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Clubs in Crisis: Guidance for fans

It’s been a nail-biting summer for fans of many clubs in the EFL as the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated underlying problems with the game’s governance.

With that in mind our head of supporter engagement and governance, Ashley Brown, has put together a quick strategy guide to help fan groups and individual supporters help to rescue their club if it falls into crisis.

Following on from Wigan’s administration and subsequent relegation, this week Charlton fans called on the EFL for help as the situation worsened down at the Valley.

Charlton Athletic supporters said they were “increasingly pessimistic” about their club being able to participate in League One next season, with the EFL still demanding answers over the club’s ownership.

“Today is 47 days before the start of the League One season and Charlton remain in limbo,” Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust said. “The EFL should issue an immediate public explanation of what is happening and should take decisive action so that alternative futures for our club can be explored if necessary.

“That clock ticks more loudly with every passing day.”

Wigan Athletic are also due to be playing in League One next season, having been relegated following their points deduction – but Latics fans remain unhappy and their petition to have the issue of EFL governance raised in Parliament has now passed 17,000 signatures.

The FSA has continued to work on the key issues around the game’s governance during the public health crisis – by taking the campaign to senior Parliamentary figures and the football authorities.

However, we recognise that campaign for reform can seem slow-moving at times particularly when it’s your club that falls into crisis – making the issues seem all the more urgent.

“Following the demise of Bury football had already started to realise change was required,” Ashley says. “COVID-19 confirmed what many already knew, that the game in its current form at many levels of the pyramid was unsustainable.

“These crises will force football to evolve and we have the opportunity to make it stronger, fairer and more sustainable in the long term. We hope the guidance is useful – if you have any further questions don’t hesitate to get in touch.”

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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