Last week, all 13 A-Leagues clubs committed to the continuation or creation of their own Fan Representative Groups, to be represented in a new national body. In response, the A-Leagues’ has confirmed the next steps to be taken before the groups’ first meeting in September.
The A-Leagues club CEOs and APL Executive met on May 1 to review the work that has been in development since early in the year on supporter consultation, and to formalise the agreement that every club would commit to a formal Fan Representative Group.
The development process has included benchmarking global best practice and consulting with local stakeholders to come up with the best model for Australasia. This group will involve a cross-section of each club’s fan base for the Isuzu UTE A-League Men and Liberty A-League Women to ensure that fan voices can be heard and considered in decision making on key matters, and a chair will be elected from this group to represent their club in the newly formed League Fan Representative Group. Minutes from the group meetings will be shared between the Clubs and the League and published on official channels.
Those clubs without an existing group will begin recruitment in the coming weeks with a view to having a complete group established in advance of next season, with the first League Fan Representative Group to take place in September once each club has finalised its group and the Chair has been elected. Minutes from the meetings will be made public and shared back into club Groups.
Danny Townsend said: “We have undertaken a process of detailed research and consultation on best practice for fan consultation over the last four months. In line with our commitment to implement the Fan Representative Groups by the end of the men’s season, we have achieved consensus from A-Leagues Club CEOs to commit to Fan Representative Groups for each club.
“Yesterday (Monday) we met with The Cove, the Yarra End Collective and Football Supporters Association Australia to share the detailed plans for the Fan Representative Groups at club and league level, including the fact that Chairs will be appointed from Club Groups to join the League Fan Representative Group, the first meeting of which will take place in September.
“As part of those conversations, we acknowledged that this would likely be an evolving model and that the league and the clubs would continue to consult with fan representatives over time, starting with a mid-season review in year one. Our door remains open and we will continue to communicate with these groups and others regularly in the coming weeks and months. We remain on track to appoint the APL’s independent chair by the end of the year.”