Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Supporters Direct needs direct support

The Premier League, through its Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF), is withdrawing its £1.2m payment to Supporters Direct, the body that advises fans on how to set up supporter trusts among other things, and has saved around 50 clubs from extinction since its inception in 2000.
The FSIF's reasoning for withdrawing the guilt payment (because let's face it the organisation wouldn't be dishing out the cash if it didn't think it needed to get the government off its back) is because the Supporters Direct managing director at the time got a bit giddy at AFC Wimbledon's promotion and tweeted a couple of insults at those behind the creation of the monstrosity that is MK Dons. The tweets, missed at the time but highlighted by the Daily Mail in the same way that the paper saw off Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross, were quickly removed and the MD eventually resigned after the FSIF deemed an apology was not enough. However the SD funding is still being held back, threatening the existence of the organisation.
It is not a huge leap to suggest that the aims of Supporters Direct are mainly contrary to those of the money making product of the Premier League and that it has been looking for any excuse to remove the lifeline to an organisation that might prevent the PL from fleecing its customers (or football fans to me and you) if it continues to build momentum.
So it's time to show support fro Supporters Direct. There is an active Facebook group here where they are trying to get some political support to put pressure on the PL. Other articles are here, here and about halfway down here. It's important for fans to get behind this because otherwise the Premier League, for whom £1.2m is a drop in the ocean, and the Daily Mail win. And no-one wants that.

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