A taster from the Football Supporters’ Federation’s email inbox: “I would be very interested to know what the FSF's view is on the advertising of short-term ‘payday’ loan companies to supporters?” asks Northampton Town fan Bob Ward.
Arsenal fan Tim Leffman also contacted us to say that he finds moving advertising hoardings “unreasonably intrusive” and asks is there's a campaign against their use?
From an FSF perspective the answer to both queries is that we have no policy on either issue and, by default, do not oppose short-term loan companies advertising to fans or moving advertising hoardings. There is no campaign that we're aware of on the subject of moving advertising hoardings.
They’re not issues that fans regularly contact the FSF on and, as we exist to reflect our members’ views in a democratic manner, we could not campaign or comment on them at present - but that doesn't mean we never could. [Editor's note - since this article was posted the issue of Pay Day Lenders has received much attention and Bob's motion opposing them was passed at the 2012 AGM.]
Fans care about a huge range of issues and members can set FSF policy via motions at our annual conference. Any FSF appearances in the media, or stories on the news section of our website, try to fairly reflect these democratically-set, core beliefs.
So if you’ve ever thought, “Why doesn’t the FSF campaign for X, Y, and Z?” or have been infuriated by something we’ve said, the answer is simple – propose your “motion”, come along to our annual conference, and argue its merits. Your idea will either succeed, and be taken on as official FSF policy, or fail, and be voted against by your fellow fans. But if your brainwave is rejected fear not, you won’t be pelted with rotten tomatoes. Well, not unless it’s a really, really terrible idea…
How do I submit a motion?
You must be a member to submit a motion but fear not, it’s free to join the FSF from this link. To be accepted for debate, motions must have both a proposer and seconder, and both will be invited to speak on the matter. So it’s important you engage a fellow fan or head to an FSF divisional meeting and gather support there (see divisional contacts, left).
Any motion should express, in the simplest form possible, what it is seeking to achieve, and set out the current situation in relation to that issue – you can expand on specific points in your short speech. You should also think about what practical measures the FSF could take to implement your idea. The most utopian and well-meaning ideal might be rejected if it’s deemed to be pie-in-the-sky by your fellow members.
The deadline for receipt of motions is two months before the annual conference. The reason that we ask for motions in advance is to avoid identical motions, to circulate information to members in a timely fashion, and to avoid spurious nonsense taking up time on the day. You might think it’s a disgrace that Wagon Wheels aren't served at your stadium, but this ain’t the stage for that debate.