By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Nov 12 2019 09:43PM

We have come round to that period in the year when we make preparations for putting on our Fans’ Forum and AGM which is scheduled for early December or in January of next year.

The great news is we have City veteran and Chief Exec of Bradford City Community Foundation, Ian ‘big stix’ Ormondroyd who has agreed to a be a guest speaker to our Fans Forum but we have to confirm a date before we can guarantee this. We will give you notice of a date as soon as we can.

The AGM or Annual General Meeting, is the main fixture in the year when we meet and consult you the members, reaching democratic decisions about how best we can take the Trust forward. Linked to this we can also confirm that we are in the process of putting out a major consultation via ‘Survey Monkey’ on a whole range of issues, ranging from cost to membership and benefits to campaigns and what your interests are. In this consultation exercise we also want your ideas on how best we can communicate with you and you best you can get involved with us. We want members interested in getting on our Trust Board that meets monthly. Click here to contact us and find out more about getting involved.

By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Nov 11 2019 11:28PM

The Football Supporters’ Association is pleased to announce the shortlists for the 2019 FSA Awards in association with BeGambleAware – voting is open now, and fans can back their favourites here. One hundred and nine shortlisted candidates will battle it out across 18 categories, recognising everything from the best players of 2019 to the best away days and fanzines.

Members can vote and find out more by clicking on the FSA link here.

By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Nov 11 2019 11:12PM

The Trust is part of the Supporters Board that meets the Clubs senior officers on a monthly basis – we have a structured dialogue in place here which also has a Terms of Reference – this is about what can be discussed and the structure of the group and meetings. We currently have a more direct channel of communication with the Club in the form of regular informal meetings, and since both sets of meetings have been on a regular basis, since the beginning of the year, we are pleased to report that they are very productive and the atmosphere is very positive. We do not agree on everything but we are not shy about giving praise when we feel that there is a good proposal from the Club and by the same token we can give supportive constructive criticism. Therefore we believe the Trust is in a much stronger and respected position in our relationship with our Football Club.

By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Nov 11 2019 10:57PM

In August BCST among other supporters groups in the West Yorkshire area were invited to an Independent Advisory Group Jointly set up by West Yorkshire Police and FSA. The intention of this group is to consult and discuss a variety of issues that are predominantly about match day issues.

These can be issues such as parking up in and around the grounds, issues relating to Supporters Coaches and away fan travel to the match day experience before during and after, and relate to how the Police deal with incidents, and we discuss how we can take things forward, learning from previous experiences. These meetings are on a monthly basis.

Incidents that have been brought to the attention of this forum have been pitch invasions, flairs, the filming of fans as they enter some football grounds and incidents of racism. Recently ahead of our home fixture we had an incident where so-called City fans were taunting a 67 year old black man – a fellow city fan also making his way to the ground, with monkey noises. Understandably, there is pressure to ban fans causing anti-social, and discriminatory behaviour. The EFL and member clubs have to be seen having a tough stance and clubs face fines for such behaviour. The discussions have led to debate other forms of punishment especially aimed at young people who maybe influenced towards criminality such as various forms of education, such as community work and attending meaningful training that can provide a toolkit that will allow a young person to be more self aware whilst at the same time provide social and employment / training opportunities. See the FSA link ‘Giving Education a chance’ here

Bans and lifetime bans are really a short-term sticking plaster that don’t address the issue that racism or any other form of discrimination and anti social behaviour is a social product of alienation and being marginalised. The option of training does not have all the answers either but it can potentially change the direction of youngsters in the here and now if it is meaningful. The racist monkey chants have evidently come from the media’s high profile reports of English Black players being taunted in stadiums in Eastern Europe, whether it’s the England team or Clubs in Europe, and even at home including on social media.

A real answer that would cut across racism and other malignant social problems would be a huge investment in jobs, homes and public services for all which would see a real rise in living standards for the many, but that won’t happen on its own, we as football fans and as members of society, in our workplaces and communities can fight to make that happen.

The Police authorities have to make cuts to their budgets, that means, it will impact on their resources when it comes to their match-day operations. What this means in real terms now is that they have been looking at ways that they hope they’ll be more effective with less – and this is by being more community facing and being seen to support communities and supporters’ events and having a low key visual presence where they see fit. They themselves note that a high visual presence where officers have been ‘tooled up’, in perceived ‘high risk’ fixtures have had the opposite effect to being a deterrent.

In the face of the Police efficiency savings, a new research-led crowd management project called ENABLE is currently being run by Keele University and the EFL that could help transform the way in which future matches are policed and stewarded. The project will be a collaboration between the police forces, Clubs, the EFL and FSA. To see more about this please click here.

By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Nov 11 2019 10:25PM

On the 10th of August the Bantams travelled to Cleethorpes for their first away fixture of the season at Blundell Park. Grimsby Town had completely sold out its 1,800 capacity to traveling City fans in this 1 – 1 draw. But the incident we are highlighting was not the events on the pitch unfortunately but in the away section of the ground. The ground was teaming with police, but less so was the number of stewards at that end who were struggling to control the crowd.

What occurred during our goal celebration was fans standing in the exit isles falling into supporters in the disabled section. This was raised at a recent Supporters Board meeting, and it was felt that it would be helpful to write to Crewe Alexandra’s Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO) to ask about preparations regarding their away disability section in advance of our away trip to Gresty Road. There was no response.

However, we learned to hear from Port Vale Supporters Club (PVSC) that fans of Port Vale upon their travels to Blundell Park on the 24th August had issues with the stewards as well. At least 3 fans were ejected from the stadium on match day without justifiable cause. Two youths and one lady were removed from the stadium for gesturing to the home fans, who were doing the same to them. The ejection of two young men it is believed were ejected for gesturing at fans in the home disability section of the ground. We as in BCST and PVSB decided to write jointly to Grimsby Town, describing our experiences and putting forward suggestions we would like to put forward in the hope to improve the match day experience for visiting teams throughout the rest of the season.

We will report if anything comes back.

Our joint suggested proposals are:

a) A review of the training received by stewards with reference

safety issues caused by standing in stairways

attitude to away fans and their role in making a pleasant match day experience

b) A review of the risk assessment of away disability stand, particularly where a large away

following is expected.

c) A review of the area of the stand used for away fans particularly how close to home disability

stand and the view offered to away fans.

For further reading on the FSA's 9 point plan to improve stewarding click here

By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Nov 11 2019 10:08PM

On Thursday 19th September our EFL League 1 and 2 Network met, and elected Manny Dominguez from the Bradford City Supporters Trust as the Network’s third representative on the FSA’s National Council.

Manny sits alongside Antony Wilkinson (Blackpool Supporters’ Trust) and Roger Ellis (Sky Blue Trust) representing supporters in EFL Leagues 1 and 2.

Manny said: “I’m really looking forward to representing League One and Two fans, fighting for a better deal on all fronts, especially on affordable football for all and having a genuine choice to stand or sit with the availability of rail seating/safe standing.”

The EFL League 1 and 2 Network also sat with the FSA’s Championship Network to debate a range of important issues including clubs in crisis, away day pricing, standing, flexible rail tickets, the implications of a mooted European Super League on the EFL, and more.

The results of those discussions will be taken to our formal EFL Supporter Engagement meeting where fan representatives discuss key matters with EFL executives. That meeting is scheduled to take place in early December. You can see this article on the FSA website here.

You can see Manny's Supporting Statement below.