John Whittingdale to top the bill MPs turn out in force to back Supporters Direct

5th February, 2013

Supporters Direct also launches report on protecting stadia, citing Chelsea Pitch-Owners scheme

Chair of the powerful Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, John Whittingdale MP, has joined the list of MPs speaking at today’s event promoting greater supporter involvement in football clubs.

The event, to be held at Portcullis House’s Thatcher Room, is due to be attended by nearly 70 MPs on a busy day for Parliament with the second reading of the Marriage Act amongst other items of business.

Supporters Direct will be calling for swift progress to be made in two areas – areas broadly supported by the football authorities and government, which don’t require legislation, and importantly which don’t need to wait for reform of The FA. Whittingdale’s committee was heavily critical of the authorities in its report last week for acting too slowly to bring about the necessary reforms for football.

The key areas for immediate action are:

1. That the football authorities need to include a rule as part of the new football club licensing arrangements that guarantees a Structured Relationship between supporters and clubs; and

2. That DCMS needs to establish the Government Expert Group before the beginning of next season (2013/2014) to explore methods of removing barriers to increased collective supporter share ownership in their football clubs.

David Lampitt, Chief Executive of SD, said,

“We have been pushing for these reforms, amongst others, throughout the Governance review, and it’s now time the talking translated into meaningful action. There’s no good reason for further delay on these issues and they will make a positive difference to football fans everywhere. Fans are the lifeblood of the sport and for too long their interests have been marginalised. This is a chance for fans to help create real change.”

As part of the event, the report ‘Grounds for Benefit’ will be launched using the Chelsea Pitch Owners Association as one of the examples. The report researched how stadia can be protected and their community benefit enhanced by having supporters involved in the ownership structure.”

Head of Policy Tom Hall, said

“Supporters have a vital role to play in ensuring football stadia are protected and run for the benefit of their communities, both now and for future generations.”

For more information please contact Kevin Rye: 07852998542 or

Event details

The event will be held in the Thatcher Room, which is on the first floor of Portcullis House.

It should be noted that the capacity is smaller than the previous room, so please accept our apologies if the room is crowded.

Running order

4pm: Event opens
4:15pm: Speeches
4:45pm: Speeches end
5:30pm: Events close – networking drinks at the Red Lion

The event is hosted by Penny Mordaunt MP (Con, Portsmouth North), it will also feature speeches from John Leech MP, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Sport and MP for Manchester Withington, Clive Efford MP, Labour Shadow Minister for Sport and MP for Eltham and Damian Collins MP (Folkestone and Hythe) who will briefly introduce his Football Transparency Bill.

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