Light At The End Of The Supporters Direct Tunnel

Two years ago, we reported from the Supporters Direct Annual Conference under the banner that the organisation was at a crossroads. At the time, the farcical state of affairs at Notts County, where the Supporters Trust had handed the keys to the club to a group claiming the backing of a group of multi-millionaires, was threatening to cast a pall over events. That situation played out in a story so extraordinary that even those of us that smelled a rat at the time could barely have predicted it, but if 2009 was a crossroads, then 2011’s annual conference might easily have been a train wreck. Events elsewhere, however, would ensure that this year’s annual conference would end with smiles around and the feeling that closure could be found after a few trying weeks. There was certainly a palpable sense of defiance in the air at The Queen Hotel in Chester yesterday, but there was a sense from Dame Pauline Green’s opening plenary was of defiance at the way in which the FSIF had acted in withdrawiing funding from the organisation after a “controversy” which had the feeling of having been manufactured with ulterior motives in mind. Indeed, for all the talk of the continuing progress that supporters trusts are making across the length and breadth of Britain (and increasingly beyond, these days), the warmest, most heartfelt round of applause...

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