Local football teams are often the beating heart of local communities. They bring thousands of people together and do vital work in the community.
The financial challenges for teams further down the football pyramid are getting greater. Covid 19 has left many teams on the brink.
As councillors and community campaigners, engaging with our local teams is a great way of supporting and protecting them.
Cllr Chris Hogg has passed a motion through Kendal Town Council supporting the Fair Game manifesto and calling on the Government to implement recommendations to give fans more power within clubs and reform how teams are funded to reward transparency and financial fair play. You can see the motion here.
Here are some further suggestions from Cllr Chris Hogg of ways in which you can engage with your local team and support the work they do in your community as a Councillor and campaigner:
- Volunteer – clubs are always short of volunteers for multiple roles. It’s a good way to be active in the community. Every role imaginable is available but roles like welfare officers, stewards, ticket sellers and raffle sales are a front of house type role where you will be seen. If you want to take a more strategic view then join the board!
- Community – become the link between your club and your community. Clubs need to be at the heart of their communities and will often invite local charities for free. Helping them link up with these groups and forming partnerships can be beneficial to all concerned. Mental Health Groups, Right to Work and Men in Sheds are be good examples.
- Join your Supporters Club – unfortunately the relationship between owners and fans is often poor. Becoming a voice for fans and scrutinising the activities of your club can make you an advocate for your constituents. This is probably the best way to get involved with bigger clubs.
- Lib Dem Values – openness, transparency, accessibility, inclusiveness, are these values held within your local club? Could you help promote them? Groups like Kick it Out, Her Game too, LGBT groups, and Disability groups all would welcome your support.
- The FA – your local FA would also be worth contacting too. They are often promoting groups like Kick it Out and looking for volunteers for anything from disciplinary committees to refereeing!
- Support Fair Game – Fair Game is backed by a number of clubs and seeks reform of how teams and funded and run – rewarding well-run clubs and giving fans a greater say. You can find out more here and see if your local team has backed the campaign yet.