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Italian supporters' movement gains momentum

The supporters’ trust movement is continuing to grow with three fans’ organisations being created in Italy, assisted by Supporters Direct.

Italian football has had more than its fair share of problems in recent years with match fixing scandals uncovered in 2006 and a year later the death of Lazio supporter Gabriele Sandri, who was shot by policeman Luigi Spaccarotella, being extremely low points.

Not as widely reported though, is that over last summer 30 clubs in the country were barred from entry by their leagues due to severe financial difficulties and were relegated to lower divisions or forced out of existence altogether.

As we have seen in England, supporters’ trusts have risen from the depths of despair and a similar story is emerging in Italy. During the last few months, fans of SS Cavese 1919, FBC Unione Venezia, and US Ancona 1905 have provided a tangible response, a hint of hope, and a signal that something is changing in Italy.

With legal assistance from Supporters Direct, these groups chose to structure themselves as associations — democratic and not for profit organisations, which allow members to buy and own shares through the trusts.

They all aim to be involved in the running of their club, to be represented on the board, and in the end to become shareholders, as well as to be active in their communities and in social initiatives under their club colours.

The movement is still in its infancy but thanks to the internet it is growing, especially as more supporters begin to hear about what is being achieved elsewhere in Europe. In fact, fans of Venezia have cited FC United of Manchester as inspiring their revival.

The three trusts, which are now officially affiliated to Supporters Direct, are Venezia United, Sogno Cavese, Sosteniamolancona.

To read more about the trusts and other footballing stories from our club and around the world, buy the FC United versus Colwyn Bay matchday programme this Wednesday, priced £2.

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First Posted ~ 10:16 Tue 1 Feb 2011
News ID ~ 3386
Last Updated ~ 10:16 Tue 1 Feb 2011