The following article appeared in the club’s official matchday programme for the game against York City (played on March 7, 2015).
Supporter Ownership Week
Supporters Direct have announced the first Supporter Ownership Week, which will run from 11 to 18 April.
Sporting clubs are important. Whether the ball is round or oval, clubs are a place to watch, play and meet. They bring identity to our communities, and make our towns and cities special. They have the power to restore pride to our regions. They are part of our identity. It’s why we all say “ours” – we feel they belong to us. As fans of a supporters-owned club, we already know the good that clubs can do and how they can make a positive difference to people’s lives, but other supporters have yet to experience the sense of empowerment.
Supporters Direct are the people who have worked alongside supporters for the past 15 years to make the dream of supporter ownership possible, and they think it’s time to celebrate not just the people who have already done it, but also the people who are now in the process of making the journey or are about to make it. That’s why they have launched the first Supporter Ownership Week, which will run from 11 to 18 April. For the Dons, it culminates with our home game against Wycombe Wanderers – another fans-owned club – on 18 April.
Supporter Ownership Week will celebrate the clubs that have been there, seen it and done it, and the clubs that are just starting out. As well as showcasing how supporter ownership works, it will highlight the stories of the people who make it possible.
The week begins on 11 April, when a host of supporter-owned clubs will be playing their regular fixtures at home. There will be a series of events across the country and online throughout the week that follows.
Two parts of the week have already been announced:
- Fan Footage, an “event video crowd-sourcing start-up” company that claims to be the world’s largest video crew, will partner with Supporters Direct to chart the matchday experiences at all 38 supporter-owned clubs in England, Wales and Scotland, stitching the videos together to make the largest supporter-sourced video ever attempted. The video will showcase what makes match days at supporter-owned clubs so special.
- “Unsung Heroes” will celebrate the work of volunteers at supporter-owned clubs. Clubs will be asked to nominate a volunteer at their club who they think deserves special recognition, to showcase to the public those people who make supporter ownership just that little bit special.
Other events that will be held during the week will be announced.
Supporter Ownership Week will run alongside a crowd-funding campaign, to be launched on 27 March, that will attempt to raise more money for Supporters Direct so they can provide more support for supporter ownership in the future.
It’s not just football clubs that are supported by Supporters Direct. In addition to the football clubs that are members – which include four English Football League clubs (including ourselves and Wycombe), three Scottish Football League clubs and three Football Conference Premier clubs – there are also three professional Rugby League clubs and even an American football club.
Supporter ownership plays an important role in Supporters Direct’s core work of ensuring that supporters have a voice at their clubs, alongside that of establishing supporters’ trusts and campaigning for changes in the rules to benefit supporters and the communities that sustain all clubs.
To find out more about Supporter Ownership Week, visit www.supporters-direct.org/supporter-ownership-week, follow @suppdirect on Twitter or visit www.facebook.com/supportersdirect. Use the hashtag #SOW15 #Ours