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24/11/2016

MUFC Ticketing & Membership Sanctions and M.U.S.T's role in recommending reforms

Given there has been some misunderstanding about M.U.S.T's role with respect to the recently published MUFC Ticketing & Membership Sanctions Document, and also the recent away ticket checks, it is worth providing some clarification. The document can be downloaded here.

Download the MUFC Ticketing and Membership Sanctions Document here

M.U.S.T has been lobbying the Club for some time to be more transparent about the penalties that apply to supporters who contravene rules affecting match going fans. It's worth noting that this did not cover the recent rules and sanctions affecting away ticket checks which we are now also consulting supporters and branches on. When that consultation is complete we will be going back to the Club with those views.
 
Our role on Ticketing & Membership Sanctions did not at any point involve developing new rules or penalties but rather asking the Club to publish their existing policies so that M.U.S.T and all fans were fully aware of the current state of play. 
 
During that process M.U.S.T did raise concerns about many of the sanctions in terms of severity and appropriateness but in the end, of course, it is the Club's decision whether it accepts those points. However we do no see that as the end of the exercise by any means and clearly the more support we have from match going fans and branches, the more influence we can have. Now we do have a published sanctions document it is possible for us to consult with supporters and then feedback views to the club with regard to how fans feel these rules and sanctions should be reformed. That process has already started with a new survey being opened to match going supporters ahead of the West Ham game this weekend.
 
Furthermore, having helped hundreds of individual fans over recent years, M.U.S.T also pushed for a formal appeals procedure with a panel to sit regularly to consider these appeals. That appeals panel is now operating and, at our request, the club has agreed in principle to take on additional independent panel members so we are now seeking supporter views on who might be best placed to serve in that role.
 
Amanda Jacks, Case Worker for the FSF, (who have a representative as an independent panel member) recently praised M.U.S.T's work in developing these more transparent procedures and the consultation we are now undertaking to draw up proposals for reforms. Fans at all clubs are often critical of their own fan groups but it's fair to say that M.U.S.T is perceived as a leading fan group by other groups at the national level
 
She said "We've worked with many fans' organisations and the FSF views M.U.S.T's approach as a case study for fan groups at other clubs who are trying to address similar issues with opaque or Draconian sanctions and appeals systems." 
 
"I'm aware that the new appeals process is likely to be received with a degree of cynicism but I can assure supporters that each case is given proper and thorough consideration.   Whatever its flaws, at least fans know exactly where they stand which is a vast improvement on an arbitrary process that doesn't offer the opportunity for a case by case panel adjudication.  We'd encourage supporters to participate in M.U.S.T's consultation survey."
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