Football fans from across the country gathered at the Royal National Hotel in London last Saturday (28th July) for the FSF's 2018 AGM to discuss another 12 months of campaigning and propose new policies for the organisation on a range of issues affecting match-going fans. Below is a summary of the 2018 AGM...
Election of the deputy chair
Current FSF deputy chair Martin O'Hara was re-elected to the position unopposed.
National Council elections
There were 11 places on the FSF’s National Council (NC) to be decided, with 10 candidates putting themselves forward for the positions. The following candidates were elected to the NC:
- Ally Simcock
- Carroll Clark
- Fiona McGee
- Dave Pennington
- Ian Byrne
- Martin O'Hara
- Peter Daykin
- Roy Bentham
- Steve Powell
- Tim Hillyer
- Billy Grant
The meeting considered the following motions for new areas of FSF policy:
Emergency Motion on a unified national supporters organisation:
(i) recalls the instruction it gave at the 2017 AGM to the National Council to work with Supporters' Direct to produce proposals for a new, single national supporters representative organisation
(ii) endorses the document to implement this mandate produced by the 2 Chairs and 2 CEOs of the FSF and SD, which was endorsed nem con by the National Council for recommendation to this AGM.
(iii) welcomes the decision by the SD AGM today to support joining with the FSF in such a new national organisation, in line with that document.
(iv) Conference notes and respects views expressed in the Supporters Direct Annual Conference about the desirability of the new organisation having mutual status. It therefore instructs the FSF appointees to the new, interim Board to propose a comprehensive review of the advantages of mutual status along with other organisational forms.
This AGM therefore instructs the National Council, along with our colleagues in SD, to implement the proposals in that document, including the calling of a special conference to launch the new organisation in November 2018.
Vote - Motion carried (following amendments)
Motion 1: Women's football
The Football Association has sought the engagement of the FSF in supporting the development of women’s football throughout the country. Whilst, both for health and recreational reasons, Federation applauds the creation of opportunities for young females to develop football skills and be involved in competitive play, it cannot support a franchise system where membership of the two senior women’s leagues is decided on financial grounds rather than successful performance on the field of play.
- Vote - Motion carried
Motion 2: Football as a marketing platform for HFSS brands
Federation notes that football at all levels is used to market food and drink products to fans that are high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS). Marketing channels include club-based or league-based sponsor partnerships (e.g. Gatorade, Cadbury), broadcast media advertising (e.g. Domino’s Pizza), and grassroots programme sponsorship (e.g. McDonald’s, Mars), all of which look to engage children and young people. The UK is currently experiencing a child overweight and obesity crisis which will cost the NHS billions of pounds each year if trends are not reversed, with new data revealing 20% of all 4 and 5-year-olds are classed as obese.
Whilst parental and individual responsibility has a part to play in reversing this trend, new research has found that 50% of all TV advertisements seen by children aged between 4 and 15 are for HFSS brands, despite a ban on such products being advertised on ‘children’s programmes’. Companies marketing HFSS brands are specifically using football as a platform to shape the tastes and consumer habits of children and young people, contributing to the childhood obesity crisis. In May the Commons Health Select Committee called for “a commitment to end sponsorship by brands overwhelmingly associated with high fat, sugar and salt products [at] sports clubs, venues, youth leagues and tournaments”.
The FSF recommends that further restrictions should be put in place by Government to limit the use of football as a marketing platform for HFSS brands, and will work with health campaign groups including Healthy Stadia and SUGAR SMART to ensure that fans voices are heard in protecting children and young people from such marketing tactics.
- Vote - Motion carried
Motion 3: Fixtures around the Christmas and New Year period
FSF calls on the Fixtures Working Group, the leagues and their broadcast partners to recognise the significance and importance of fixtures around the Christmas and New Year period, particularly to families, and to commit to:
- No kick offs on Christmas Eve
- No kick offs before 12pm or after 5pm on Boxing Day
- No kick offs after 3pm on New Year's Eve
- No kick offs before 12pm on New Year's Day
We all call for a commitment to take into consideration likely travel disruption during this period when planning fixtures.
- Vote - Motion carried (following amendments)