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APPG for Football Supporters

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.

NEXT MEETING

Mass extinction event? The most important month in the history of club football (Tuesday 20th October 2020, 6pm)

The sports minister told MPs that the Government would put together a financial package to save clubs but details are still sketchy and, with every passing day, more clubs are in danger of extinction. Club after club is speaking out with many saying they face ruin.

Even if the sports minister’s measures are enough, they still only cover clubs in the National League leaving many in the EFL and lower down the grassroots game dangling by a thread. Reduced crowds or games behind closed doors. Food and drink sales restrictions. Increased public health costs. The emerging threat of something like Project Big Picture.

We hear from football finance expert Kieran Maguire on where football has gone wrong in the past and what can be done to save it. Kieran presents the Price of Football podcast, teaches the Football Industries MBA (University of Liverpool Management School), and is a regular guest in the national media on this subject.

The Football Supporters’ Association believes that if clubs are not allowed to admit restricted crowds then the Government must provide an urgent financial package to stop clubs going bust. This also presents political leverage to enact the “fan led review” to protect the future of our clubs, which was promised in the Conservative Party’s 2019 manifesto.

Both the FSA and Kieran believe the APPG for Football Supporters and Peers/MPs have a huge role to play in hammering home this cross-party message to the Government.

  • WHEN: Tuesday 20th October 2020, 6pm-7pm via Zoom.
  • REGISTRATION FOR MPS AND PEERS: Email Michael Brunskill (michael.brunskill@thefsa.org.uk) and he will send a calendar invitation & Zoom log-in details. If MPs/Peers are unable to make the call it is open to interested office staff.

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)
  • Jamie Stone (Liberal Democrats)
  • 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 Amesbury (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:

APPG AGM (5th February 2020) – 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.

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

FSA network election notice

Ahead of our AGM on the 11th December, nominations are now open for a number of network representative vacancies on our National Council. 

Non-league funding solution ‘unfair and unjustified’ say Chester FC

Chester FC have written to the National League to ask for clarification on how the financial support package announced yesterday was determined, following a deal between the league and the National Lottery to provide emergency funding to clubs.

Jack Leslie campaign: “Time has long passed – he deserves recognition”

Earlier this year we told you about the Jack Leslie campaign – a movement to get a pioneering black player recognised with a new statue outside Plymouth Argyle’s Home Park.

FSA Statement: European Super League

Earlier today it was reported that Premier League clubs Liverpool and Manchester United are in talks with Europe’s biggest football clubs about on their secret plans to join a new FIFA-backed tournament that would create a de facto European Super League.

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