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AGM - Agenda and Proposals

Our AGM will take place this Saturday, starting at 12 noon, upstairs in The Cabbage Hall Pub, Breck Road. Our agenda can now be viewed below and in the document at the foot of this page. Copies will be made available on the day for those who attend. 

There is plenty to discuss on the agenda, which will contribute to the future work of the union and how we can continue to work on behalf of our members and by wider extension, supporters of LFC. We expect there will be attention paid to several of the proposals, most like the proposal on rail seating. We would like to make clear that this proposal is about whether we should have a position on rail seating, not yet what that position should be. We have, out of courtesy notified both the Hillsborough Justice Campaign and the Hillsborough Family Support Group of this proposal and what it means. They will of course, if it is decided to have a position on standing, be afforded the appropriate opportunity to contribute to the debate that follows. 

We hope you can attend and look forward to seeing you on Saturday. 

 Annual General Meeting of the Liverpool Supporters’ Union

12 noon – 2pm, 24th September 2016
The Cabbage Hall Pub, Breck Road, Liverpool
 
Agenda

1. Welcome
2. Apologies
3. Annual Report
4. Financial Report (To be circulated on the day and uploaded afterwards)
5. Proposals for discussion and voting – Found below (During and after meeting online)
6. Any Other Business
 
Proposals
 
The Management Committee has the following proposals to put before the AGM. They are all formally proposed by the Chair and seconded by the Treasurer (other than those indicated):
 
Proposal 1 - Management Committee
 
That the AGM ratify the appointment of the following to the LSU Management Committee, following the nominations received to stand:
Jay McKenna
Graham Smith (New)
Stephen Monaghan
Anna Burgess
Steph Jones
Peter Hooton
Jackie Taylor
Jon-Paul Hill
Goronwy Brookes (New)
Joe Blott (New)
Ian Byrne
Phil Rowan
Roy Bentham
Tommy Keiner
 
Proposal 2 - Recording of Thanks
 
That the AGM acknowledge the service and time given by the following on the LSU Management Committee and record a message of thanks from this meeting:
Kieth Culvin
Daniel Nicolson
Mark McLaren
Peter Furmedge
 
Proposal 3 - Annual Accounts
 
That the Annual Accounts placed before the AGM are approved
 
Proposal 4 - Auditing
 
That pursuant to Rule 60, and upon the Treasurer certifying that the union falls below the statutory audit exemption rules that no audit is required of the Union’s accounts that have been placed before the AGM.

Proposal 5 - Charity Nominations
 
The AGM should note that as an organisation we have been asked to support various charity activities and fundraising over the years since our inception. Most notable would the fundraising undertaken for SPLOSH, the charity set up by our late Chair Paul Rice. 
 
The Management Committee wishes to define our support for such activities, with a recommendation to be approved. This is:
 
That each year, LSU would support two (2) charities, to be decided following an open nomination process for one (1) month after the AGM is held. Members will be welcomed to nominate charities, for support of up to five hundred pounds (£500) per charity. The Management Committee will review nominations and make a decision on which two (2) to support. These charities will be our charities of choice for the year. This does not exclude LSU from supporting other activities or fundraising throughout the year, as approved by the Management Committee. 
 
This AGM is asked to approve this.
 
Proposal 6 - Terms and Conditions
 
Earlier this year, LSU worked with supporters group ‘Spion Kop 1906’ and the LFC Supporters’ Committee, to ensure a fair and adequate process was in place for supporters who faced having their ticket rights (including season ticket, membership or access to the ground) restricted or removed. LSU has over the years assisted many supporters who have found themselves on the receiving end of arbitrary decisions, made without their input. We have provided representation and in many cases assisted supporters in having these restrictions lifted or removal overturned, where it was subsequently found that the individual(s) had in fact done little wrong, nothing wrong or had made an honest mistake.
 
We worked with the club and asked for them to make clear that supporters would have a right to challenge any decision, to be represented, and that unless in the case of serious issues, the supporter could still attend matches whilst a decision was made. The club agreed to this. 
 
However, as yet, the club has not published these in its terms and conditions for supporters who find themselves dealing with such matters as they occur. 
 
This AGM calls on the club to implement the changes that were discussed and agreed and to work with LSU to ensure the process remains fair and transparent and past experiences can be learnt from. 
 
Proposal 7 - Supporter Engagement
 
LSU has, over the years, engaged with the football club, club officials and from time to time, club owners to address issues and concerns for our members and by extension, supporters of the football club. This has ranged from the club’s ownership and structures, through to most recently ticket prices, with many in between. 
 
Similarly, we have engaged with the football authorities, including the Premier League, the FA and UEFA, to represent our members and supporters on issues including changes to governance of football clubs, ticket prices (which includes the successful campaign to cap away ticket prices), ticket allocations and the issues that have arisen from the locations of European finals.
 
What should be noted is that this ‘engagement’ has not always been welcomed or reciprocated. There is a clear need to improve this, for both the benefit of the supporters and indeed the football club and future of the sport. 
 
The government recently announced proposals as part of the Expert Working Group covering supporter engagement, which is a welcome step in the right direction but does not go far enough.
 
Recently we met with the Premier League officials, alongside representatives from other groups, in the first of a series of twice-yearly meetings. However, concerns about the terms of engagement remain. There were barriers to the Premier League acting on issues raised, as they stated it required club support. There were concerns about the make-up of club representatives at the meeting, which included in some instances fanzine representative. The Premier League’s own rule on what constitutes engagement and who indeed clubs should engage with is intentionally vague, allowing for the clubs to choose who they engage with, that doesn’t have any requirement for listening and even includes the club using questionnaires and surveys. 
 
This for us leads to questions about how clubs might claim to be doing this, not listening and refusing to engage with organisations such as LSU. 
 
Alongside this, LFC has recently announced that it intends to review its own engagement with supporters, including the operation of their own Supporters Committee.
 
Supporters Trusts are constituted, industrial and provident society members, members of the financial conduct authority and must have a paying membership. They also have open and transparent democratic processes.
 
Therefore, this AGM calls for:
 
1. That national supporter organisations work to establish recognised supporters groups and ultimately supporter trusts at each club, so that they can be an independent, representative and constituted body representing supporters.
 
2. That the relevant authorities recognise the importance of such groups and trusts and where necessary engages in the first instance with supporter trusts - the bodies supported by and instigated by Supporters Direct, a government founded and backed initiative - for the reasons set out in this proposal.
 
3. That there is a review of the rule on supporter engagement, to be more explicit, and that this review includes supporter trusts, and is not just limited to the football clubs as Premier League members. 
 
4. That LFC involves LSU in its review of supporter engagement.
 
5. That LSU should be recognised by LFC as the supporters trust for LFC supporters and as such recognises us formally in their engagement with supporters. 
 
Proposal 8 - Rail seating at football matches
 
LSU notes that the debate on standing at football matches has persisted for many years, since the adoption of the recommendations in the Lord Justice Taylor report.
 
There have been ongoing campaigns for the implementation of ‘rail seating’ at football grounds, similar to those often found in Germany. This has been alongside ongoing debate about supporters who currently stand in seated areas. It should be recognised and acknowledged that this occurs. 
 
LSU has never formally adopted a position on ‘rail seating’ ‘safe standing’ or these matters by whichever name it goes by. 
 
The debate, in recent months has moved on, following the implementation of rail seating at Celtic and with football clubs openly discussing the idea. Supporters at other clubs are actively campaigning for the introduction of rail seating.
 
Whilst LSU recognises that opinion amongst our fan base is divided, with supporters and Hillsborough campaigners and groups on both sides of the debate, our stance and opinion on such matters should be one directed by our members.
 
This proposal is not to state what position we should have, but that we need agreement on whether we should adopt a position. If it is agreed that we should have a position, we will start a period of consultation and debate with members and supporters, with all afforded an opportunity to express their opinion, before putting this to the vote. 
 
Therefore we ask this AGM:
 
Should the LSU adopt a position on rail seating and embark on a period of consultation and engagement with supporters to determine what that position is?
 
Proposal 9 - Ticket Pricing
 
This AGM recognises the campaigning and lobbying work that has taken place in recent years on ticket prices. This has culminated in two significant successes, led by Liverpool supporters of which the LSU has played an important role. These are:
 
1. Away Ticket Price cap of £30 for all league matches. This will save LFC supporters approximately £300+ per season.
 
2. A reversal on LFC’s plans to increase ticket prices and ticket revenue for the present season, saving many supporters in excess of £250 per season.
 
Neither of these would have been achieved without the hard work of supporters and the proactive stance taken by this union. Our campaigning on away ticket prices was nationally recognised, as was our response to LFC, culminating in #WalkOutOn77, which forced the change on ticket price plans.
 
However now is the time for us to consider what next? Whilst the away ticket price issues have been largely put to bed for the foreseeable future, there is more to be done on prices at Anfield. We acknowledge the positive steps the club have taken; £9 tickets, local sales, donating tickets to schools. Yet on pricing as a whole, the club is yet to be convinced that there is a need for reductions on ticket prices for supporters. 
 
We believe that there is a need to reduce prices and that now, at times of such growing wealth and revenues in the game, there is a perfect opportunity to do so. LFC should embark upon a journey, to reduce prices over time, making it more affordable and accessible. This would reward the loyalty of supporters who contribute so much to the club. This would address other issues which are impacted by ticket prices, including atmosphere and getting more youngsters to carry on their support.
 
There are benefits to lower ticket prices for the football club, beyond numbers on a spreadsheet.
 
Therefore this AGM calls on LFC to enter into meaningful engagement with LSU, similar to the Ticket Working Group last season, to begin the process of lowering ticket prices further. This AGM believes that ticket prices should be closer to the £30 away ticket price. Ahead of any conversations, LSU will consult with supporters on proposed ticket prices.


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