Your basket

Join The FSA

Burnham fan power at football clubs

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and Supporters Direct merged to become the FSA in 2019 – so this page may contain hyperlinks that do not work and/or have missing files. Our archived pages are not maintained and will not be updated.

If you are seeking a document regarding training or the development of your supporters’ organisation, please visit the live training and resource section of our website. if you need further assistance email: [email protected]

The new Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Andy Burnham wants a review of the ‘fit-and-proper persons’ test applied by the FA, Premier League and Football League.

An Everton fan and Labour MP for Leigh, Burnham says he wants to see supporters represented on the boards of all professional football clubs as soon as possible.

“I’m pleased that they introduced their ‘fit-and-proper persons’ test, but they need to review how it’s worked in practice. I want to satisfy myself that it’s adequate and doing the job it’s meant to do – and this is an issue that I’ll want to talk to the FA about,’ said the former Chairman of Supporters Direct.

“It’s not possible to get protectionist rules around issues of ownership. But what is possible is having a stringent and real requirement around owners. Their financial background, respect for the traditions of English football and record at any other club should be closely scrutinised.”

Burnham’s belief fans should be given seats on the board is unlikely to impress the new breed of club owners he is so concerned.

But he says that, in an ideal world, supporters rather than companies or rich individuals would own every club – as they do at one of Europe’s biggest clubs Barcelona.

“People will think that’s pie in the sky – but the Barcelona model, to me, is how a football club should be run”, Burnham said.

“Barcelona are one of the most pre-eminent institutions in world football, yet the club is owned by its supporters on a one-member, one-vote basis and it is they who control it.

“And that strengthens it because it’s never subject to the whim of one person; it’s a collective endeavour. English football should see that as a big strength. I’d love to see if we could grow the Barcelona model here.”

Related Articles

Pride In Football: “Football connects us all – it has that power”

June is Pride Month so we thought it would be the perfect time to catch up with FSA associates Pride In Football’s co-chair Rishi Madlani. Pride In Football is a network of supporter groups who actively work together to eliminate LGBT+phobia from football and ensure football is for all….

Community-owned clubs give evidence to the Fan-led Review

Yesterday supporters from our Community-owned club Network gave evidence to the government’s Fan-led Review. The chair, Tracey Crouch MP, and the rest of the panel heard from a number of supporters’ trusts and fan-owned clubs about the big issues to do with supporter ownership.

Four fan-owned clubs competing for pre-season honours

The Brian Lomax Cup takes place every pre-season and celebrates the role of supporter-owned football clubs. The trophy is named after the founding father of the supporters’ trust movement, who sadly passed away in 2015.

Green Football Weekend: 80+ clubs commit to action on climate crisis

More than 80 clubs have joined forces to combat the climate crisis ahead of the first ever Green Football Weekend – and supporters are being encouraged to take action too.

Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund


  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • Pledgeball