Fourth Aim Of The MCFC Supporters Trust Announced
Quite some time ago now we agreed the draft aims of the proposed trust. There are only five aims and we will be publishing the fifth and final one tomorrow as well as publishing a summary of all five aims. The aims are in draft form and will have to be voted on by the supporters present at the public Open Meeting, whilst the aims are draft and open to amendment the essence of each aim is clear and we would like to expand on them a little below:-
TO IMPROVE COMMUNICATION AND UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE CLUB AND ITS SUPPORTERS
If there is one thing that sums up the disillusionment of Manchester City supporters at the moment it is that they feel distant from the club. Players don’t attend supporters’ club branches anymore. Now, if you want to see a player in the flesh, you have to have your branch meeting at the ground whereas players and officials used to travel far and wide to maintain contact with the fans.
There is also a feeling generally in the Premiership that real fans have lost their game and they are stirring themselves to get it back. The clubs seem more to be businesses that include a football team rather than football teams run in a business-like fashion. It infuriates most fans to be referred to as “customers” or “consumers”. Customers have choices. If they don’t like the offering from one supermarket then they can go to another. But a fan’s bond with his or her club is emotional and historic. They will spend large amounts of money, travel long distances and turn out in all weathers to support their club.
The business model of the modern Premiership club usually means that the revenue that is directly derived from fans, via tickets, is often a poor third to TV income and commercial activities (sponsorship, merchandise, conferences, etc.). However fans also contribute to these income streams and should be treated like key stakeholders in any business.
But if the business model in the Premiership has changed, the relationship between a club and its supporters is also changing. We are more willing to question what goes on both on and off the field at our clubs. We are not willing to be treated as “cash cows” and to demonstrate our loyalty at any price. Therefore it is vitally important that the clubs communicate honestly and effectively with their fans so that the fans understand the decisions that have been taken and the direction their club is heading in.
The rise of supporters’ trusts has taken the concept of supporter involvement even further. A small but increasing number of clubs are owned or controlled by their supporters and we’ve talked about this in one of our other aims.
In any walk of life, people respect honesty and have become more aware of spin and misinformation. Someone who says “I was wrong” is more likely to win our trust than someone who can’t. As fans, we can recognise that a decision taken with a short term view is not always the best way forward in the long term. And long term decisions that benefit our club may well not be beneficial in the short term.
Please send any feedback, comments, suggestions or input to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Colin, Colin, Gavin, Ian, Mickey, Miles & Ollie