We are pleased to hear of the introduction of a “Supporters’ Committee” at Hull City AFC, and hope to play a key role in having the voices of Hull City fans heard in the near future. Hull City announced this week that meetings will take place four times a year and will be attended by representatives from various groups.
The concept of such a committee was discussed between the Trust and Club representatives back in November, and while it’s a big shame that the club has waited until after finalising and announcing the latest changes to its membership scheme before arranging this dialogue, the formation of the committee is a step in the right direction.
Like many supporters, we do have some concerns based on the events and outcomes of previous fan dialogue arrangements. In recent years, the Fans’ Working Group was held, but the views aired by fans at the meeting were routinely ignored, while the representative of the club who attended the meeting was not allowed to make any meaningful decisions without the consent of the club’s owners. Of course, neither of the Allams themselves ever dared to attend.
It is vitally important, if this committee is to be successful, that whoever attends this meeting on behalf of Hull City is in a position to actually listen to and act upon the views of supporters’ on the key issues. This is as prescribed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) guidelines for Meaningful Supporters Dialogue. The guidelines, which can be read in full here, state that:
- Senior representatives from the club – either club owners / directors and/or senior executive management should represent the club at these meetings
- No individuals should be excluded from the meetings without good reason
- Frequency of meetings must be clear, set-out from the start, and consistent
- Meetings should be fully minuted and minutes should be made public knowledge in weeks following meetings
All of the above points represent a change from how the meetings were run in the past.
This committee could represent a positive step forward in rebuilding the relationship between fans and the club, but only if it really is a genuine concerted effort by the club to do so. There will be no shortage of passionate fans prepared to give up their time to contribute. The only question is whether the club are serious about consultation or whether it will be a half-hearted effort like previously.