Fans not numbers

Values are important in football. To quote from an earlier post that I wrote: “I believe that it’s good for managers, players and fans to be grounded in the world outside football, with family, friends and values that keep them from being crushed by what happens on the pitch.” 

On Wednesday evening, I met a man who believes that values are also important in business. His name is Jaimie Fuller and he is the CEO of Skins sportswear company. He believes that it’s possible to build an international sports business that can make a difference and make a profit. For example, the company declared itself the first official non-sponsor of FIFA at a time when Sepp Blatter seemed untouchable and the resulting publicity persuaded official sponsors Coca Cola, Visa, McDonalds and Budweiser to demand change. Click here to see a video account of how humour, irony and mischief was used to achieve this.

I met Jaimie Fuller at one of the launch meetings for Skins latest campaign. This calls on fans to ask their Members of Parliament to get the government to give the Football Association the legal power to reform the game. There were also Blackpool and Coventry fans at the meeting, sharing their stories, which illustrated the ineffectiveness of the fit and proper person test for owners of football clubs.  The Fans Not Numbers campaign “is not about putting the boot in to the FA or any of the leagues. It’s about accepting that we have a problem and proposing a meaningful, comprehensive solution.”

If you are a Blues fan who doesn’t want your club to have another owner like Carson Yeung, click on the Fans Not Numbers link, put in your postcode to find your MP and send him/her a copy of the suggested email or write your own message asking for reform.  There are 24 million football fans; if we write, our MPs will listen. They want to get elected again.