Representatives from the Pompey Supporters' Trust have played a significant role in a government report that is published today at fan owned club AFC Wimbledon.
An expert working group was formed after a recommendation in the Government's 2013 response to the 2011 Football Governance Review. Initially the focus was to look at barriers and incentives for supporter ownership but the remit was extended to include supporter involvement and engagement, by the then Minister Helen Grant.
Supporters Direct were invited by the Government to be a standing member on the group alongside the Football Supporters Federation, and expert witness members - supporters trusts at Pompey, Swansea City, AFC Wimbledon and Wrexham. It was independently chaired by Joanna Manning-Cooper a Pompey season ticket holder, who has held a number of senior positions within sport. The rest of the group was made up of representatives from the football authorities – The Premier League, The Football League, The National League and the Football Association – as well as the Department of Culture Media and Sport, with support from appropriate Government departments when required. Following the public call for evidence in December 2014, further expert witnesses were called to meetings including supporters’ trusts at Arsenal, Manchester United and Bradford City
Pompey fan and PST Shareholder Joanna Manning-Cooper had this to say "As Chair, I would like to thank the Group members for their collaborative approach, for the time dedicated to exploring the issues in detail, and for the supportive spirit in which the proposals were developed. I would like to also thank everyone who submitted evidence, either in person, or in writing to the Group. We believe this report offers positive benefits for the Game. It will encourage supporter ownership where it is a credible and sensible option for a football club. It will also lead to new and improved levels of engagement between clubs and fans, ensuring that the issues which matter to both can be discussed and addressed."
PST Chair and PCFC Director Ashley Brown was a member of the panel and he said "The story of Pompey and what happened since 2009 was central to much of the discussion that has taken place in recent months. What happened to our club should not be allowed to happen again elsewhere. Supporters are often those who notice the first signs of trouble and the report should ensure they will now be more engaged with those who run their clubs. The football authorities not only recognise the importance of this closer engagement but also how fan ownership has a role to play in the future of the game. Some of the barriers we encountered have been removed and we hope to see more fan owned clubs in the coming years."
If the recommendations in the report are implemented the Pompey Supporters Trust are confident that for Trusts around the country this represents a significant step forward for fan ownership added to the growing partnership between fan bodies like SD and the FSF and the football authorities.
Please see other comment below and the full report attached.