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FSF to give evidence to football governance inquiry

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

The Culture, Media and Sport Committee’s ongoing inquiry into football governance continues, and next week it’s the Football Supporters’ Federation’s turn to give evidence. The session will take place on Tuesday 15th March (11.45am) at Burnley FC’s Turf Moor. Committees and parliamentary debates can be viewed online at Parliament Live TV.

Download the FSF’s written evidence to the inquiry into football governance.

Ironically the FSF and Supporters Direct have been called to give evidence to the committee directly after perennial friend-of-the-fans Ken Bates who, in the mid-80s, sought approval to install electrified fences at Chelsea. Earlier this week Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn and Manchester United chief executive David Gill appeared before the committee.

Gill outrageously claimed United should not have to engage with supporters’ groups while Quinn acknowledged the gulf in Premier League finances was such he’d be “chased out of Sunderland” if he told fans he thought the Black Cats could win the Premier League.

Come Tuesday, the Committee will hear from two panels with Ken Bates (chairman, Leeds United), John Bowler (chairman, Crewe Alexandra), Barry Kilby (chairman, Burnley), and Julian Tagg (vice-chairman, Exeter) appearing at 10.45am. The FSF’s Malcolm Clarke (chair) and Steven Powell (director of policy and campaigns) are scheduled to appear at 11.45am alongside Dave Boyle (chief executive, Supporters Direct).

John Whittingdale, chair of the committee said: “I am delighted that we are able to hold this evidence session at such a historic club as Burnley. The committee were keen to get out of Westminster for this inquiry to see and hear at first hand the challenges facing a broad range of clubs of all sizes, divisions and locations. We hope at the end of our inquiry to make recommendations to the Government that help preserve a game which arouses strong passions and opinions throughout the country.”

The cross-party committee was launched in response not only to the high-profile coverage of Liverpool and Manchester United, but also to broader concerns that current and future generations of football supporters of clubs across the country are ill-served by current football club regulations.

Questions the committee will consider, include:

  • Should football clubs in the UK be treated differently from other commercial organisations?
  • Are football governance rules in England and Wales, and the governing bodies which set and apply them, fit for purpose?
  • Is there too much debt in the professional game?
  • What are the pros and cons of the Supporter Trust share-holding model?
  • Is Government intervention justified and, if so, what form should it take?
  • Are there lessons to be learned from football governance models across the UK and abroad, and from governance models in other sports?

Download the FSF’s written evidence to the inquiry into football governance.

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