Worry grows after demise of City supporters’ group
FANS CONCERNED CLUB COULD FALL FOUL OF EFL RULES WITHOUT PROPER REPRESENTATION
COVENTRY City has yet to replace a supporters’ group formed to provide fans with direct access to the board, almost a year after it was shut down.
The CCFC Supporters Consultative Group (SCG), which had members from several strands of the Sky Blue Army including the Sky Blue Trust, was wound up at the end of 2016.
It was a forum which allowed the club to regularly meet with fans and fulfil its obligations under the EFL’s rules on supporter consultation and engagement.
But, with no replacement for the SCG announced, some fans have raised concerns that the club could fall foul of the EFL’s rules if the situation is not addressed soon.
A source at the EFL recently told the Telegraph the governing body was monitoring the situation, but was happy the club fulfilled its obligations for the past season.
According to the EFL website: “Clubs are required to meet with a representative group of supporters at least twice a season to discuss significant issues relating to the club.
“The framework for each club’s specific consultation strategy is to be documented within its customer charter.”
It adds: “EFL regulations require clubs to appoint a Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO).
“Their role is principally to ensure proper and constructive discourse between a club and its supporters.
“Working with both Supporters Direct and the Football Supporters’ Federation, the EFL provides guidance and support for all member clubs and their SLOs, to encourage greater consultation and engagement with all stakeholders across the game.” The club previously used the SCG to meet its obligations under the EFL’s rules.
In a statement on its website, dated June 14, 2016, it said: “The Sky Blues have exceeded the new minimum requirement set by the EFL for quite some time, with the club currently holding bimonthly meetings with the Coventry City Supporters Consultative Group (SCG).”
It is understood Coventry City chairman Tim Fisher is leading on the organisation of a replacement for the disbanded SCG.
Despite repeated requests from the Telegraph, the club has not provided an official update on the status of any replacement group or forum – or who would be involved.
In a statement mentioning supporter engagement last week, it said: “The club continues to strive to build relationships with supporters groups including the Sky Blue Trust, the board of which enjoyed a positive first meeting with club chief executive Dave Boddy recently.
“We look forward to further such meetings, and continuing to make arrangements with the Trust for Manager Mark Robins to appear at a forthcoming open meeting alongside maintaining dialogue on other issues and improvements we can make by working together.”
Prior to its demise, the SCG was troubled by in-fighting, rows over alleged changes to minutes, resignations and accusations of bullying.
It had also come under fire from some fans over concerns it did not accurately reflect the concerns of supporters.
The Sky Blue Trust labelled the SCG as “ineffective” following the last stormy meeting. In a statement, the fan trust said: “The SCG as it stands is not fit for purpose. We therefore urge those responsible to embrace the need for change, to offer proper representation and to set aside egos and personal aspiration in putting supporters first.”
A large portion of the final meeting minutes are dominated by bitter arguments and criticism of various fans’ groups and organisations.
But the group also went on to discuss issues including why season tickets had been confiscated and the availability of funds to any new manger in January 2017.