Six months on from receiving approval for European Commission funding, Friends of the Rebel Army Society (FORAS), owners of Cork City FC, joined eight other partners and Supporters Direct at the inaugural steering committee meeting of the ‘Improving Football Governance through Supporter Involvement and Community Ownership’ project in London last weekend.
FORAS has been working with Supporters Direct for over three years and will co-ordinate Irish involvement in the project over the next 14 months. A working group, led by Project Manager Niamh O’Mahony, will be established in the coming weeks and will look to get members, supporters and interested stakeholders from outside the club involved.
A Needs Analysis survey of the current situation across Europe will be conducted over the coming months, after which the Irish working group will run a national workshop to focus on local governance and ownership issues as well as sharing invaluable experiences from the recent past.
The project will produce a unique toolkit for each partner’s country, with the aim of providing a resource document for any supporters’ Trust/group or mutually-owned club seeking to improve governance within their own organisation. The development of a national support network of organisations in Ireland is also a key objective.
Findings from each participating country will feed into the project’s final report, which will be launched in the UK and at a Supporters Direct event at the European Parliament in Brussels next summer. The report will provide a benchmark for future developments in good governance, policy development and research under the Preparatory Action in the Field of Sport (EAC/18/2011).
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