DAFC Supporters' Council AnnouncedSaturday, 18th Jan 2014
The Supporters' Council is a key part of Dunfermline Athletic's new governance model
The Supporters' Council is a key part of Dunfermline Athletic's new governance model, it has been designed to give all fans a meaningful voice, and all fans are invited to participate.
The inaugural meeting will be in the Kingdom Suite, East End Park, on Monday, 17 February, 2014. The meeting will start at 7pm and we will be providing additional details and publicity over the next few weeks.
DAFC Governance Model
As you can see above the Supporters' Council and the Patrons' Council both sit alongside and interact with the Board of DAFC and are responsible for representing the views of both supporters and patrons respectively, as well as representing Dunfermline Athletic as a whole to the wider world.
The aims of the Supporters' Council are simple:
1. To give all fans a meaningful voice
2. To give the club ambassadors who can represent and promote DAFC
Together we are DAFC
Together we are DAFC is not just a truism, although it is true as we, the fans, did buy the club and we did it together. It's not simply a slogan. It's actually more of an ongoing objective, something we need to work at, achieve over time, and continue to work at. Yes, there's work to be done and the Supporters' Council has a crucial role in making the club work well and in achieving the success we all desire.
You've probably all seen this before, although highlighting again that Pars United is more than just a vehicle to buy Dunfermline Athletic is no bad thing.
Since April 2013 Pars United has been an inclusive, umbrella fans' group working together to build a sustainable community club, whilst promoting unity and fan participation. Pars fans or not, any individual, group, organisation, company, or club, working for the wellbeing of DAFC can be part of Pars United if they want to be. As an organic organisation, it is hoped that Pars United will evolve, grow and gain widespread support from people who believe in community-owned football clubs.
Some of us in Pars United have official roles and official titles within DAFC, and a responsibility to speak and act on behalf of the club in an official capacity. Some of us do the same for the wider Pars United movement. However, ultimately we are all Pars United if we want to be. We can all play a role in running and helping the club if we choose to do so. We can all commit as much or as little time and money as we can afford and all contributions are welcome, both time and money.
Effective and meaningful consultation is a top priority and it works both ways.
Those of us in Pars United acting and speaking officially need to consult with and ask for help and advice from those of us in Pars United who are not so heavily involved on a daily basis. It is also the case that to have a functioning community club everyone in that community must have a meaningful voice. We simply couldn't claim to be a community club without a community of fans participating.
The Supporters' Council is just one of many ways in which fans can contribute and have a say.
The Supporters' Council is to be based on an individual membership. It is to be all about your own personal relationship with DAFC and your own personal views.
Democratic decisions will be on a 'one member, one vote' basis. This will apply at all meetings and votes taken amongst any or all members, including secure members-only online polling should we create appropriate technology. Therefore, to ensure that votes are representative we will need all members to register and be included on a new membership roll.
The new membership roll has the added advantage of being a potential starting point for an official Dunfermline Athletic membership scheme, an initiative given a high priority at the recent Ideas Forum, which was open to all fans. The idea of having official DAFC members will be discussed at a forthcoming Ideas Programme scoping group, and it may be both age-specific and free. It is likely that a Supporters' Council membership and any official DAFC membership will be one and the same. In other words, if you sign-up for the Supporters' Council now you will automatically be registered as an official DAFC member should the scheme go ahead.
Supporters' Clubs & Groups
We will ask everyone to leave their supporters' clubs and groups at the door of the Supporters' Council and come together as individuals.
We absolutely believe in supporters' clubs and groups and we will promote our various supporters' organisations at every opportunity, including any reinvention of a federation of supporters' clubs. However, we want to create a fresh network of individuals across a wide variety of places, focused on communities - whether near or far - and building community relations with local schools, charities, community groups, community councils, companies, organisations, pubs and clubs.
In short, a community-based approach for a genuine community club.
In addition to the main, all-encompassing Supporters' Council meeting at East End Park on Monday, 17 February, we intend to take the club out to the communities in a series of local Supporters' Council meetings. Again this was a popular idea from the Ideas Forum.
Today we are delighted to announce that Marvyn Stewart, one of many fans who helped to formulate the Supporters' Council, has kindly offered to host the first local gathering in Cairneyhill. It will be in The Maltings, Cairneyhill, on Tuesday, 11 March, 2014. The meeting will start at 7.30pm and Pars fans from Cairneyhill, Crossford, and the surrounding areas are cordially invited.
We hope all Dunfermline Athletic fans will register for the Supporters' Council and any future official DAFC members scheme.
By far the easiest way to register is online, although we will make paper forms available. The online registration process will be up and running and publicised shortly.
Inclusivity is one of our new DAFC values. It's hugely important.
As you would expect the Supporters' Council will be fully inclusive; all fans are invited to join and all fans should join. This includes board members, patrons, employees, and members of all of our supporters' clubs and groups. We understand that patrons and supporters' organisations with a patron's share can participate in the Patrons' Council. All we ask is for anyone holding an official position to declare an interest whenever appropriate.
Please remember that the Supporters' Council will be based on individual participation and we hope to build a network around geographic communities of Pars fans.
Membership will be formal but free, so there will be no monetary barrier to joining.
We hope to legislate specifically to include young fans in both the Supporters' Council and any official DAFC membership scheme.
Like Pars United and the Ideas Programme, the Supporters' Council and any associated official DAFC membership scheme will be organic, growing and evolving over time. The inpiduals involved can contribute in different ways to suit their own personal preferences and their own time constraints. It will really be up to the individuals participating to shape the organisation going forward and build it into an ongoing story of success.
The Pars United web space can act as a central hub to help provide continuity.
Another popular idea from the Ideas Forum was to have ambassadors fulfilling a variety of roles.
Today we are delighted to announce that anyone who wants to be an ambassador and take on a representative or ambassadorial role within DAFC will be welcome to do so. Whether that means dozens or hundreds, we don't know. We see it as a case of 'the more the merrier' and yet another opportunity for us to be all-inclusive. After all, inclusivity, togetherness, unity, and participation are all amongst our new values.
When registering for the Supporters' Council there will be an optional tick box to become an ambassador.
We've not defined the role of ambassadors yet as we would like those who put themselves forward to tell us how they would like to represent both fellow fans and the club.
The more ambassadors we have the clearer the fans' voice is likely to be and it will give the club the greatest number of advocates. People who are prepared to commit time to represent the fans and the club are needed. We believe our most devoted fans will make our best advocates.
DAFC and the wider Pars United movement will provide support and advice for all ambassadors.
Main meetings with the DAFC Board and Management will be held four times each calendar year or as necessary and all registered Supporters' Council members will be invited to attend via email.
Additional local meetings, taking the club to the communities, can be called by ambassadors willing to make the necessary arrangements as Marvyn Stewart is doing in Cairneyhill.
Being an organic organisation we would like to trial an initial period of rolling office bearers. Donald Adamson and John Simpson have kindly offered to act as chair and minutes secretary for the first meeting on 17 February.
If you would like to chair or minute a meeting please post a comment below? don't make us come looking for conscripts!
Talking of conscripts, Graeme Herd and Joe Graham have been conscripted into ensuring that the meetings run smoothly. Again, if you would like to help the Supporters' Council run smoothly please post a comment below.
In time a procedure will be established to allow Supporters' Council members to submit proposals or motions for wider consideration with the ones winning support going forward to the Board.
'Around The Table'
Meetings with the DAFC Board will be 'around the table' not 'across the table' as our Board will be members of Pars United and the Supporters' Council too. That doesn't mean that we can't raise difficult issues or make the strongest of representations.
The Supporters' Council has no formal link to the Ideas Programme as such although both are ways in which fans can participate together with other fans and contribute to the wellbeing of the club. Many of the subjects discussed by the Supporters' Council will be part of the Ideas Programme so a relationship will develop and as you see above many aspects of the Supporters' Council have come directly from the Ideas Forum.
Marvyn Stewart, one of many fans to help formulate the Supporters' Council, is pictured here with another fundraising cheque from the Pars United DASC Shop. Marvyn will be hosting a local Supporters' Council meeting at The Maltings in Cairneyhill on Tuesday, 11 March, 2014.