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 200 supporters' trusts in the UK; clubs owned in partnership with supporters' trusts such as Swansea City A.F.C. and over 50 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., Newport County and Wrexham F.C.
Existing as a Community Benefit Society, Supporters Direct is owned by its members and funded by a combination of the Fans Fund of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, The RFL, UEFA. the Scottish Government, and member trust subscriptions. The consultancy Club Development allows SD to expand its work in other sports at all levels of the game.
The Brian Lomax Supporters Direct CupEdit
The Brian Lomax Supporters Direct Cup is an annual invitational, pre-season friendly competition established by Supporters Direct. 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. 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.
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.
|12 August 2002||AFC Wimbledon||Sheerin, Cooper, Sidwell||Enfield Town||Alleyne, St Hilaire||3–2||Cheshunt Stadium||521|
|20 July 2004||Brentford||Burton, Peters||AFC Wimbledon||–||2–0||Griffin Park||2,562|
|23 July 2005||AFC Wimbledon||Crace||F.C. United of Manchester||–||1–0||Kingsmeadow||3,301|
|22 July 2006||F.C. United of Manchester||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||F.C. United of Manchester||–||2–0||Kingsmeadow||1,772|
|24 July 2010||AFC Telford United||Brown, Meechan||F.C. United of Manchester||–||2–0||New Bucks Head||803|
|16 July 2011||Chester||Ormrod, Brown||F.C. United of Manchester||Neville||2–1||Deva Stadium||1,927|
|8 July 2012||Enfield Town||Kirby, Hope (2)||Wrexham||Salathiel||3–1||Queen Elizabeth II 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 II 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||–||1–1||Broadhurst Park||2,022|
|28 July 2016||Ton Pentre||Reed (2), Jacka, Shepherd, Morris||Newport County||–||5–0||Ynys Park|
|14 July 2017||Exeter City||Taylor, Harley||Bath City||–||2–0||Twerton Park||330|
|8 August 2018||Enfield Town||Hockney (3), Blackman (pen.)||Clapton Community||—||4–0||Queen Elizabeth II Stadium||250|
Supporters Direct ShieldEdit
|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|
|14 July 2018||Merthyr Town||City of Liverpool||4–2||Penydarren Park|
|23 July 2019||Chester||Dudley(2,pen.),Grand, Elliott||1874 Northwich||Hare||1–4||Offside Trust Stadium||361|
- "About SD – Supporters Direct". supporters-direct.org. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
- "Facts & Figures – Supporters Direct". supporters-direct.org. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
- "Supporters Direct Shield: Merthyr 0 Boro 2". scarboroughathletic.com. 25 July 2010. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 26 July 2010.