Supporters Direct

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Supporters Direct
Supporters Direct.png
Formation January 2000
  • London
Region served
United Kingdom
Interim Chief Executive
Hilary Clifford

Supporters Direct are an umbrella organisation set up originally by the British government (with cross-party support) to provide support and assistance for its member trusts to secure a greater level of accountability and deliver democratic representation within football clubs and within football's governing structures. Its first managing director was Brian Lomax, founder of the first supporters' trust at Northampton Town F.C.. Supporters Direct also works in other sports, most notably rugby league, as well as ice hockey. It is also funded by UEFA to work in football across Europe.

Amongst other things, Supporters Direct promotes the value of supporter and community engagement and helps supporters' trusts to secure influence and become a constructive voice in how their club is run. There are now over 180 supporters' trusts in the UK; clubs owned in partnership with supporters' trusts such as Swansea City A.F.C. and over 30 clubs owned by their supporters including Enfield Town FC, the first ever supporter owned football club in the United Kingdom, AFC Wimbledon, Exeter City F.C., AFC Telford and Wrexham F.C.[1][2]

Existing as a Community Benefit Society,[1] Supporters Direct is owned by its members and funded by a combination of the Fans Fund of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, the Co-operative Enterprise Hub, UEFA. the Scottish Government, and member trust subscriptions. Its work in rugby league is not formally funded by the Rugby Football League any more, instead some work is carried out using funds from the Co-operative Enterprise Hub.


Supporters Direct Cup[edit]

The Supporters Direct Cup is an annual, pre-season friendly competition established by Supporters Direct via its trust mailing list, from where subscriptions were sought to buy and engrave the trophy. The cup is competed for between supporter-owned clubs and was first won by AFC Wimbledon, who beat Enfield Town, 3–2, on 12 August 2002 at Cheshunt FC. Other winners have been AFC Telford United, Brentford, Enfield Town and FC United of Manchester. AFC Wimbledon have featured six times in the match and FC United made their fifth appearance in 2011.

The competition is an invitational event has recently featured as part of a weekend of Supporters Direct events. It also features a second invitational match for the Supporters Direct Shield.[3] The 2012 Supporters Direct Cup was most recently held on 16 July between Enfield Town F.C. and Wrexham A.F.C. with Enfield 3–1 victors.

In 2013, the Supporters Direct Cup featured a fixture between Scottish sides for the first time, with Dunfermline Athletic going head to head against Heart of Midlothian at East End Park on 13 July. Both sides at the time were in administration however, Dunfermline Athletic have since exited administration and are owned by fans group, Pars United. Hearts won the match 2–1.

The cup itself was paid for by subscriptions from supporters' trusts and individual fans, and is inscribed with Jock Stein’s maxim, "Football without fans is nothing." In the spirit of the fixture, gate receipts from the match are split between competing clubs.


Date Winner Scorers Runner-up Scorers Score Venue Attendance
12 August 2002 AFC Wimbledon Sheerin, Cooper, Sidwell Enfield Town Alleyne, St Hilaire 3–2 Cheshunt Stadium 521
2003 Not Held
20 July 2004 Brentford Burton, Peters AFC Wimbledon 2–0 Griffin Park 2,562
23 July 2005 AFC Wimbledon Crace FC United 1–0 Kingsmeadow 3,301
22 July 2006 FC United Brown, Torpey AFC Wimbledon Barnes 2–1 Gigg Lane 2,136
4 August 2007 Enfield Town Edmunds Cambridge City Midgley 1–1 Goldsdown Road 244
19 July 2008 Brentford Connell, Elder AFC Wimbledon Main 2–1 Kingsmeadow 1,361
25 July 2009 AFC Wimbledon Judge, Rapson FC United 2–0 Kingsmeadow 1,772
24 July 2010 AFC Telford United Brown, Meechan FC United 2–0 New Bucks Head 803
16 July 2011 Chester Ormrod, Brown FC United Neville 2–1 Deva Stadium 1,927
8 July 2012 Enfield Town Kirby, Hope (2) Wrexham Salathiel 3–1 Queen Elizabeth Stadium 306
27 July 2013 Enfield Town Wallace, Hope (2), Campbell (2), Osei, O'Brien, Green YB SK Beveren Vaerenberg (2) 8–2 Queen Elizabeth Stadium 330
2 August 2014 Merthyr Town McLaggon, Taylor, McDonald Wrexham Terrell, Bell 3–2 Penydarren Park
1 August 2015 F.C. United of Manchester/Wrexham Fallon (F.C. United), Smith (Wrexham) None 3-2 Broadhurst Park 2,022

Supporters Direct Shield[edit]

The inaugural winners of the Shield were Scarborough Athletic who beat Merthyr Town 2–0 on 24 July 2010 at AFC Telford United.[4]


Date Winner Scorers Runner-up Scorers Score Venue Attendance
24 July 2010 Scarborough Athletic Phillips, Gibson Merthyr Town 2–0 New Bucks Head 803
8 July 2012 Lewes Breach Fisher 1–0 Queen Elizabeth Stadium 306
13 July 2013 1874 Northwich Hendley, Stewart, Wilding AFC Rushden & Diamonds 3–0 Select Security Stadium 130
30 July 2014 AFC Rushden & Diamonds Gearing, Dunkley Hinckley O'Connell, Facey 2–2 (4–2 pens) Dog & Duck Stadium 301
25 July 2015 Tonbridge Angels Blewden, Miles, Elder, Whitnell, Parkinson Fisher 5-0 Longmead Stadium 165

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "About SD - Supporters Direct". Retrieved 2017-04-11. 
  2. ^ "Facts & Figures - Supporters Direct". Retrieved 2017-04-11. 
  3. ^ "SD Fans' Weekend (including Annual Conference & SD Cup) Supporters Direct official site". Retrieved 2017-04-11. 
  4. ^ "Supporters Direct Shield: Merthyr 0 Boro 2". 2010-07-25. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 

External links[edit]