You Boys in Green
You Boys in Green("YBIG") seeks to represents the interest of supporters of the Irish national football in discussions with the FAI.

The purpose of this form is to collect information in order to seek a mandate for supporter issues to be raised with the FAI.

Independent fans need to have a voice on issues with Irish international football so we have drafted the following mandate. We are asking fans to sign up if you agree with our principles.

The purpose is to raise concerns of independent supporters and also to lobby for a unified voice of Supporters’ Club and independent supporters on areas of mutual interest and to seek to partner with the FAI on areas of previous co-operation such as charity initiatives and stadium atmosphere

In order to move this to the next stage, we need a mandate from site users!

As an internet forum, the demographic of users varies from those who visit the site on a daily basis to those who visit on a handful of occasions in a year. What is clear is that the site, and particularly the associated forum, has been an essential resource for those attending Ireland games at home and particularly abroad.

Users on the site have long campaigned for a clear and transparent ticketing system, with the flaws of the existing system acutely shown prior to the Scotland game in 2014. Site users analysed existing schemes in place in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, England and other countries and have proposed this as a suitable model to the FAI. This proposal was made long before the fiasco surrounding the Scotland game, and was raised with the FAI on a number of occasions before and since.

Since the Scotland game, the site and its users appeared to have been labelled as “troublemakers” and the previously positive relationship with the FAI deteriorated. We believe that was unfair, as the leadership of the FAI accepted that there were issues with the allocation of these tickets, but the channels of communication with the Association dried up in late 2014.

The FAI established a network of Republic of Ireland Supporters’ Clubs in 2013 and this initiative was welcomed. However, it then seemed that the only communication between the Association and the fan base would be conducted through this Confederation of Supporters’ Clubs.

Many YBIG users were not members of these official Supporters Clubs and wished to remain as “Independent” supporters. YBIG has always rejected the idea of becoming an official Supporters Club, a move supported by many on the site. This position became challenging in light of a policy decision to first prioritise the allocation of tickets to Supporters’ Clubs by the Association, and then also to consider Supporters’ Clubs and independent supporters as part of the same cohort for the allocation of tickets.

The result was that Supporters’ Clubs and independent supporters, under the umbrella of the ‘Fans Direct’ scheme, were only eligible to apply for 30% of away tickets. YBIG believed that there was a significant opportunity to bring further transparency to the allocation of tickets and lobbied both the Association and also individual Supporters’ Clubs on this matter.

It became clear that in order to ensure that the voice of independent supporters is heard, YBIG required an official mandate which people could sign up to. The intention was and remains to stay independent. This will ensure that the voice of independent supporters is heard on all issues from match safety, travel, ticketing, governance etc.

We understand that many supporters will question this move and wonder why now? Having exhausted all our existing avenues of communication with the Association and despite our best efforts, this became the best channel for independent supporters to ensure that their voice is heard.

YBIG would like to invite supporters to sign up to this scheme in order to provide a mandate for the group. Note that we can only speak for those members who sign up for the Mandate and we do not claim to represent the YBIG community as a whole.

Key Points

Approach the FAI in order to establish a group structure to allow attendance at meetings relating to issues impacting fans.
The group will not manage the allocation of tickets - Independent supporters will continue to apply as usual through the Fans’ Direct Portal;
Group will seek to re-establish the previous working relationship between YBIG and FAI across areas such as charity initiatives and supporter experience;
All members are eligible to apply for committee positions;
All information will be collected and stored in accordance with the Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003.

20 April 2016
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