Acting to protect our heritage

As you will be aware, we have heard that the FA’s Membership Committee will be again recommending to the FA Council that the Allams’ proposal to the name change be rejected; we have high expectations that the Council will, for the second time, throw out the crass notion of renaming Hull City AFC.

But we do not want to have to go through this farrago every year.  The name-change issue has created a rift between the club and its supporters, driving away many.  And it’s not just a debate about the formal use of the name – the club’s refusal to use the term “Hull City” in its promotions and communications has been a deliberate snub to both the FA and the fanbase.

So, whilst the FA’s rejection of the Hull Tigers application is both necessary and welcome, we need more.  An important element of the Trust’s action plan is to work with the FA and the Football Supporters’ Federation to formalise a fair process (one in which supporters have a real voice) to deal with similar applications in the future, to protect the heritage of football clubs being destroyed at the whim of owners and without the support of a club’s fanbase.  The experience of this last year – a football club more or less ignoring its fans and an FA ruling by instituting changes anyway – have prompted us to go further and address this issue too.

Our first step is to have the FSF formally support this and we have therefore tabled two motions that Board director Chris Cooper will be introducing at its AGM on July 19th:

Motion 1: “The Federation recommends that the Football Association amends its Rules such that a specific and binding rule is put in place to protect the heritage aspects of its football clubs, including but not limited to the club’s playing name, the club’s playing kit colours, the club’s badge and the club’s nickname.  Changes to any aspect of a club’s heritage will be permitted within the new Rule, but only after a fair, clearly worded and unambiguous ballot has been conducted amongst a reasonable spread of supporters – which could comprise any or all of the club’s season ticket holders, the club’s supporters club(s) members and/or the club’s Supporters’ Trust members.”

Motion 2: “The Federation recommends that the Football Association amends its Rules such that the club’s media assets use only the club’s playing name, playing kit colours, badge and nickname as determined by the proposed new Rule as set out in Motion 1, in so far as the name, colours, badge or nickname are deemed necessary to identify the club in any media asset.  The media assets that relate to the amended Rule will include, but not be limited to, the club’s name in the matchday magazine, affiliated team names (junior teams, ladies teams, etc); the club’s websites; the club’s social media sites and usernames, the club’s press, radio, TV and online advertisements; the club’s press releases; and the club’s stadium signs and banners.  The use of a club name other than the registered playing name on a media asset will be prohibited, and subject to a sanction to be determined by the appropriate FA committee.”

With the FSF’s support we will be a strong position to constructively engage with the FA.

Remember, the FSF is free to join and its summit on July 18th, and its AGM  on the 19th (both in Manchester), are free to attend, but you have to pre-register.  More on this here.