The chair of the Government’s fan-led review of football governance joined the FSA’s National Council for a video conference last night, explaining in further detail the evidence-gathering process which will take place in the coming months.
Tracey Crouch MP told the FSA’s governing body that an interim report will be made available in July 2021, with the final report published in October 2021. It will cover clubs who compete in the English pyramid system.
The FSA’s member supporter organisations will lead dozens of evidence-gathering sessions throughout May and June, at which Crouch will listen to their experiences and proposals for improving football governance.
She said: “The initial plan had been to operate the fan-led review on a regional basis, however, after consultation with the FSA it was agreed that conducting the meetings by league, using existing FSA Networks, was likely to bring better results. The meetings will be held online to increase accessibility.
“The report will be my report as chair, not the panel’s, and a clear Terms of Reference has been laid out. The advisory panel will join the fan-led evidence sessions and advise on technicalities which arise from within their area of expertise, but it does not sign off the final report.
“The fan-led review has full government backing, unlike previous football governance reviews which have either been led by Culture, Media and Sport committees, or football itself, meaning that in all of those cases, Government has not had to act on their recommendations.”
Crouch stressed that there will be grey areas and subjects such as replica kit or match ticket prices would not be covered.
“They are important issues but we want this review to focus as tightly as possible on structure and finance of the game. The key subjects will therefore include the Owners’ and Directors’ Test, an independent regulator and meaningful fan engagement.
“I’ll also be speaking to governing bodies and fan organisations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Germany to gauge opinions from different leagues.”
Fan-led evidence sessions
A series of fan-led evidence sessions, starting today, will take place during May and June with FSA-affiliates and associates at every level of the game being given an opportunity to make proposals.
An interim chair’s report is planned for July while the final report has been scheduled for October 2021, which will be written after evidence from hundreds of supporter organisations across dozens of events has been heard.
The advisory panel will offer specialist advice to the chair of the fan-led review but it will not write the report. In past reviews the involvement of the football authorities gave them a veto on proposals – this review is not structured in that manner.
The FSA did not select the advisory panel, but we are represented on it, and look forward to working with the other members.
The FSA did help shape the process that will see all supporter organisations involved in the fan-led evidence sessions. Those sessions give all fan groups, from the top of the pyramid to its base, more opportunities to present their proposals to the chair than those afforded the football authorities.
- The panel features the FSA’s chief executive Kevin Miles – see all members here.
- You can see the panel’s full Terms of Reference here.