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Tuesday
Dec122017

Fulham Supporters' Trust signs Memorandum of Understanding with Fulham FC

The Fulham Supporters’ Trust today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Fulham Football Club to formalise our structured dialogue on behalf of Fulham fans, which has existed since 2014.

The MoU is the first such document signed between an English professional club and their Supporters Trust and commits both parties to share relevant information and discuss issues of mutual concern during regular meetings. It builds on the progress made since the Trust’s monthly meetings with senior Club officials were set up by Fulham FC chief executive officer Alistair Mackintosh three years ago.

The document was drawn up with the advice and guidance of Supporters Direct, the national umbrella body for Supporters’ Trusts, who have been at the forefront of developing structured dialogue and successfully secured EFL and Premier League regulations mandating meetings between clubs and recognised Trusts last season.

The Fulham Supporters’ Trust’s dialogue with Fulham FC began prior to those regulations and has been praised in a Department, Culture and Media Sport report on strengthening the links between football clubs and their supporters.

The Fulham Supporters’ Trust - like all recognised Trusts - is an independent, democratic and formally structured organisation. The Trust will always remain accountable to its members and independent of the Club, but today’s development will help the Trust to continue to make progress on key supporter issues.

Tom Greatrex, chair of the Fulham Supporters’ Trust, said: “Structured dialogue between Clubs and recognised Supporters Trusts is something Supporters’ Direct have been integral in securing in league regulations. Fortunately for the Fulham Supporters’ Trust, Fulham FC have been open to detailed, extensive, searching and sometimes challenging dialogue on a regular basis over the last three years. Signing an MoU doesn’t change that - it emphasises the value that independent, democratic and representative supporters’ organisations can bring in helping Clubs not only develop good relationships with their fans, but make decisions that take into account the supporter perspective. It doesn’t mean we will always agree, but will help ensure the dialogue happens in a structured, professional and respectful way. That the Club have become the first to sign such an MoU demonstrates, I believe, their confidence in the relationship with the Trust that we have both worked hard on and their commitment to being as responsive as possible to supporter views and priorities.”

Alistair Mackintosh, chief executive of Fulham FC, added: ‘We were keen to formalise an increase in the frequency of meetings with the Fulham Supporters Trust as their robust questioning continually makes us think and they provide a representative, educated soundboard for our own initiatives. As custodians of Craven Cottage and our remarkable football Club, we share goals of sustainability and success.’ 

Ashley Brown, chief executive of Supporters Direct, commented: ‘Having formal structured dialogue between supporters and clubs is critical as it allows challenging issues to be met head on, not avoided or advanced without proper consultation. That builds trust and sets the tone for supporter engagement. Supporters Direct have followed the progress of structured dialogue at Fulham with keen interest for some time and this memorandum of understanding takes this a step further and we praise Fulham Football Club and the Fulham Supporters’ Trust for their pioneering approach’.

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