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June 11, 2009


MEMBERS of the Sonstrust Board attended the 7th annual Supporters Direct Conference on Saturday 6th June, which this year was held at Stirling University Conference Centre.

Atthe opening session, the audience were addressed by Dave Boyle who is the Chief Executive of Supporters Direct; William Gaillard, Adviser to UEFA President Michel Platini; and Robin Tatler from the Homeless World Cup Foundation.

David Wilson from the Livi For Life Supporters Trust addressed the audience on the LFL Trust vision for a Livingston FC which is community-led, democratic, with significant fan input and with an emphasis on youth development.

The opening session was followed by morning and afternoon workshops on the subjects of –

Many supporters view the ownership of their clubs as an important issue. This workshop gave practical examples of club ownership and what this means in the running of the club. This session was facilitated by John Bell from Berwick Rangers ST and Alasdair Galloway of Clydebank FC.

There is a lot of talk about football clubs being more involved in their community. In this session there was an opportunity to hear from clubs who are already working in their community and why they have taken this approach – here we heard from Stuart Dykes at Schalke ’04 and Tom Elliot, Falkirk FC

This session looked at possible league structures for Scotland making reference to the current debate about a pyramid structure and the rationale of a second league overseen by the SPL and the main speaker here was James Proctor of Supporters Direct.

Ownership and organisation of a club is vital, the way the club is run and in whose interest is equally important. This seminar looked at the role of fans in one club and how they have organised themselves to ensure the club is run in the wider community interest. Johannes Liebnau of Hamburg Supporters’ Club helped things go smoothly in this session.

At the end of the conference delegates received an address by Henry McLeish, Chair of the  SFA Review of Scottish Football where some question were put to him on his remit for said review.

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