Eleven demands for radical change to the game have been put together in one ‘Reclaim the Game’ manifesto by Football Supporters Europe to help supporters campaign across the continent.
Football Supporters Europe, the umbrella organisation that represents fans across Europe, have created a campaign and online resources to help supporters push for change at whatever level of the game they may be at – from the Champions League to grassroots.
‘Reclaim the Game’ covers subjects such as ticket prices, safe standing, revenue distribution, and fan involvement in discussions on the future of the game.
The manifesto aims to complement domestic initiatives and campaigns. Each demand can be expanded upon and amended to fit the local footballing landscape.
Reclaim the game – the manifesto:
.1 Fan involvement – If “football without fans is nothing”, then we should be recognised as key stakeholders and involved in all discussions and decisions about the future of the game.
.2 Respect for fans and fans’ culture – Despite funding the game, fans’ interests and rights are largely ignored. This needs to end. We must be treated with dignity, be able to express ourselves freely in the stadium, and not be subject to unjust collective punishment. Leagues and clubs must stop scheduling games at ridiculous times.
.3 Freedom of choice – Football fans are not second-class citizens. We should be able to choose whether we sit or stand, have a drink, or travel to away games.
.4 Affordable football – The cost of following “the people’s game” has increased massively in recent years. This has excluded too many fans, including younger ones. But we refuse to pay any more for sky-high wages and agents’ fees. Home tickets should be cheap and there should be a price cap on away tickets.
.5 Football for everyone – Everyone is entitled to play and watch football. The game needs to be more diverse, more inclusive, and more European.
.6 Stronger regulation – Wealthy clubs alone shouldn’t have the power to run football and decide its future. The rules should create a level playing field, encourage transparency, strengthen financial fair play, and protect the game from top to bottom.
.7 Sharing of wealth – Football is richer than ever before, but only a handful of clubs seem to benefit. The game’s wealth should be more equally distributed, with more money going to the lower leagues and development of grassroots football.
.8 Competitive balance – The growing gap between and within leagues has made football less competitive and more predictable. The only way to reverse this is to share the game’s resources and uphold sporting merit.
.9 UEFA scraps its Champions League Reforms – Adding more clubs and games to the Champions League will damage European football at every level. Allowing clubs to qualify based on past achievements, meanwhile, is a reward for the Super League plotters. The reform process must be stopped, and fans must be involved in discussions on the future of European competitions.
.10 National governments and the EU protect our clubs and communities – The existence of clubs across the continent is threatened by greedy hedge funds and toothless regulation. Governments and the EU must do everything in their power to protect our clubs and football as a whole.
.11 FAs and leagues challenge the influence of wealthy clubs – FAs and leagues must serve the interests of the whole game by acting as a counterbalance to the power of wealthy clubs.