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Friday, August 03, 2018

FSF and SD Agree To Merge

The Football Supporters Federation and Supporters Direct have agreed to merge.

On July 28th at their respective AGM’s both the SD & FSF members voted in favour of a merger of the organisations. The Chairs, CEO’s & board members of each organisation are committed to delivering the merger and creating a modern, effective and powerful single voice for football fans nationwide. 

Both SD and the FSF will now nominate two current board members each to join the Chairs and CEO’s on an interim board that will oversee the creation of the new organisation.
Further, the two CEO’s will begin working together on an operational plan for the merger process, along with holding initial discussions with the Fans Fund regarding our next three year funding cycle. We will endeavour to communicate with members regularly to provide updates of the ongoing work.

In other news from the FSF, a motion was carried at their AGM which noted the promotion of food and drink high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) around football.

Federation notes that football at all levels is used to market food and drink products to fans that are high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS). Marketing channels include club-based or league-based sponsor partnerships (e.g. Gatorade, Cadbury), broadcast media advertising (e.g. Domino’s Pizza), and grassroots programme sponsorship (e.g. McDonald’s, Mars), all of which look to engage children and young people. The UK is currently experiencing a child overweight and obesity crisis which will cost the NHS billions of pounds each year if trends are not reversed, with new data revealing 20% of all 4 and 5-year-olds are classed as obese.

Whilst parental and individual responsibility has a part to play in reversing this trend, new research has found that 50% of all TV advertisements seen by children aged between 4 and 15 are for HFSS brands, despite a ban on such products being advertised on ‘children’s programmes’. Companies marketing HFSS brands are specifically using football as a platform to shape the tastes and consumer habits of children and young people, contributing to the childhood obesity crisis. In May the Commons Health Select Committee called for “a commitment to end sponsorship by brands overwhelmingly associated with high fat, sugar and salt products [at] sports clubs, venues, youth leagues and tournaments”.

The FSF recommends that further restrictions should be put in place by Government to limit the use of football as a marketing platform for HFSS brands, and will work with health campaign groups including Healthy Stadia and SUGAR SMART to ensure that fans voices are heard in protecting children and young people from such marketing tactics.