DCMS Football Governance Review

1st August, 2011

As many of you know there has been a long-term review into football governance; you can read Supporters Direct’s view below:

After a lengthy process into domestic football governance which began back in December 2010 to establish the seriousness of the problems facing football, the Select Committee on Friday announced its recommendations.

John Whittingdale MP, Chair of the committee, said:

“No one doubts the success of the Premier League in revitalising English football.  But it has been accompanied by serious financial problems throughout the football league pyramid. Significant changes need to be made to the way the game is run to secure the future of England’s unique football heritage, and the economic and community benefits it provides.

The FA is the organisation for the job, but it has some way to go getting its own house in order before it can tackle the problems in the English game, and address the future. We need a reformed FA to oversee and underpin a rigorous and consistent club licensing system and robust rules on club ownership, which should be transparent to supporters.

Almost all our recommendations could be achieved without legislation, through co-operation and agreement between the football authorities, and we urge them to respond positively with an agreed strategy and timetable for change. Legislation should considered only as a last resort in the absence of substantive progress.”

A summary of the recommendations and the full report can be seen from the Parliament website. The recommendations include;

  • Trusts, or consortia involving Trusts, to be given an opportunity to make a successful matching bid for a Club that has gone into administration
  • Protection for minority supporter stakes that would otherwise be the subject of a compulsory purchase order
  • The reform of the F.A. Board and Council concentrating in particular on the representatives and make up of the main Board and the distribution of surplus revenue
  • The introduction of a formal licensing model, with the F.A. taking on a strong scrutiny and oversight role and making the final decision on contentious licence applications
  • Licensing to help protect the sale of a Club’s ground, unless it is in the best interests of the Club
  • The abolishment of the Football Creditors rule
  • Complete transparency around ownership and the loans provided by Directors to clubs

Supporters Direct has welcomed the report and issued a statement on the SD website

It should be reiterated once more the strides that have been made working co-operatively as a movement, from the lobbying of MPs to attend the Westminster Hall debate in September 2010 to the individual and Trust led written evidence that has helped shaped the findings. Thanks once again to all those who have played an active part in bringing the debate forward to where we are following the release of the report last week.

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