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Sports minister: “The case for reform is not in doubt”

Sports minister Stuart Andrew has acknowledged the case for football reform “is not in doubt” in a Parliamentary debate on the financial sustainability of football clubs.

Labour’s Shabana Mahmood MP secured the adjournment debate and outlined many of the problems which have “plagued Birmingham City over the past decade”.

Mahmood pointed out that, in their desperation to remain in the top-flight, many clubs spend unsustainably meaning they cannot afford to fail, while “teams in the Championship spend up to the hilt to get there because the financial rewards are so great.”

“We all know that things simply cannot carry on as they are. Too often, there are question marks over ownership and the potential motivations of those who buy English football clubs,” said Mahmood.

Cross-party support for fan-led review

Her comments received cross-party support with Jim Shannon (DUP), Kevin Foster and James Daly (both Conservative) backing the case for fan-led review regulation.

“The English Football League and the Football Association do not regulate football teams. That is the problem and it is why we need a regulator,” said Daly, MP for Bury North.

The sports minister told of meeting the Football Supporters’ Association and our member groups, hearing of clubs that “had suffered at the hands of owners who used and abused their stewardship”.

He continued: “Football can take forward some of the reform measures—such as financial redistribution throughout the leagues—now, and I strongly urge the relevant authorities to act and to do so quickly. 

“We are taking the time to consider the policy and consult the numerous stakeholders. We remain committed to publishing a White Paper setting out our detailed response to the fan-led review of football governance, but let me make it clear: the case for reform is not in doubt.”

Want to support the fan-led review? Why not contact your MP and lobby them to back the Fan-led Review of Football Governance which called, amongst other things, for an indepedent regulator.

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