Councillor Andrew Pope
Chair of Labour Friends of Football
“After 80 minutes gone,
It’s Labour 95 Tories 3”
Labour Takes the Game to the Tories
“This defensive announcement [1 ] by the Tory-led Coalition with the Lib Dems, to talk even more over four years into a five year term, would be more believable if they had acted on the empty words in their 2010 Coalition Agreement!” Andrew Pope, the Chair of Labour Friends of Football [2 ], said today.
“Whilst the Tories dithered, Labour listened to fans and acted on their concerns.”
“The Tories continue to dither and there is no deadline for this ‘Expert Group’. They are panicking by speaking to only 3 clubs instead of Labour’s 95 [1 ] (plus our friends at Supporters Direct). For over 18 months, whilst the Tories and Lib Dems remained in a daze, Labour went on the attack, and last week announced powerful and legally enforceable policies for fan power. We will legislate quickly.
“My central driving political principle is that people and communities are better when they work together. They should not be “done to”. Together, we can achieve more. This belief applies to football and its fans, who are at the heart of communities.”, Cllr Pope said.
Vice-Chair Gerald Shamash [3 ] said: “The Labour policies were developed with 95 fans groups and a team of legal experts formed by me over 18 months ago. Together we formed the fan power policies with Labour politicians like Clive Efford and fans. At the heart of the policies are fans and fan power. That has been Labour Friends of Football’s aim since we launched it. It’s written in our Constitution [4 ], which I helped to write and sign off with our Chair and senior staff at Labour Head Office.
Cllr Pope continued: “Since I’ve known him when we formed Labour Friends of Football in 2012, Gerald has understood like I do that fans need more power to fix football.
“Never forget that like the NHS, it was a Labour Government that formed Supporters Direct, and Labour people have worked with them since. It is only Labour that has helped fans get power, because we understand grassroots organising. The Tories don’t. And they haven’t.
“Like the NHS, the Tories and Lib Dems have no credibility when it comes to football or football fans, because they’ve done nothing to help fans get power.”
ENDS (Notes overleaf)
[1 ] BBC Sport (Dan Roan – Sports Editor), “Fan ownership: Government & football chiefs launch new group”
Labour’s earlier proposals are here: http://press.labour.org.uk/post/100193817909/labour-putting-fans-at-the-heart-of-footballs-future and on our website (with our other campaigns) here: https://labourfootball.wordpress.com/2014/10/17/labour-will-give-fans-more-power/
[2 ] Labour Friends of Football was formed in 2012 in order to campaign for Labour to give fans more power. Its original manifesto was a motion put to Southampton City Council by our Chair, Councillor Andrew Pope (contact details below). The collaboration between Andrew Pope and colleagues Oliver Deed and Gerald Shamash developed into our official launch in 2013 at the House of Commons with prominent football MPs and former sports ministers like Andy Burnham, Gerry Sutcliffe and Clive Betts.
Councillor Andrew Pope (also New Forest East Labour Parliamentary Candidate)
Phone: 07580 715687 Twitter: @LabourFootball
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: https://labourfootball.wordpress.com/
[3 ] Gerald Shamash is Vice-Chair of Labour Friends of Football. He is also Chair of the very large fans group Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST). More details on Labour Friends of Football’s people, its structure and formation are available at https://labourfootball.wordpress.com – other contact details are as above.
[4 ] The objectives of Labour Friends of Football are in our Constitution, available in the FAQs on our website at https://labourfootball.wordpress.com/faqs-frequently-asked-questions/ . We believe that Labour’s policies show how effective we have been in achieving our objectives, and we will continue to promote them. The objectives are (the Group is Labour Friends of Football):
- To establish links between the Labour Party, the Group, national and local football supporters organisations, and other representative bodies within the football industry.
- To promote football within the Labour Party as a social activity and encourage support of the party within the football community;
- To promote greater supporter participation and influence within football clubs and the wider game and to provide a forum for discussion and debate and to influence the formulation of a progressive Labour Football policy.
- To promote greater debate on issues relating to football both within the Labour Party and nationally;
21st October 2014, Councillor Andrew Pope
Chair, Labour Friends of Football and Labour Parliamentary Candidate for New Forest East
(07580) 715687 email@example.com