Liverpool FC to introduce fans at board level in groundbreaking agreement

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Liverpool have confirmed that fans will now be represented on the club board in what is a hugely significant step following the fallout from the Super League. 

After the supporters union, Spirit of Shankly, held positive talks with the club, a formal agreement has been made to significantly improve the collaboration process.

It will see fan representatives introduced at board level to provide a supporters’ voice on fan issues and the decision-making process within the hierarchy of the club.

The consultation process will be enshrined in the club’s Articles of Association and a legally-binding memorandum of understanding between the club and the Official Liverpool Supporters Trust will be entered into.

The Supporters Board will hold regular meetings with the club and the chairman will be invited to attend main board meetings when strategic matters affecting fans arise.

A statement from Spirit of Shankly explains:

Spirit of Shankly met with representatives of Liverpool FC’s board on Tuesday 18 May 2021 to continue talks on the union’s four requests. We can now report the outcome – to be ratified by members.

A Supporters Board is to be established and written into the club’s regulations making it a legally binding agreement. SOS will be head of this board.

There will be a formal recognition agreement between SOS and LFC. This will become part of the club’s constitution so that if / when the ownership changes, this contract will remain in place.

SOS and FSG will collaborate to work with the government’s fan-led review to improve the future of the game.

FSG will meet any costs as a result of the European Super League, not LFC.

A representative of the Supporters Board will meet annually with LFC’s board of directors to consult on issues pertinent to fans. Outside of this, if an agreed consultation matter is to be discussed at an LFC board meeting, the chair of the Supporters Board will be present.

Supporters Board representatives will have a term of two years and be chosen as the result of a democratic vote.

As a recognised legal body, this determines that the Supporters Board led by SOS will have regular dialogue and input with LFC’s local directorship – those based in the UK – where decisions that directly affect us, the supporters, are made. We will have influence and the power to say yes or no, in effect a blocking mechanism on issues that matter most to fans, such as saying no to ESL or any future breakaway league. Unlike in Boston, where most talk surrounds FSG business and franchises, we will have a seat where football influence is strongest.

We can lead with fan-led proposals on subjects, such as ticketing, matchdays, diversity, and come to agreement on the outcome. Most importantly it ensures LFC’s board contractually has to consult with the fans.

The club’s owners will confirm this in a public declaration.

The details are still to be refined, but this is the basis of fan representation at LFC going forward.

The set-up of the Supporters Board means SOS, and affiliates, will have access to and influence on debate with allegiance to the club, not the ownership, and a final say on fan-led strategies. Like a union, there has to be mutual agreement before such a decision can be made.

The details are still to be refined, but this is the basis of fan representation at LFC going forward.

The set-up of the Supporters Board means SOS, and affiliates, will have access to and influence on debate with allegiance to the club, not the ownership, and a final say on fan-led strategies. Like a union, there has to be mutual agreement before such a decision can be made.

If we accept these proposals, and this will be down to our membership, we can maintain independence. After discussions of the past weeks, we believe this is a unique deal and recommend its acceptance. We see this as a chance to help shape the future of our club and put us at the forefront of changing football in general.

A club statement read:

“The development follows a series of recent meetings with the Official Liverpool Supporters Trust, Spirit of Shankly, and will see the creation of a new engagement model that enables deeper consultation with supporters on fan-facing strategic decisions.

“This consultation process will be enshrined in the club’s Articles of Association and a legally binding Memorandum of Understanding between the club and the Official Liverpool Supporters Trust will be entered into, thereby ensuring supporters input on fan issues via structured dialogue.

“The Supporters Board will be launched ahead of the new season and will be made up of a group of supporters that represent the club’s diverse fanbase.

“The Supporters Board will hold regular meetings with the club and the chair will be invited to attend LFC’s main board meetings when fan-facing strategic matters arise.”

FSG have grown accustomed to a u-turn or two and this would stop that in its tracks before any such apology needs to be issued in what is a major development for Liverpool’s future.

The fan representatives will be new faces on the board and have the capacity to veto during the decision-making process.

Further to this announcement, another of SOS’ requests in their talks with the club have been fulfilled and is to see any cost incurred by joining up and subsequently withdrawing from the Super League to be paid out of pocket by FSG, not the club.

It is a commitment that has already been made by the Kroenke family to Arsenal and is the right move as Liverpool’s fans, players and coaches should not be punished for the greed of the Super League reeked of.

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