EPL

Liverpool vow to put fans 'at heart of decision-making' with new supporters board

By Sports Desk May 20, 2021

Liverpool have announced plans to create a new supporters board to give fan representation at executive levels of the club and put them "at the heart of its decision-making processes".

The plans, which will be formalised before next season, come in the wake of fan-led protests over Liverpool's involvement in the failed European Super League.

Reds owner John Henry signed the club up for the breakaway project last month before they backed out, with the American later issuing an apology where he acknowledged fans had been "let down".

Subsequent talks between Liverpool chief executive Billy Hogan, the Spirit of Shankly (SOS) group and official supporters' trust members has seen the creation of a "new engagement model".

According to a club statement, this promises "deeper consultation with supporters on fan-facing strategic decisions".

The Reds said the consultation process will be enshrined in the club's Articles of Association and a legally binding memorandum of understanding between the club and the Official Liverpool Supporters Trust will be entered into.

"The supporters board will hold regular meetings with the club and the chair will be invited to attend LFC's main board meetings when fan-facing strategic matters arise," the statement posted on the club's website said. 

"The existing fan forums structure will remain in place but will be reshaped into three main working groups to cover ticketing, matchday experience and equality, diversity and inclusion.

"This will ensure operational issues and projects continue to be discussed by club officials and supporters. When appropriate, these matters will also be represented at the supporters board level."

Liverpool made the announcement on the same day they revealed their new kit for the 2021-22 season.

Hogan said: "The focus over the last few weeks of dialogue has been to find a long-term solution that is in the best interests of Liverpool and its supporters – one that we firmly believe is not only meaningful but also wholly in keeping with the values and aspirations of the club.

"While these changes are significant, it is important to stress that the current fan forums have also worked incredibly well since they were introduced four years ago and it is crucial that they continue in addition to the supporters board in order to give us a range of engagement options.

"There is still a lot to discuss with representatives of the Liverpool Supporters Trust in the weeks ahead but having these principles in place is a great step forward and we look forward to formalising the details of the structure."

Joe Blott, chair of SOS, added: "After discussions of the past weeks, we believe this is a unique deal and recommend its acceptance. 

"We see this as a chance to help shape the future of our club and put us at the forefront of changing football in general."

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