One good thing that’s come out of the whole Super League fiasco last month has been a renewed sense of fan-power and an acknowledgement that while top football teams are more global brands than local clubs these days, the voices of fans cannot just be summarily ignored in the blind pursuit of greater guaranteed profits.
Whether or not, and to what extent, the twelve Super League clubs may eventually be punished by UEFA or their domestic associations and leagues is unknown, but above all, the clubs have plenty to do to repair their newly fractured relationships with their fans.
As a step in the right direction in that process, Chelsea announced yesterday that starting next season (i..e July 1), three fans’ representatives will be allowed to attend Board meetings (a minimum of four times a year). These fans will not have any actual voting rights, won’t participate in any personnel discussions, and will have to sign a presumably very stringent non-disclosure agreement (NDA), their presence should still have the intended effect of ensure that Chelsea don’t lose sight of fans when making certain decisions.
There is no process in place yet for selecting said representatives, or how often they would selected, and so on, but all those details are expected to be ironed out and completed in the next couple months. And hopefully this is indeed more than just a vague and empty gesture.