Liverpool, the English soccer giants, have launched a new supporters board that will provide fan representation on “strategic issues” at board and executive levels of the club.
The Premier League club announced the move after “extensive consultation” between owners Fenway Sports Group and representatives from the Spirit of Shankly supporters group in recent months.
Liverpool said the board has been developed “as part of the club’s commitment to strengthen dialogue with supporters and increase the involvement of fans in decision-making processes in order to ensure engagement is more robust and effective. As such, the new process will be put in place to enable deeper consultation with supporters on fan-facing strategic decisions.”
The move comes after the Merseyside club’s failed attempt to join the controversial European Super League, which angered supporters and saw Liverpool quickly back out of the competition.
The supporters board will consist of 10 Spirit Of Shankly committee members, as well as six other representatives drawn from other fan organisations.
It will hold regular meetings with the club and the chair will be invited to attend Liverpool’s main board meetings when fan-facing strategic matters arise.
The existing fan forums structure will remain in place but will be reshaped into three main working groups to cover ticketing, matchday experience and equality, diversity and inclusion.
The new engagement process will be enshrined in the club’s articles of association and a legally binding memorandum of understanding between the club and the official Liverpool supporters trust will be entered into.
Billy Hogan, chief executive of Liverpool, said: “The idea for the supporters board came from an understanding and recognition that there was a lack of engagement with supporters on some important fan-facing issues and that was something we wanted to address.
“We had the ability to engage directly with a number of our different supporter groups, and we started with our official Supporters Trust, Spirit of Shankly.
“There is a lot of engagement, but it was clear that we needed to address our levels of dialogue and put a process in place that was more formal.
“This has been a healthy process with a lot of engagement, and ultimately we’re really proud of where we’ve ended up. We think the supporters board concept is a really good one and it allows us to engage in a really meaningful way.”