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Want to fix football? Here’s how you can change things

The Fan-led Review of Football Governance proposed ideas which could radically transform our game for the better – and we want fans across the country to do their bit and ensure that the Government implements those recommendations.

Football club chief executives have already started their own lobbying operation to oppose the report and we, as supporters, must counteract that by contacting our elected officials and letting them know that football fans are right behind the Fan-led Review.

How can I help?

We want individual fans and supporters’ groups to contact their own MP and ask them to show their support for the report by writing to Nadine Dorries, the secretary of state for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). We believe most MPs will support the review’s proposals but we want to ensure the Government hears from elected representatives from across the country.

Action:

Many MPs have told us they are more likely to engage with personally written emails from their constituents, as opposed to template letters or auto-generated email platforms, so we would encourage supporters to craft their own email. However, we have provided some guidance which you can use and/or rewrite into your own style.

How should I introduce my email?

Say who you are and where you live. Be polite. If you support a club in (or around) your MPs constituency then it’s worth namechecking your team – especially if it has been through problems which the Fan-led Review seeks to fix (e.g. administration, ownership issues etc).

Ask your MP to write to Nadine Dorries, the secretary of state for the DCMS, and call for the Government to back all the recommendations in the Fan-led Review of Football Governance.

Point out that football has had many opportunities to self-regulate and has not taken them. The Government’s Fan-led Review manifesto commitment was welcome and it should now deliver upon the recommendations of the report (you might wish to include them, see below).

What are the recommendations?

  • Governance: an independent regulator for football (IREF) which has the necessary investigative and enforcement powers needed to prevent the recurrence of such developments as the European Super League.
  • Finance: football’s model is unsustainable with too many clubs making losses. Pre-emptive action is needed and a regulator will impose stronger financial controls.
  • Engagement: proposals to embed democratic supporter organisations and engagement within the heart of domestic football.
  • Heritage: football stadiums, club badges, location, colours and competitions all deserve special protections. Fans to have a veto on these assets at every club via a “golden share” which is held by a democratic, legally-constituted fan group.
  • Reform: half of the FA Board should be made up of independent non-executive directors, to reduce elite club influence. The review also recommends reform of the FA Council.
  • Distribution: the removal of restrictions on FA spending meaning more money redirected towards grassroots, non-league and women’s football.
  • Equality: Equality, diversity and inclusion plans should be mandatory for all clubs.
  • Women’s game: a recommendation that a new review is set up to specifically explore the challenges facing the women’s game. Those challenges may or may not require a different approach to the men’s game but they must be examined thoroughly and independently.

Signing off

Thank your MP and encourage them to read Tracey Crouch’s Fan-led Review of Football Governance which can be downloaded from the DCMS website. If you’re from a supporters’ organisation why not ask if they’d like a meeting to discuss the Fan-led Review in more detail?

Don’t forget to copy in the FSA ([email protected]) so we can see which MPs have been contacted. While it’s better to contact MPs via email we realise many people will prefer to use Twitter – tag @WeAreTheFSA as we’d be interested to join in those discussions.

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