Shadow Sports Minister Clive Efford MP presented a bill to Parliament today (Tuesday 7th July 2015) which he says could revolutionise the role fans play in running their clubs.
MPs will be presented with the Football Governance (Supporter’s Participation) Bill which aims to give fan groups the right to buy up to 10% of the shares on offer when a club changes ownership. The Bill will also enable supporters to elect a minium of two representatives to a club’s board and give them power to remove 25% of the board.
“By giving fans a place on club boards, my bill would ensure that fans can no longer be ignored,” Efford said. “Too often fans are an after-thought when it comes to issues like ticket prices or the relocation of grounds.”
Efford says that football clubs are sustained by generations of local fans, giving them a special place in communities and making clubs more than just any other business.
He also urged the Government to act on recommendations from the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee from 2011 to find ways of allowing greating supporter involvement in club decision making.
In 2012, FSF Chair Malcolm Clarke gave evidence to the Select Committee, arguing that football is “an industry not like other industries” as football clubs form a huge part of a community’s cultural heritage.
Hearing Malcolm’s evidence that day was John Whittingdale, who chaired the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee’s 2012 investigation into football governance – and was promoted to Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, following the Conservative’s election victory.
Speaking earlier today, Malcolm said: “Fans deserve a much greater say in how their club is run. Whether its ticket prices, ownership or safe standing, supporters must be involved in reform of the game – giving them a voice in the boardroom is a step towards that.
“We welcome any proposals from politicians that aim to strengthen the voice of football fans. Supporters are vital to the game, and their voices must be heard by decision makers within football clubs and the football authorities.”
Watch below as Clive Efford addresses the House of Commons on his bill:
Thanks to Gordon Wrigley for the image, reproduced under CC licence.