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YBIG Mandate - Statement following FAI EGM 28/3/21

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Jack Charlton
Jack Charlton

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Drumcondra 69er Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Mar 2021 at 8:46pm
The results of the Return to Stadia surney were published today and are below for anyone interested. 

Thanks to all who responded.

Fans Back Protocols to Allow for Return to Stadia

Irish football supporters are anxious to return to grounds across the country as soon as possible and the overwhelming majority will adhere to Covid-19 public health guidance in order to do so, a survey has found. Supporters listed financial support of their club, football being their main pastime, and football as a key social outlet as the top motivations behind their desire to return.

On the eve of the new League of Ireland season, a total of 1,826 football supporters responded to a survey led by the Irish Supporters Network (ISN), and supported by their colleagues in the Irish Football Supporters Partnership (IFSP), the Confederation of Republic of Ireland Supporters Clubs (CRISC) and YBIG Independent Supporters Mandate. The IFSP has had two representatives on FAI Council since July 2019 and works to ensure that all fans have a voice within the association’s structures.

Of the supporters that managed to attend a League of Ireland fixture in the second half of 2020, there was strong praise for the efforts of clubs as well as their staff and volunteers in making fixtures safe, well organised and also welcoming those that could attend. 95% of respondents identified with a League of Ireland club from across the Premier and First Divisions. 

Re-opening football

Asked when they would like to return to watching live football, 71.5% said they would seek to return “as soon as possible”, ahead of “when there are no restrictions on gate numbers” (9.8%) and “when Covid is no longer an issue at all” (9.7%).

Asked if they were willing to adhere to public health guidance and stadium protocols in order to facilitate a limited return when it is safe to do so, a huge majority (98.7%) of respondents answered ‘Yes’. In addition, 89.3% of respondents pledged to publicly support an awareness campaign aimed at promoting public health guidance amongst the wider football community if it helped to re-open/keep football open to supporters in the coming months.

Irish football’s financial dependency on supporters was highlighted once again when respondents were asked why they wanted to return to stadia as soon as possible. The most popular ‘Priority 1’ was financial support for clubs and teams. The social and community element of football also shone through too, with the second and third most popular choices being: Football is my main pastime and It’s a social outlet for me.

On measures that would encourage supporters to return to grounds once it’s safe to do so, masks were seen as an important consideration:

  • A requirement to wear a mask around the ground (71.3%)

  • Phased exit (59.4%)

  • Being able to attend with the people I normally go with (57.9%)

  • Assigned seating (56.1%)

Just over a quarter of respondents had the opportunity to attend a League of Ireland fixture after grounds opened up again with limited capacity last summer. The vast majority that had this opportunity felt the guidance and instructions provided were ‘Very clear’ and, when asked to share additional feedback, comments strongly commended clubs for their work in ensuring games were safe and followed protocols. Some of these comments are included below.

In a further demonstration of supporters’ loyalty, 36.3% of respondents are still willing to purchase season tickets despite the uncertainty around timelines for supporters returning. Slightly less (35%) said they would prefer individual tickets for specific matches, with entry included in club membership (11.5%) third.

“Everyone involved in League of Ireland football is anxious to have supporters back in grounds once it’s safe for them to return, and the survey findings include lots of useful information that can help inform preparations in the coming months. The vast majority of supporters want to return as soon as they possibly can and are hugely supportive of any public health guidance and the stadia protocols that will allow that to happen,” Niamh O’Mahony, Secretary of the Irish Supporters Network (ISN), said. 

“The reasons why are also important to highlight - fans think about their clubs’ finances, football being their main pastime and football being a social outlet. That sense of community and belonging is key. The League of Ireland is underpinned by the dedication of supporters and volunteers and, as one respondent said, fans and passion drive this league more than anything else. That same passion has been largely missing from grounds for the last 12 months.

“Feedback from the games in the second half of 2020 was really positive in terms of the clubs implementing public health measures and ensuring fixtures were run in a safe and organised manner. ISN, CRISC and YBIG Mandate have been meeting with the FAI regularly on this issue to ensure the voice of supporters is heard and taken into account in the ongoing Return to Stadia work. The data also speaks for itself - not a single Covid-19 outbreak was linked to League of Ireland games or training in 2020, and clubs, volunteers and supporters can all take credit for that.”

For further detail on the survey findings or further information, email: 



YBIG Mandate: 

Edited by Drumcondra 69er - 11 Mar 2021 at 8:49pm
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Jack Charlton
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Drumcondra 69er Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2021 at 5:39pm
To all members,

We hope this mail finds you and all your families safe and well as we pass through yet another international window that saw us unable to give our support to the team in Belgrade or Dublin.

While hopefully there are better times ahead, both in terms or getting back into grounds and results, our work in relation to the governance reform process within the FAI has continued throughout lockdown.

The latest stage of this saw an EGM held online yesterday during which a number of changes were voted through, the main one being the approval of the new FAI Constitution, giving rise to the disbandment of the FAI Council and AGM groups which have been replaced by a new General Assembly.

Although YBIG Mandate believe there are positive changes involved, such as the tightening up of the constitution itself and the rule detailed in the Memorandum of Understanding that sets a ten-year term-limit (including time served) as the maximum anyone can sit on the new body, and, along with our colleagues in the Irish Football Supporters Partnership (CRISC and Irish Supporters Network), agreed to support the motion, all three groups have serious concerns over the manner in which the process was handled.

To provide some context, following the Governance Review Group report in 2019, supporters were awarded two seats on FAI Council and two committee seats, one on the International and High Performance Committee and the other on the Club & League Development Committee. This representation was conditional on an umbrella organisation being founded to cover ourselves and the other two supporters groups who submitted to the GRG, CRISC and ISN. To meet this condition, the Irish Football Supporters Partnership (IFSP) was formed and we have been working well together since.

After being made aware that changes to governance structures were coming, IFSP contacted the FAI at the end of October requesting a meeting to put forward some proposals we had been considering, Despite an acknowledgement, no further contact regarding a meeting was forthcoming and after sending a second request in a month later, we were informed that a briefing on the changes would be held the following week

In early December, we attended that FAI briefing during which the proposals for the new General Assembly were shared. Within those proposals, supporters were allocated two seats out of the 131 Assembly seats being proposed. The International and High Performance Committee seat was retained and a second committee seat on a new National Football Leagues’ Committee was allocated as the Club & League Development Committee was to be disbanded. At that briefing we were assured that written submissions for changes would be welcomed and that a chance to present those submissions to the FAI would be accommodated.

Given the changes meant we were moving from a situation where supporters had two seats on a Council of 79 to one where we had two in a proposed General Assembly of 131, a significant proportional reduction, we requested that an additional seat be allocated to supporters. This would also have meant that all three groups in the IFSP would have a General Assembly seat.

In making that request, the IFSP prepared a detailed submission in which we also raised queries about our move from the 'Special Interest' constituency which we had been part of, into the new "Professional Chamber", which impacts on the supporters' path to potential board representation, and some additional points regarding term limits and gender balance. When we sent that in on December 12th, we highlighted that we were still looking forward to the opportunity to meet and present our proposal.

Despite a number of reminders, a consultation meeting was never scheduled. On February 13th, we received a letter from the FAI stating that our request for an additional seat had been denied and not only that, the proposal for a supporters seat on the Club & League Development Committee had been withdrawn, halving the number of committee seats assigned to supporters by the GRG process.

We issued a further written response on February 24th, once again requesting to reopen these discussions and give the process due diligence. Once again, following an initial acknowledgement, no further contact was forthcoming until a letter from the FAI on March 23rd denying our request. This is despite 10 additional General Assembly seats being created and allocated elsewhere since the original pressentation, bringing the total to 141.

At the EGM yesterday, the IFSP read the below statement in order for it to be noted on the record.

"On behalf of the three supporters organisations that make up the Irish Football Supporters Partnership, we want to express our strong disappointment at how this consultation process has progressed.

We highlighted the pandemic would likely impact the format of discussions last Autumn but were assured at the time that full consultation would still be possible and was also a priority for the working group.

We’re not doubting the work & effort put in, but consultation is not being invited to a presentation, spending time preparing a detailed written response and, having been assured we would have the opportunity to present said response, then being informed of changes without any further dialogue or a detailed explanation until we pressed for it.

Bringing members on the governance journey, particularly within membership organisations, is not optional. It’s essential to ensure the long-term success of what’s being done.

The vast majority of people involved in Irish football are well aware that significant change is needed but it also needs to be the right kind of change, change that will deliver a meaningful cultural shift within this organisation."

From a Mandate perspective, it is our belief that in efforts to bring about the reform that the association badly needs, taking the correct path is as important as the final destination. It is not our belief that the steps taken on this process did so.

We will continue to work on your behalf on the supporters agenda and for the betterment of the game in Ireland and will advise you on how we will manage the impact of the changes voted in yesterday in due course.

Thank you for your continued support.

YBIG Independent Supporters Mandate Committee

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