Dyke and the Blazers

March 28th, 2013|

The appointment of Greg Dyke as new FA Chairman had me pleasantly surprised, not least given his on the record views about FA Councillors and the organisation as a whole. […]

A funny kind of democracy

May 17th, 2012|

Back in the day when I was at Supporters Direct, I set up a google RSS feed to feature any mention of ‘supporters trust’, and it brought me this article on Monday, about events down at Exeter.

This post isn’t about the League Two salary cost management protocol. It’s about  what is meant by fan democracy. […]

Would your football club be better run as a co-operative?

May 9th, 2012|

[author][author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]I’ve done a piece for  The Guardian on football clubs and co-operation, making the case for why it’s the best form for them to take, what progress has been made in the last decade, and what challenges they still face to become a successful part of the landscape.[/author_info] [/author] […]

Political Football

April 13th, 2010|

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[author_info]Written for news and analysis site Sporting Intelligence following the publication of Labour’s 2010 election manifesto, which contained pledges on giving fans the right to buy stakes in their clubs should they be re-elected.[/author_info] [/author]

With the publication yesterday of Labour’s election manifesto, football fans have before them the first serious attempt by a UK political party to target them as a potential electoral demographic.When first floated a few weeks ago in The Guardian, the initial response – a quite literally ridiculous Martin Samuel piece aside – was broadly positive about content if suspicious of the motives. The notion that this was all a cynical election stunt was added to by the accusation dogging much of Labour’s manifesto: if these were truly genuine proposals, then why had they waited 13 years to make them? […]

Grasping the Nettle of Football Reform

January 10th, 2010|

[author][author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image]
[author_info]Originally published in football’s business-to-business magazine, FC Business in January 2011.
The article was published as the Parliamentary Select Committee Inquiry into the finances and governance of English football began.[/author_info] [/author]

There’s already been several reactions to the news that a parliamentary select committee will be conducting an inquiry into football governance, taking into double figures the number of reports commissioned about the game since England won the World Cup, all of which focussed on the problems English football has in spending its money wisely and making its decisions soundly. […]

Managing Volunteers

August 16th, 2009|

[author][author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Commissioned by the Third Sector Leadership Centre for Leadership Labyrinth, on managing in the third sector. I focussed on managing volunteers, where there isn’t an economic relationship to underpin managerial authority, nor a strictly defined role which enables self-starting.[/author_info] [/author]

On the set of the film Chinatown, lead actor Faye Dunaway was struggling to get into character for a scene. She asked director Roman Polanski what her character’s motivation was, to which he replied ‘your salary is your motivation’.

Volunteer-run organisations have no such response. Many voluntary sector bodies have full-time officers who can co-ordinate, cajole and complement the activities of the volunteers, but volunteer-run bodies have to do it all themselves. There’s no-one to drive things forward, no one in the office at 9am to keep the wheels turning. Everyone does everything in time carved out of the rest of their increasingly busy lives. […]

Resolutions & Votes Don’t Float My Boat & Meetings Totally Bore Me

July 17th, 2009|

Democracy – if there is a single thing that encapsulates what the supporters trust movement is about, it’s probably that. Trusts are open to all to join, and anyone can stand for the board of the trust. Those elections mean that there’s a ready way to bring new blood into the running of the trust, and deal with people who have taken decisions that the members disagree with. […]

Fool Me Once, Shame On You. Fool Me Twice, Shame On Me

July 20th, 2006|

[author][author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image]
[author_info]Written for the match day programme for the Supporters Direct Cup, played between AFC Wimbledon and FC United of Manchester in 2006. The Cup is an annual match played between two fan-owned clubs, for a trophy purchased by donations by members of the Supporters Direct mailing list.[/author_info][/author]

We’re delighted to be involved in the fourth hosting of the Supporters Direct Cup. On a personal level, I’m especially delighted that for the first time, the match is taking place outside the M25, at the ground where my Granddad watched his football and where there is a seat named after him as part of the Save our Shakers appeal a few years back. […]

Oh, FC United!

June 13th, 2006|

[author][author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image]
[author_info]Written for Supporters Direct’s quarterly magazine in 2006, reviewing life at fan-owned football co-operative FC United of Manchester, one year after their formation in May 2005 soon after the Glazer family’s takeover at Manchester United.[/author_info] [/author]

When it was first reported that disgruntled fans of Manchester United were thinking of starting their own team, many in the football world scoffed. Some couldn’t see the point, whilst others couldn’t see that it would work.

There was certainly scepticism amongst many football administrators and club officials in the leagues where the new club was being touted to play. More than one thought that such a club would be little more than a three-game protest. They couldn’t have been more wrong. […]