The Labour party are proposing that the fans should have a greater say in the boardroom. Stick a fan on the board and let him have a say, or even influence the direction of the clubs policies etc. This seems another sound bite by a political party struggling before a general election to think of something interesting to attract the fickle football fan.
How does it work? Who is picked to represent all the supporters of a particular club? It is pie in the sky. According to the headlines, football fans can have a greater say in the running of their club. This is people who are not experience in the running/ and or financial side of a football club.
If Labour wins next year’s General Election, fans’ trusts could be able to appoint and remove “up to a quarter – and not less than two – of a club’s directors.” So we can remove professional, trained, and educated business-people, just like that. Give the unwise a say over the knowledgeable. It seems the Labour party wish to take football back to the days of barbarism.
I would be interested in who would represent me. Take my club; Tottenham Hotspur supporters have a football trust. I have heard of them through the papers, but beyond that, I know nothing about them. I have never seen any literature about this organisation at Tottenham, let alone asking people like me to join. They seem a semi- secretive mysterious organisation that say they represent members/ supporters like me, without me knowing anything about them. It sounds like the few wishing to monopolise the many. I have been going to Spurs since the late 50s and have written about them since the 90s. Nevertheless, when I speak to fans all they are saying is “we’ve heard about them, because of quotes in the papers, but beyond that they seem to be a shadow mysterious group.” Do I, as a Spurs fan, want one of them on the board speaking for me? No, I do not. I am an individual, with individual views, not part of the collective Borge who only answer to the Queen Bee.
We also must remember that football directors are fans as well. Does that mean one set of fans can displace another set of fans? More so when those directors are contributing financially? On the other hand, will that mean rich fans replacing rich fans? Won’t this create a vicious circle by creating what we set out to remove?
I want my club to be run successfully, not run into the ground by egotistical football fans who know nothing other than how to play Monopoly. Of course you could argue that some directors are already doing that, and that may be true, but putting inexperienced fans on the board will not guarantee super-success.
I also hear you shouting that other clubs have tried this and have supporter-representation on the boards. However, this is at lower clubs and I suggest that a lot of them are token gestures. They say countries like Germany have tried this successfully; again, I question that, and besides, we have a different structure here and what may work in one country does not mean it would work in this country.
Put me on the board and I would agree with it as I have my own agenda, views, and wants. However, many supporters would not agree with what I think, and would demand somebody with similar viewpoints as their own. In addition, what happens when they do not change anything or are part of their clubs decline? The directors could easily point the finger at the “stupid fan” and say… “If it wasn’t for him/ or her… etc.”
Running a top six-football club in the world is a high-pressurised job. Ninety-nine point nine percent of supporters would not be up to it. Which leaves a possible one percent. An elite joining an elite; how is that representing all football supporters?
As I said, this is a political incentive/ inducement in the hope of attracting more votes. We need politics to be kept out of football, not used as a football so that points could be scored.
I have considered another way since I wrote the above; if all season ticket holders and members – card carrying – had a vote. The next question is; if they had the vote, what would they vote on? Team selection; Preposterous! Prices; laughable! Price of pies? How about whether we could allow houses of ill-repute or chapels for the destitute incorporated (and the way we are playing of late, we are not far from it ourselves).
So what do you think?
Have something to tell us about this article?