles Trusts play when there is conflict between clubs and their supporters. From protesting for a change in ownership to professional, credible scrutineering of decisions made in the interests of the club, Trusts play a varied and important role in creating change. Three Trusts (Blackpool, Newcastle United and Charlton) will discuss their current position and past experiences followed by a Q&A session.
  • The National Game & Non-League - The Premier League gets all the attention, but there’s a huge amount going on across the country that goes unreported. This workshop is an ideal place for fans from the lower leagues to come together and discuss the issues that affect them and their clubs, with input from Mike Bayly (Non-League Day), Mark Harris (EvoStik League Chairman) and Tim Fuell (Media officer, Hayes and Yeading). 
  • SD Kitemark - Developing a set of simple standards for professional sports clubs to demonstrate their commitment to their supporters and community. This session offers the chance for delegates to discuss the important attributes that make up a well-run club with Martin Cloake from THST and SD’s James Mathie.
  • Where now for ticket price campaigns? - Michael Brunskill from the FSF will lead a discussion on the work undertaken in the ticket price campaign - successes in the form of the £30 Premier League away ticket cap, as well as taking soundings on how best to tackle the issue throughout the the Football League.

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Post-event summaries:

  • Fans For Diversity - Anwar Uddin, Fans for Diversity co-ordinator: "The workshop was really pleasing, its always encouraging when you have fans that have travelled the length of the country to share their experiences and learn from others who are present. I updated the group on the 2015-6 Fans for Diversity activity and it was brilliant that many wantd to replicate some of the success we had this year at their particular club. Without fans sharing our work with fellow fans and their clubs things would be extremely difficult for us. The main topic of discussion was Pride in football and the rise of LGBT fan groups all over the country it was great to have so many their including di Cunningham - proud canaries and Chris Paouros - Proud Lilywhites who led the discussions on their denvelopment PIF and how we can be stronger together as well as continuing to work towerds positive change."
  • SD Kitemark - James Mathie, Supporters Direct: "There was some fantastic discussion on how the indicators to measure a club could be changed so that we all know what good looks like." For more information: email
  • What is the secret to a good supporter-led campaign? - Download "The story of the Olympic Stadium Coalition" presentation here.