STOKE CITY has a representative body which aims to develop an even closer bond with their supporters.
A democratically elected Supporters Council operates to enhance dialogue between the Club and fans on matters of mutual interest.
This provides a platform for a select number of fans representing a wide cross section of the supporter base to voice the general viewpoint and make a significant contribution in helping to shape the way the Club moves forward.
As a result, the Supporters Council can be used as a sounding board for new ideas while they are under consideration by the Club.
City's Chief Executive Tony Scholes commented: "A glowing feature of the success which this Football Club has achieved over the past few years has been the tremendous sense of togetherness which we enjoy with our supporters.
"The fans have played a big part in getting us where we are today and it is just as important that they continue do so in the future.
"I am very excited by the creation of this Supporters Council in that it will provide a good forum for discussion and debate between the Club and our fans and hopefully make them feel even more a part of what we are trying to achieve."
He added: "While supporters generally tend to engage more with their Club when things aren't going particularly well, it is equally important to have this means of dialogue in settled times so that we can gauge the opinions of our fans.
"The Supporters Club and Fans Forum have served us well in the past, but they are not necessarily the best models for the future. We believe the Supporters Council will be a better representation of who we are as a Club in the 21st Century."
The Football Supporters Federation gave the Supporters Council their seal of approval with Chair Malcolm Clarke enthusing: "The great thing about the new Council is that it is both truly democratic and representative of the various categories of supporter.
"I am delighted that the Federation's discussions with the Club on developing a new process for engagement with its supporters have produced such a positive outcome.
"Supporters are the heart and soul of any Football Club and it's really encouraging that Stoke City recognises the need to have an effective mechanism for engaging with its supporter base. The arrival of the Supporters Council is a really exciting development which has the potential to put Stoke City at the leading edge of how to do that."
The Supporters Council is constructed of three categories of membership; direct representation, general seats and specialist seats which will extend across a wide cross section of Season Ticket holders and Members:
- Direct representation allows any democratically constructed Branch of the Supporters Club with 200 or more members to appoint a member of the Council.
- There are eight general seats elected from an electorate comprising all Season Ticket holders and Members eligible to stand in this category.
- Specialists seats are being occupied by elected members from the following categories: registered disabled supporters, corporate members, two Season Ticket holders from the family area (one of whom must be under the age of 18) and Season Ticket holders from the Q-railing Stand Upper and Lower Tier, Boothen End, Novus Stand and Marston's Pedigree Stand. There is also a Season Ticket holder under the age of 18 years old.
Year 2 - Angela Smith (Chairman), Malcolm Clarke (Vice Chairman), Julia Milton, Richard Bestwick
Year 1 - Rob Doe, Tracey Van De Laarsschot, Terry Crowe, Gareth Ekin
VACANCY - Under 18 in the Family Area
VACANCY - Corporate Member
Year 2 - Regina Colclough (Season Ticket holder in the Family Area)
Year 2 - Mark Mills (Season Ticket holder in the Boothen End)
Year 2 - David Harper (Season Ticket holder in the Novus Stand)
Year 2 - Wayne Harrison (Season Ticket holder in the Marston's Pedigree Stand)
Year 1 - Ed Hyde (Season Ticket holder aged under 18)
Year 1 - Marie Mansell (Registered Disabled Supporter)
Year 1 - Richard Lowe (Season Ticket holder in the Q-railing Stand Upper Tier)
Year 1 - Alan Clarke (Season Ticket holder in the Q-railing Stand Lower Tier)
Representatives from individual Supporters Branches
Julia Zuk - Southern
Runar Kvernen - Norway
Brian Shaw - Stoke
John Slaney - Knypersley and Biddulph
Anyone who wishes to contact the Supporters Council can do so by e-mailing chair@SCFCSC.co.uk. Please note that e-mails go directly to the Council and not to the Club.