Over the past 16 years, Supporters Direct (SD) has played an important role in the supporters’ trust movement.
Indeed, thanks to the determination of SD members to make football clubs and the bodies that govern them more transparent, accountable, and democratic, there are now 192 trusts in the UK, not to mention more than forty community owned clubs.
HTSA are proud to be associated with these achievements, however, recent developments have forced us to reconsider our relationship with the organisation.
Earlier this year, Jacqui Forster, a long-standing and well-respected employee at the SD headquarters in London, was diagnosed with a terminal illness.
WATCH: Huddersfield Town players celebrate with the fans after the 2-1 win over Rotherham United
Shortly after Jacqui received her diagnosis, the SD Board voted to suspend her existing contract and force her on to Statutory Sick Pay.
This has naturally caused indignation amongst supporters’ groups and led several people, including HTSA’s Robert Pepper, to set up a JustGiving page to help Jacqui make ends meet.
As one of the individuals behind the fundraising efforts put it, “We will not let Jacqui suffer as a result of the disgraceful behaviour of her employer, Supporters Direct.”
“Our doing this”, the statement continues, “must not in any way be seen as removing their responsibility to pay Jacqui and we will not let up in our campaign for Justice4Jac.”
HTSA concur with these sentiments, and at Monday’s board meeting, we agreed to donate £50 to Jacqui’s fund as a mark of respect for her invaluable contribution to trusts around the country.
We agreed that this was an infinitely better use of £50 than renewal of a membership fee to SD, which may not be forthcoming unless the SD Board rescind their appalling decision and reach a resolution that is satisfactory to all parties.
If you can afford to make a donation, no matter how small, it would be greatly appreciated.
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As those behind the Justice4Jac campaign point out, this goes beyond employment legislation and obscure terms and conditions.
Quite simply, it is a matter of moral responsibility, one can only hope that the Supporters Direct Board recognise this and hold themselves to the high standards they demand of others.
On a less downbeat note, HTSA will be running a coach to Preston North End on October 19th.
Members can reserve a seat for £10, while non-members can get one for £12 with the coach departing from the usual place at the stadium at 5pm.
You can book by ringing our Travel Line on 07905 580784 or emailing Robert Pepper at email@example.com.
We would also like to give notice that the eighth annual meeting of the Huddersfield Town Supporters Society Limited - that’s the Huddersfield Town Supporters Association, in case you were wondering - will be held at PPG Canalside on Tuesday, November 29.
The meeting will start at 7.30pm and will involve the presentation of a balance sheet, approval of the reappointment of auditors, election and re-election of directors, and a general report on the performance of the organisation over the last twelve months.
For more information on this, further Away Day travel or to get involved, visit the HTSA website or email Ian Lawrence on firstname.lastname@example.org.