Sheffield Wednesday Trust left 'disappointed' by club after manifesto plans leaked and alliance withdrawals

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The Sheffield Wednesday Supporters’ Trust has expressed disappointment in the club’s response to attempts to form a ‘fan alliance’.

It was explained that the SWST have been looking to put devise this alliance in order to bring various fan groups together and help map out a way forward that could create a better relationship between supporters and the club itself. They say they had ‘most of the larger groups’ involved in their talks - that also included local Member of Parliament, Clive Betts.

But they have also expressed, with regret, that those involved in both the Alliance and the club-run fan engagement panel were given an ultimatum by the club saying that they could not be involved in both. That has led to several withdrawals from some so that they can ‘ensure cooperation with the club’.

The statement, in full, read:

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“Earlier in the year, the Sheffield Wednesday Trust invited other fan groups to join us in forming an independent Wednesday Fan Alliance. This group would operate on an open-door policy to all groups that represent Sheffield Wednesday fans. Working with the Football Supporters Association (FSA) and a local MP, Clive Betts, we have been trying to develop a constructive, inclusive, and positive approach to putting the fans back at the centre of the club.

“The mission has been to amplify the collective voice to ensure the concerns, hopes, and aspirations of the fanbase are communicated vocally. Working with the FSA and Clive Betts, we intended to fully endorse the Independent Football Regulator (IFR) goals to promote financial soundness, transparency, accountability, integrity, and good club governance. The intention is to put the Wednesday Fan Alliance forward as the independent and representative voice of the fans in dealings with the IFR and club.

“Several very positive in-person meetings were held, with most of the larger groups engaged and active. A manifesto was created to communicate the groups' aims, and a press release was ready to announce this new initiative.

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“Unfortunately, the club was made aware of this in advance of publishing. They have since made it clear to several groups that it is incompatible with being members of both the club-run Engagement panel and the proposed Wednesday Fan Alliance.

“Many have withdrawn from the WFA to ensure cooperation with the club and that the support their members receive is continued. This is a disappointing response from the club, and we are seeking a dialogue to understand their concerns. The remaining groups feel that creating a smaller WFA is still viable and will seek to continue the work and release the Manifesto we had intended to announce jointly as a larger group. Hence, the wider fanbase is in the picture of what we hope to achieve.

“The group will still work on an open-door policy for all fan groups, and hopefully, soon, our fellow fan groups can join us again to deliver the excellent plans we were all working on once the IFR is brought into law.”

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