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Fans Not Numbers: the recommendations

This is a story from the Supporters Direct 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.

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Tuesday the 5th of September saw the launch of the Fans not numbers campaign in Blackpool but the recommendations that sit behind the campaign were being formulated long before. 11 case studies across a range of English football clubs are at the heart of a paper that has had over 30 contributions from a range of people who work, support and represent stakeholders who all care deeply about the game.

We believe that there are a number of similarities from these case study clubs of problems that could have been prevented with a better regulatory structure, something that hasn’t kept pace with the rest of the sport. Although there were other clubs that could have been included in the report, it is worth pointing out that the majority of clubs are well run and doing great things for their supporters and community. Unfortunately these positive stories get drowned by the failings of the few and a great deal of damage results for clubs, communities and reputations across football.

It is our strong belief that the following all offer solutions to prevent these problems being able to develop:

A new independent regulatory body under the auspices of the F.A. sufficiently resourced and empowered to set and monitor regulation of clubs
A new club licensing system operating from this body that is more proactive and less conflicted in the way it can regulate club football
A number of improvements to critical regulatory areas covering
Club stadia and other property
Extraction of money from the game

You can find out more by reading our report.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far through the reform paper, the roadshows or through supporting and sharing the campaign.

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