The Blades Independent Fans Association operates at the moment – in so far as a dormant group does operate – as an informal network of supporters and through TheBladesOnline.com website, trying to keep to our initial raison d’etre via ad hoc meetings with officials at the club.
The days of a large BIFA membership and supporter unrest are long behind us, and we all hope it stays that way, but in this post-Mike McDonald era of stability, we enjoy the relationship with the club recently described by me as that of ‘critical friend‘.
We didn’t get involved in many issues which were not part of our remit, but we were consulted extensively over the ticket loyalty scheme, which we think is a great success and has rewarded the supporters who attend the most games home and away, not the cherry-pickers with the biggest wallets.
We also very happily lent our support to events regarding the irregularities at West Sham, an issue now finally resolved!
This website will carry any articles from ‘meet the manager/chairman’ events that we attend or get invited to, and, time permitting, will also contain articles from Flashing Blade fanzine.
We are part of fabric that makes up Blades supporters; we don’t represent all fans, just like none of the other organisations do.
Like Matt Bell in the Green ‘Un and John Osborne on the BBC Radio Sheffield site offer their opinions, I ago was asked some time to provide bits and pieces for, amongst others, The Observer and Yorkshire Post (I only do broad sheets, darling!), which I have done for three or four years now. I am asked to do this because I go to lots of games and my phone’s switched on! Not because I am the Joint-Chair of BIFA; because I am loyal, regular attendee.
Matt and I were original members of BIFA, still discuss issues regarding the club regularly and frequently speak to a broad spectrum of Blades – anyone who wants to make an input can get in touch by adding a comment below.
We are not a knee-jerk organisation that reacts week in, week out to the club’s ups and downs on the pitch. We do not concern ourselves (directly) with the manager, the players or results. Rather, we seek to take a long-term, supportive role with the club and we want nothing but success and stability at the Lane.
So, we would certainly not, for example, have played any part in organising demonstrations or shoe-waving seeking the removal of a manager.
I won’t react to the bizarre and strange comments that have appeared elsewhere about BIFA (some people should get out more!), but I will say that anyone interested in our group of supporters should get in touch. It should be a way for supporters to discuss issues in a reasoned way, but not be mistaken for yet another messageboard or rant line.
Please leave a comment if you require information or want to discuss anything.
Up The Blades!