Recently Richard Ward and John Cooke of HUST met with Garreth Cummins, Network Manager for non-League football with the newly formed Football Supporters’ Association (FSA). At the meeting they heard more about the FSA, its role and what support was available to members, and took the opportunity to provide Garreth an update on HUST and HUFC following last year’s take-over.
Formed by a merger of two organisations following a vote of Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) and Supporters Direct (SD) members, Sunderland based Garreth gave us a FSA progress update:
“On Thursday 22nd November 2018 members of the Football Supporters’ Federation and Supporters Direct met to finalise a merger of the two organisations. Since that time we’ve actually been working as one organisation, although until very recently work that was previously done as either the FSF or SD under that specific brand.”
“Behind the scenes, however, staff from both organisations began working together immediately, and since November we’ve been governed by one elected National Council, which itself elects our Board. The Board has taken the decision that the new organisation should be called the Football Supporters’ Association (FSA), and we’re working now on rebranding our social media pages, website, email addresses, etc.”
“Fan groups who were affiliated to either or both of the FSF and SD will automatically become members of the FSA, as will all our individual members.”
“Our combined resources will allow us to work even more closely with supporter groups on local campaigns, as well as being an even greater combined voice on all the key issues affecting football, from supporter ownership and governance to ticket pricing and diversity within the game.”
“We encourage individual fans and supporter groups from all levels to get involved, and help shape the direction of the new organisation – more details can be found at @WeAreTheFSA or soon at www.thefsa.org.uk“.
While HUST members may be familiar with Supporters Direct from our experiences in 2018, the merger with the FSF provides the opportunity to broaden the support available to HUST and to increase the resources available to affiliated and members Trusts.
Garreth and his FSA colleagues have recently been busy working closely with Gateshead Soul and fans of Gateshead FC, providing support for their important work in the rescue of their club in its current form, though they also work with the National League and EFL on broader issues that can affect all clubs and fans, such as improving diversity, fan-club dialogue, supporter involvement/ownership, ticket pricing, TV money distribution, etc.
As an existing Supporters Direct member HUST will become affiliated with the FSA in due course, and we will continue to network with both the FSA team and other similar volunteer supporter run organisations/Trusts across the country for the benefit of HUST.