The HUST chairman Richard Tomkins has been successfully elected as one of the three National Game Network representatives who report to The Unified Supporters Organisation (TUFSO).
Tomkins will represent the interests of the non-league game, alongside Simon Cope of Scarborough, and Rob Street of Billericay, following the recent merger of Supporters’ Direct and the Football Supporters Federation.
Membership of the National Game Network is open to all affiliated organisations in the English non-league and the Welsh pyramid. Those organisations who have been previously affiliated to either organisation will be encouraged to affiliate to the newly merged body. Those organisations that do not qualify as affiliates and individual supporters of English non-league and Welsh football are all still part of the network too. A major recruitment drive is planned to strengthen the voice of supporters and assist associate members and individuals to establish democratic supporter organisations at their clubs.
Recently questions were raised about the National League’s view on the 3pm broadcast blackout and the recent challenge thrown up with the EFL iFollow service. TUFSO have confirmed that the National League are in favour of the blackout and have no intention of seeking to broadcast any of their own matches during international breaks.
Recent campaigns include ‘supporting football is not a crime’, ‘away day experience’ and Fans for Diversity. Details of the football is not a crime campaign and how supporter groups can get involved with their local Independent Police Advisory Group will be made available to members.
TUFSO welcomed a successful community cohesion event organised at Curzon Ashton FC which involved members, local club community schemes and local community groups. The work undertaken was varied including transport to games for the over 50’s organised by Worcester City supporters in partnership with Age UK and Worcester Wheels.
Successful campaigns are not always about spending large amounts of capital but just as much about clubs looking to see how the game can be made more accessible and welcome to fans from as many different communities and groups as possible.
TUFSO have also been working alongside Level Playing Field, the experts in stadia accessibility and disability issues. This work has opened up opportunities to improve accessibility to grounds at non-league level.