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The FSA gives evidence to the fan-led review

Representatives from the Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) met Tracey Crouch and the panel conducting the Fan-Led Review of Football Governance on Wednesday (16th June 2021).

The delegation, featuring FSA Board members Dave Pennington and Roger Ellis, alongside Ashley Brown (FSA head of supporter engagement and governance) summarised comprehensive proposals for the future of football, which look at all aspects of the running of the game.

The proposals are based on the experiences of supporters of a large number of clubs, from across the country, and at all levels of the game. Many fan groups have already presented their own evidence and more sessions will take place in the coming week.

The FSA’s ideas are influenced by the recent debacle of the European Super League and the tragic loss of clubs such as Bury and Macclesfield Town. If properly administered, they would prevent a repeat of those disasters.

The FSA proposals cover:

  • The role of club owners as temporary custodians of clubs, which are community assets of great value to millions of supporters across the country;
  • A proposed new club-licensing system with revised and strengthened owners and directors tests;
  • The creation of an independent Regulator for English Football (the REF) to administer the licensing system and to set and enforce regulations and maintain oversight of the football pyramid;
  • New rules on club ownership including a golden share scheme to give fans a veto over certain major decisions and rights for fans to buy shares in their club;
  • Club boards to incorporate independent non-executive directors and supporter representatives – as well the boards of the FA, Premier League, EFL, National League and other significant football bodies;
  • Clearer, more comprehensive and properly enforced standards for structured supporter engagement at club and national level;
  • Proposals to safeguard key aspects off the game, such as: pyramid structure of leagues, promotion and relegation, Cup competitions, reserve weekends for domestic competitions, protection of young players’ rights and ideas, proposals to tackle agents’ conflicts of interest and exorbitant fees;
  • The need to share football income, notably from TV rights, more fairly across the pyramid, reducing the gulf between leagues, and the necessity of abandoning parachute payments;
  • Better control of clubs’ finances, eliminating massive debts and unaffordable spending, with real time reporting and control;
  • New measures to protect football grounds and other club assets, including a right for supporters to buy grounds under threat.

The FSA proposals were presented by Ashley Brown, Dave Pennington and Roger Ellis. A full version of the FSA evidence will be published in due course.

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