• Michael McColl

      Editor

      Michael McColl started "Away From The Numbers" as a printed fanzine in 1989 for his Scottish club East Fife. It became a website in 2003 and added a general football blog in 2009. The focus has always been to mix serious articles with off-beat humour pieces. The Canadian arm of AFTN began in 2009 and is primarily focused on Vancouver Whitecaps.


      Currently a weekly columnist for Metro News Vancouver, Michael has also written for many UK publications including When Saturday Comes, Four Four Two and The Independent.


    • Steve Pandher

      Assistant Editor

      Steve has been a soccer fan since the early days of the 86ers at Swangard Stadium. He started The Whitecaps Beat blog on the instistence of his wife, as she was tired of listening to his ramblings about the club. When he plays, his two positions are goalkeeper and striker, mostly because of the lack of running involved. In addition to the Whitecaps, Steve also updates the play of Canadian players abroad with the @TrueNorthSoccer twitter account.

    • Jay Duke

      Writer

      Growing up as a casual soccer fan, Jay became a fervent supporter after a move to Vancouver and a rise in profile of the Vancouver Whitecaps. Since then, his summer road trips revolve around Cascadia Derbies, and friends weddings are only to be attended if they do not conflict with a Whitecaps match.

      Jay attempts to share his thoughts from the emotional view of a supporter rather than by advanced analytics or number crunching.

    • Aaron Campbell

      Writer

      Aaron Campbell is our new face to the soccer blog scene. He started following the Whitecaps seriously when they joined the MLS and has been hooked ever since. Not afraid to speak his mind and prove he is right in his opinions backing them up with the stats of the game.

      Yeah right. The only reason he goes to games is to get away from his small army of kids that he has populated the Fraser Valley with. One day the kids and wife will catch on!!!

      Supporter of Whitecaps FC and FC Barcelona.
      Follow on twitter @AaCamp81

    • Victoria Highlanders Supporters' Board - the first fans' trust in Canada

      by Devon Rowcliffe

      Dear Canadian soccer fans: the supporter-ownership movement has arrived here in the land of the maple leaf.

      Victoria Highlanders Football Club (VHFC) has recently changed its organizational structure, giving Victoria fans ownership of 30% of the club. Rather than having individual fans purchase shares in the club, a provincially-registered society – known as the Highlanders Supporters’ Board – now legally owns 30% of Victoria Highlanders. The Board will be operated and controlled by club supporters, and it will be independent from the club.

      To put things in perspective: the Highlanders Supporters’ Board is the only supporters’ trust in Canada, and is the only supporters’ trust in Canada/USA that owns part of its club.

      All 2013 VHFC season-ticket holders automatically become a member of the Highlanders Supporters’ Board for the year. Supporters’ Board members are eligible to vote on several club matters during VHFC’s annual general meetings (to be held every November), and may nominate themselves for one of seven elected Supporters’ Board positions. Two of the seven elected Board members will also sit on the Victoria Highlanders Advisory Board, which will hold quarterly meetings to discuss club matters.

      The creation of the Highlanders Supporters’ Board ensures that the opinions of VHFC fans are both heard and collectively voiced to the club through a formalized and regularized process. The Supporters’ Board’s opinions and suggestions will enable the club’s decision-makers to have a better understanding of what VHFC fans want from the club. The creation of the Supporters’ Board (and its ownership of 30% of Victoria Highlanders) will mean that fans will have a greater say in how the club is run.

      Nominations for Highlanders Supporters’ Board positions are open for another week (until Tuesday, February 19th). For more information about the elected positions and the nomination process, please click here.

      Background info about supporters’ trusts:

      A supporters’ board, more commonly known around the world as a "supporters' trust", is defined by Wikipedia as, "a formal, democratic and not-for-profit organisation of fans who attempt to strengthen the influence of supporters over the running of the club they support."

      In Great Britain, where modern football began, clubs were established in the late 1800s as private businesses. However, the concept of supporter-ownership has grown rapidly in England in recent years – almost 30 English football clubs are now partially or completely owned by supporters. The club with the highest profile is Swansea City of the English Premier League, which has a setup similar to Victoria Highlanders: season-ticket holders automatically become members of Swansea’s supporters’ trust (which owns 20% of the EPL club). There are more than 100 supporters’ trusts in Britain – including the Chelsea Supporters Trust, which was officially launched this past weekend.

      In some European countries, all football clubs must be majority-owned by their supporters and/or must be registered as membership organizations (rather than as private businesses) – including in Germany, Sweden and Turkey.


      Further reading:

      Highlanders Supporters' Board: nominations process for elected positions

      Highlanders Supporters' Board: Twitter account

      Highlanders Supporters' Board: Facebook account

      "Recognizing Value: developing a structured relationship between supporters’ trusts and clubs"Supporters Direct

      "The social and community value of football"Supporters Direct



      "Victoria Highlanders FC chairman Alex Campbell announces Highlanders Supporters' Board. (Photo by Julian Anderson, Director of Communications, Lake Side Buoys)"

      Comments 6 Comments
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        as dumb as green bay's model of not actually having a say is, I prefer it much more to this.
      1. Tuscan's Avatar
        Tuscan -
        How do you mean this is somehow inferior? The club is its supporters, not the other way around. The foolishness of the franchise model of North American sports tends to be its downfall in the end anyway. You then have 100% owners who only see the bottom line, much to the detriment of the fans. Without the fans, all sports teams would lose relevance.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        I've been a paid "owner" for two seasons now.
      1. Unregistered's Avatar
        Unregistered -
        Quote Originally Posted by Tuscan View Post
        How do you mean this is somehow inferior? The club is its supporters, not the other way around. The foolishness of the franchise model of North American sports tends to be its downfall in the end anyway. You then have 100% owners who only see the bottom line, much to the detriment of the fans. Without the fans, all sports teams would lose relevance.
        technically the teachers pension fund that owned mlse was the same thing, didn't work for any of their teams
      1. Blue and White Army's Avatar
        Blue and White Army -
        Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
        as dumb as green bay's model of not actually having a say is, I prefer it much more to this.
        And your reason being?

        One big difference between Green Bay/Barcelona/Real Madrid and Victoria Highlanders is the size of the clubs. VHFC is more "boutique" than "behemoth"; the fans having their voices heard is going to be much easier with an USL PDL club.
      1. Blue and White Army's Avatar
        Blue and White Army -
        Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
        I've been a paid "owner" for two seasons now.
        Alex Campbell announced the intention to transition to partial-supporter-ownership back in November 2011, so people have really only been co-owners since the 2012 season.

        Last year (2012), supporter-ownership was arguably in name only; but as of this year, it exists both legally and formally.

        Fancy sitting on the Victoria Highlanders Advisory Board and scrutinizing the club's financial accounts? You'll never witness a club like Vancouver Whitecaps offer something like this!
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      What country is north of the USA?