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APPG for Football Supporters

Please note that all upcoming APPG for Football Suppporters have been cancelled. We will endeavour to rearrange them at an appropriate point in the future.

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Football Suppporters aims “to represent the interests of match-going football fans and to support the aims and objectives of the Football Supporters’ Association”. The FSA is secretariat to the group.

The cross-party group is chaired by Gateshead MP Ian Mearns (Labour), a season ticket holder at St James’ Park, and aims to strengthen the voice of football fans in Parliament and help influence things for the better. APPG members are match-going fans with a big interest in the game.

The group reconstituted with an AGM on Wednesday 5th February 2020 at which FSA chief executive Kevin Miles gave a run down on the latest news relating to football governance, standing at the match, and more.

The APPG looked at events for the upcoming year and identified football and policing costs, facial recognition technology and its use at football, Qatar 2022, agent fees, and Fans for Diversity as subjects they’d like to hear more about.

Next meeting:

EVENT CANCELLED: Football policing costs & civil liberty – What is a fair price to pay? (Wednesday 18th March – 5pm, CR16, Palace of Westminster)

Football clubs and the police don’t always see eye to eye when it comes to settling the bill for matchday policing. Whod should carry the cost?

North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones believes there is too much of a financial burden on many clubs and says football is unfairly targeted by senior officers seeking to make up for funding shortfalls. Clubs agree and say they add huge value to the local community and cannot be expected to fund additional policing away from stadiums on matchdays. 

But it isn’t just policing costs which concern Arfon and football fans. What costs to civil liberty with the introduction at some games of facial recognition technology? Earlier this year Cardiff City fans protested against South Wales police for their use of the technology at football. Supporters have questions about infringement on privacy and how the data is used. Arfon Jones, a veteran police officer, shares many of their concerns.

  • The APPG for Football Supporters will be held on Wednesday 18th March – 5pm, Committee Room 16, Palace of Westminster. Please confirm attendance: michael.brunskill@thefsa.org.uk

Group officers:

  • Chair: Ian Mearns MP (Labour)
  • Vice chair: Alex Norris MP (Labour)
  • Vice chair: Damian Collins MP (Conservative)
  • Vice chair: Damian Green MP (Conservative)
  • Vice chair: Jason McCartney MP (Conservative)
  • Vice chair: Jo Stevens MP (Labour)
  • Vice chair: Matt Western MP (Labour)
  • Vice chair: Rachel Hopkins MP (Labour)
  • Vice chair: Tracey Crouch MP (Conservative)

All APPG members:

  • Alan Brown MP (SNP)
  • Alex Norris MP (Labour)
  • Bill Esterson MP (Labour)
  • Chi Onwurah MP (Labour)
  • Chris Green MP (Conservative)
  • Chris Matheson MP (Labour)
  • Chris Stephens MP (SNP)
  • Clive Betts MP (Labour)
  • Clive Efford MP (Labour)
  • Damian Collins MP (Conservative)
  • Damian Green MP (Conservative)
  • Dan Carden MP (Labour)
  • Dawn Butler MP (Labour)
  • Derek Twigg MP (Labour)
  • Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP (Labour)
  • Gareth Thomas MP (Labour)
  • Gavin Newlands MP (SNP)
  • Ian Blackford MP (SNP)
  • Ian Byrne MP (Labour)
  • Ian Lavery MP (Labour)
  • Ian Mearns MP (Labour)
  • Ian Murray MP (Labour)
  • Jason McCartney MP (Conservative)
  • Jeff Smith MP (Labour)
  • Jo Stevens MP (Labour)
  • Jonathan Reynolds MP (Labour)
  • Justin Madders MP (Labour)
  • Justin Tomlinson MP (Conservative)
  • Kate Hollern MP (Labour)
  • Lord Collins of Highbury (Labour)
  • Lord David Triesman (Labour)
  • Lord Faulkner (Labour)
  • Lord Goddard of Stockport (Liberal Democrats)
  • Lord Pendry (Labour)
  • Matt Western MP (Labour)
  • Mike Hill MP (Labour)
  • Rachel Hopkins MP (Labour)
  • Richard Holden MP (Conservative)
  • Rosie Cooper MP (Labour)
  • Sharon Hodgson MP (Labour)
  • Stephen Morgan MP (Labour)
  • Toby Perkins MP (Labour)
  • Tracey Crouch MP (Conservative)

Previous meetings:

Club emergencies – How do we prevent more Burys? (4th September 2019) FSA chief executive Kevin Miles and vice chair Tom Greatrex launched our comprehensive Improving the Regulation of Professional Football Clubs paper.

What is the future of lower league football? (9th January 2019) Accrington Stanley majority shareholder and chairman Andy Holt told MPs that not enough revenue trickles down the leagues, with the Premier League’s solidarity payments to the EFL being received predominantly by Championship clubs with League One and League Two clubs receiving far smaller amounts.

Safe standing: Coming to a ground near you? (1st May 2018) Celtic FC’s Ronnie Hawthorn (Head of Safety, Security and Operations) explained how well the rail seat area worked at Celtic Park to interested MPs.

Fans for Diversity – because football is for everyone (24th January 2018) Launched in 2014 Fans for Diversity has led the way, supporting the creation of new groups around the country, helping unlock the passion and desire many had to engage with their local clubs and traditional supporter base. The event launched our Annual Review.

​Football and TV: Won’t someone think of the fans? (12th December 2017) THST co-chair, FSA National Council member and (then) FA Council rep Kat Law has led supporter efforts in lobbying broadcasters to be more considerate towards the needs of match-going fans. She outlined what role supportive MPs could play.

Can the FA reform itself? (15th March 2017) A Commons debate on football governance saw a motion of no confidence in the FA’s ability to reform and backed proposals to increase supporter representation on football’s governing body. The FA’s Robert Sullivan appeared in front of the APPG to discuss the merits of FA reform.

  • If you have any further queries, or you are an MP / Peer who would like to join the group, please call Michael on 0330 44 000 44 or email: michael.brunskill@thefsa.org.uk

FSA news

South Wales Police suffer facial recognition setback

The use of live facial recognition technology by South Wales Police is unlawful, according to a new ruling from the Court of Appeal which could have significant implications for football fans.

Cylchlythyr FSA Cymru Awst 2020

Er ein bod yn ceisio bod mor gywir â phosibl wrth greu’r cylchlythyr hwn, cofiwch fod y sefyllfa’n newydd o’r naill ddydd i’r llall.

FSA Cymru update: August 2020

Welcome to FSA Cymru’s third update of 2020 – which will of course be navigating the potential return to live football in the coming months…

Senior football in Bury: the future is supporter-led

Today the FA confirmed that Steve Dale’s application for Bury FC to join the National League System for the 2020/21 season has not been accepted by its Alliance Leagues Committee and this decision has now been ratified by the FA Council. Here the FSA’s head of national game and community ownership Andy Walsh explains why that decision was the right one and how the future of football in the town is supporter-led…

Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund

Partners

  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • SD Europe