FSF and HCST start work to protect the heritage of clubs


Work has now started, under the auspices of the Football Supporters’ Federation, to strengthen the FA rules regarding the heritage of football clubs.

The intention is that the experiences of Cardiff City and Hull City fans should not be repeated, and that supporters should play a crucial role in approving changes to clubs’ traditions.

A Football Heritage working group has been set up. It has agreed to consider seven “heritage” areas and the group will give shape to concrete proposals to the FA on these areas:

  • Playing names of clubs
  • Nicknames of clubs
  • Badges and logos
  • Home ground geographic location
  • Playing strip (colours and styles)
  • Ground names
  • Patrimony

The group agreed that it will consider each of these categories in order to:

  • evaluate the levels of protection in place and their efficacy (this work is now underway)
  • consider where there was a need for strengthening and extension of protection (identify the gaps)
  • establish what measures and protections we would like to see put in place
  • identify the body best suited to provide such protection (it was agreed that as the FA is the governing body it is to them we should turn to provide safeguards, even if the FA might subsequently delegate certain measures down to League level – we may also need to engage with the Football League and the Premier League)

Issues the group have identified as needing careful consideration include:

  • the considerable difficulty in identifying and delineating the most suitable and appropriate supporter voting constituency at each club
  • the potentially complex nature of club names and nicknames (trading/business entity names are outside the scope of this project)
  • fans of different clubs are likely to be concerned about differing heritage elements and to have differing priority levels for each element
  • when it comes to moving ground location there is a difference between ’moving from’ and ‘moving to’ with respect to which fans may be affected (e.g. West Ham/Leyton Orient)
  • preventing the sponsoring/naming of new stadia might be against the interests of the fans and/or be counter-productive
  • the Report of the Expert Working Group (DCMS) is expected to include reference to structured working with the fans and we may be able to adopt or adapt their findings and recommendations
  • the group should establish what we would like to see in place and leave it to the FA to create a strong legal basis and framework sufficiently watertight to prevent avoidance, evasion and subversion
  • media assets is a detailed and specific area which may require its own focus
  • the work of City Till We Die on FA rule changes will be used in any submission to the FA

From HCST, Secretary Mike Scott and shareholders Martin Batchelor, Chris Douglas and Chris King are involved in the group’s work. We will update you on developments.




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