Both the language and actions of clubs and the football authorities increasingly see supporters as stakeholders in the game, with Structured Dialogue as a means of managing those relationships.
Yet the law concerning the behaviour of football supporters is very tightly defined through acts such the Football Offences Act. The result is that supporters are more often treated as a ‘public order’ issue – a potential problem to be managed, not a partner to be worked with.
In my first video blog I explore this clash of perspectives, the power of the narrative around fans and most importantly, the law. I try to understand whether this affects the ability of clubs, the authorities and supporters to fully embrace Structured Dialogue.