Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah recently brought up the subject of Transparency in Football that led me to wonder what the official Premier League view is on this, as far as fans are concerned.
Below are a few excerpts from the PL Handbook:
R.2. Each Club shall devise, document and publish: (a) a policy (or policies) with regard to ticketing, merchandise and relations with its supporters, season ticket holders and others having an interest in the activities of the Club (together in this Section of these Rules referred to as “Stakeholders”); and (b) a disability access statement. A copy of all such documents must be provided to the League before the start of the Season.
R.3. A Club’s policy with regard to its Stakeholders should: R.3.1. provide for consultation with them on a structured and regular basis through forums, questionnaires and focus groups and by the publication of current policies on major issues in an easily digested format; and R.3.2. promote supporter and community liaison and provide for the establishment of liaison structures where none exist.
R.5. Each Club shall submit a report annually to the League during the Close Season describing how each of its said policies has been implemented and the extent to which each has been achieved.
Looking at these rules through NUFC eyes R.3.1 actually made me laugh. Any of you Stakeholders received a questionnaire from the club lately?
Anyone remember the last time the club (Owner/Chairman) informed the stakeholders their policies on major issues (Player Recruitment, Manager’s Contract, Training Ground and Academy).
I had previously emailed the Premier League asking for some info on this subject and they were quite helpful until I asked them the question regarding R.5. How do I get a copy of the club’s Annual Report that Newcastle United sends to the Premier League describing how the policies have been implemented/achieved.
No reply to that one or the further two emails I sent. I even requested a simple Yes/No answer as to whether anyone gets to view the report.
I contacted NUST and FSF and asked if they were aware of any outside parties having access to the report, they were not aware of any but said they would consider asking the question at future Fans Forum meetings / future PL meetings.
Judging by the clubs’ record over the last 12 years, I dread to think what they actually put in their report.
Which brings me back to the Transparency issue. What made me worry about this regarding our club was the Rangers fan who said “Worry about what you don’t know he is doing.”
I am pondering on whether it would be worth making this a countrywide issue with all football fans by starting a petition to parliament to debate this issue. I am sure there will be lots of supporters of different clubs out there who are going through similar situations to us, plus lots more who would be sympathetic to the cause.
This is one issue regarding fans where there is no transparency from our club, I dread to think how many more issues there are that we have not come across yet.
Old Fan – Tired of being taken for granted.