50+1 Campaign Logo SwedenSwedish fans preparing to campaign against pending loss of fan ownership in Swedish football

At the Annual General Meeting in November 2010, the members of the national supporters federation in Sweden, the Svenska Fotboll Supporter Unionen (SFSU), decided that the preservation of the so-called 51 % rule would be their core issue for 2011. This rule ensures that a minimum of 51% of the club must be owned by club members and hence prevents private business from having overall control of the direction of the clubs they invest in (find more info on this via Supporters Direct).

 

The Swedish fans showed almost prophetic skills with this, because just shortly afterwards, in early December, the Swedish Sport Confederation issued a report that proposed lowering the percentage, and hence fan ownership, to only 34 %.

The report was circulated for feedback amongst all the different sport associations, including the Football Association. The report is the result of the FA and the Hockey association’s efforts from their last general meeting of the Sport Confederation in 2009, to get rid of the 51 % rule. The Swedish supporters within SFSU quickly decided to act and formed a working group to write a response to the report. At the same time, they initiated a debate via the media with the aim to postpone a definite decision until a proper investigation on the proposal could be carried out.

And they succeeded! And even better: at least 10 clubs in the top division share their view, and have called for a proper investigation to be carried out before any decision can be made.

Last weekend, on 26th of March, the Swedish FA held its Annual General Meeting (AGM). There, the advance signs fortunately were confirmed: rather than a nationwide abolishment of the rule, the majority of the football clubs preferred a solution via which they would be able to decide for themselves whether this rule shoul50+1 Campaign Germanyd stay or go.

At the same time though, the overall umbrella, the Swedish Sport Federation is deciding if and in which form the issue should be put forward at their next general meeting. A two thirds majority will be needed to adopt any such change to their statutes.

In the meantime, SFSU are keeping up the pressure, e.g. by publishing articles in favour of the 51% rule in the Swedish press. The Swedish football season starts again in April, and the fans have been looking at the colourful 50+1 muss bleiben campaign in Germany and are hoping to stage something similar in Sweden.

Obviously, any solidarity from fans from abroad, e.g. via banners or flags showing the symbol above in your stadia at home will be most welcome!

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