Basket
×

Your basket

Join The FSA

Sustain The Game!

Supporters’ groups from across the country have joined forces with politicians and pundits to launch “Sustain The Game!” – a new campaign which calls for urgent action from the authorities to protect the existence of clubs throughout the game.

The financial strains caused by Covid-19 have threatened many clubs and fans say urgent action is needed from the football authorities to help them survive.

The Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) is coordinating Sustain The Game! and says that while the current pandemic has brought many issues to an immediate head, these are long standing finance and governance matters which need to be fixed.

The Government’s 2019 manifesto committed to a “fan led” review of football governance and the FSA says it wants to demonstrate the support within football for that to happen.

The campaign is backed by fans’ organisations from almost all of the 92 Premier League and EFL clubs alongside those in the women’s game, non-league and high profile ex-pros and pundits such as Jamie Carragher, Henry Winter, Colin Murray, Amy Lawrence, Guy Mowbray, and FSA Commentator of the Year Peter Drury.

Political support comes in the shape of ex-sports minister Tracey Crouch, Labour’s shadow sports minister Alison McGovern and Liberal Democrats’ Daisy Cooper MP, the party’s sports spokesperson.

The campaign is also backed by the cross-party All-Party Parliamentary Group for Football Supporters and many community-owned clubs including the newly-formed Bury AFC.

Campaign backers say the football authorities and government cannot sit back and watch as dozens of historic clubs are under immediate threat and could disappear altogether. 

FSA chief executive Kevin Miles said:

“Football occupies a special space in our society as clubs carry huge cultural and local economic importance. Sustain The Game! will demonstrate the need for urgent action as the very existence of many clubs is under threat. If we don’t act now we might lose some forever.

“We call on everyone with an interest in the game, from clubs and leagues to players and managers, to come together and work in partnership to support Sustain The Game! The time for action isn’t next week, next month, or next year – it’s now.”

Ex-Liverpool and England defender Jamie Carragher said:

“The FSA’s Sustain The Game! campaign can play a massive role in protecting clubs throughout the game. This is a difficult time for the game but it’s also a chance to make real changes. Supporters’ have to be involved in that as well.”

Sustain The Game! is built around five key principles and aims to protect clubs, increase transparency, implement strong independent financial controls, strengthen the football pyramid, and increase supporter engagement. 

Sustain The Game! principles:

  1. Protect our clubs – football clubs are community assets and an important expression of individual and local identity, they deserve legal protection and urgent support to secure their future;
  2. Transparency – everyone has a right to know who owns their club, and how clubs and the authorities operate. Owners are custodians of clubs on behalf of all of us;
  3. Financial controls – fans want rules with real teeth which are independently enforced, clubs and leagues can’t be left to regulate themselves;
  4. Strengthen the pyramid – football as a whole is wealthy, but we need a smarter and fairer use of the money in the game to encourage sustainability;
  5. Supporter engagement – fans are the lifeblood of the game, they need a voice in their clubs and on all issues that affect them and their communities.

Further reading: The FSA has made a series of proposals to the FA including a new Code of Practice on the Stewardship of Football Clubs which sets out guidance for clubs and owners on a range of issues which have caused problems – name changes, playing colours and badges, stadium location, training facilities, failure to honour wages, and tax commitments. The code would also stop owners loading debt onto a club in order to finance its purchase. The proposals have the support of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Football Supporters. You can download the paper in full here.

Supporters

Are you a fans’ group, club, pundit or politician? We want to tell you more about the campaign and gain your support. Email: info@thefsa.org.uk

Supporters’ organisations Clubs Politicians and pundits
1894 Group (Manchester City) 1876 Bangor Alex-Davies Jones MP AS
A Love Supreme (Sunderland) Accrington Stanley Alison McGovern MP (Shadow sports minister) & Labour Party
AccessiBlues AFC Rushden & Diamonds All-Party Parliamentary Group for Football Supporters
Albion Roar Altrincham Amy Lawrence (The Guardian)
Albion Women Supporter Group Bury AFC Andrew Simpson (journalist)
AMS Group (Millwall) Camden & Islington United Andy Holt (Owner – Accrington Stanley)
Apna Albion Cheltenham Town Anwar Uddin ((Ex-footballer and coordinator for Fans For Diversity)
Argyle Fans’ Trust Clapton CFC Association Nationale des Supporters
Arsenal Independent Supporters’ Association Darlington Baroness Taylor of Bolton
Arsenal Supporters’ Trust Doncaster Rovers Brian Reade (Daily Mirror)
Aston Villa Disabled Supporters’ Association Enfield Town Caroline Barker (Journalist and National League board member)
Aston Villa Supporters’ Trust Exeter City Colin Murray (Journalist and presenter)
Aston Villa Women Supporters’ Club FC United of Manchester Daisy Cooper MP (Liberal Democrats)
Barmy Army (Manchester United Women) Fisher Damian Collins MP (Former chair of the CMS Select Committee)
Barnsley Supporters’ Trust Frickley Athletic Dan Parnell (Senior Lecturer in Sport Business, University of Liverpool)
Bees United (Brentford) Gornal Athletic David Goldblatt (Football author)
Beesotted (Brentford) Grays Athletic Football Collective
Billericay Town Supporters’ Society Grimsby Town Football Supporters Europe
Birmingham City Women Supporters’ Group Hendon Gary Bennett (Pundit & Show Racism The Red Card ambassador)
Blackburn Rovers Supporters’ Trust Hinckley AFC Guy Mowbray (Commentator)
Blackpool Supporters’ Trust Lewes Hawksbee and Jacobs (Presenters)
Blue Action (Ipswich Town) Litherland REMYCA Henry Winter (The Times)
Blue Union (Everton) Merthyr Town Ian Herbert (Journalist)
Bluebirds Trust (Barrow AFC) Pilkington St Helens Ian Mearns MP (Chair of the APPG for Football Supporters
Blues Trust (Birmingham City) Portsmouth Jamie Carragher (Ex-Liverpool and England international)
Bolton Wanderers Supporters’ Trust Scarborough AFC Jamie Stone MP (Liberal Democrats sports spokesperson)
Boro Supporters Club 2020 (Middlesborough) Tranmere Rovers Jen O’Neill (She Kicks)
Borussia Dortmund Fan Club (London) Worcester City Jo Stevens MP (Labour Party)
Bradford City Supporters’ Trust Wrexham Julie Elliott MP (Labour Party)
Brakes Trust (Leamington FC) Wythenshawe Amateurs Kieran Maguire (Academic, author and broadcaster)
Brentford Independent Supporters’ Association Lilian Greenwood MP (Labour)
Bristol City Supporters’ Trust Lord Oates (Liberal Democrats)
Bristol City Women Supporters’ Club Lord Triesman (Labour)
Bristol Rovers Supporters’ Club Martin Tyler (Commentator)
Bromsgrove Sporting Supporters’ Trust Matt Scott (Investigative sports journalist)
Burnley FC Supporters Groups Matt Slater (The Athletic)
Burton Albion Supporters FC Max Rushden (Guardian Football Weekly host)
Cambridge Fans United Mike Amesbury MP
Cambridge United Official Supporters’ Club Nizaar Kinsella (Goal.com)
Canaries Trust Pete Milward (Professor, Liverpool John Moores University)
Cardiff City Disabled Supporters’ Association Peter Drury (Commentator)
Cardiff City Supporters Club Rosie Cooper MP (Labour Party)
Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust Sam Al-Hamdani (Oldham BC)
Carlisle United Official Supporters’ Club Scott Benton MP
Chairboys on the net (Wycombe Wanderers) Scott Benton MP (Conservative Party)
Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust Supporters Direct Europe
Chelsea Supporters’ Trust Tracey Crouch MP (Former sports minister)
Chelsea Womens Supporters’ Group
Cherries Trust (AFC Bournemouth)
Chorley FC Supporters’ Trust
Clarets Trust
Cockney Latic
Colchester United Supporters Association
Crawley Town Supporters’ Trust
Crystal Palace Supporters’ Trust
Dale Trust
Darlington FC Supporters’ Group
Desi Dons
Dial M For Merthyr
Dons Trust (AFC Wimbledon)
DUCK magazine (Stoke City)
Everton Women Supporters’ Club
Exeter City Supporters’ Trust
Fans for Foodbanks (Huddersfield)
Five Year Plan
Fly Me To The Moon (Middlesborough)
Forces2Canaries
Foxes Trust
From the Finney (PNE)
FSA Cymru
Fulham Supporters’ Trust
Gillingham Independent Supporters’ Club
Hammers United
Hartlepool United Supporters’ Trust
Hendon FC Supporters Trust
Hereford United Supporters’ Trust
Huddersfield Town Supporters’ Association
Hull City Supporters’ Trust
Ipswich Town Firsts
Iron Trust
Kevin Beattie Foundation
Lady Imps Supporters’ Association
Leeds United Supporters’ Trust
Leicester City Disability Supporters’ Association
Leicester City Supporters Club
Lewes Supporters’ Trust
Leyton Orient Fans’ Trust
LGBT Bees (Brentford)
Lion Roar (Millwall)
Liverpool Women Supporters’ Club
Liverpool DSA
London Bees Endor
Love Football Hate Racism
Luton Town Supporters’ Trust
Manchester City Official Supporters’ Club
Manchester United Supporters’ Trust
Mariners Trust
MCWFC Official Supporters’ Club
Millwall Past & Present
Millwall Supporters’ Club
My Old Man Said (Aston Villa)
Newcastle United Supporters’ Trust
Non-League Programmes
Northhampton Town Supporters’ Trust
Nottingham Forest Supporters’ Trust
OASST (Accrington Stanley Supporters’ Trust)
Ox Vox Supporters’ Trust
Pompey Disabled Supporters’ Association
Pompey Independent Supporters’ Association
Pompey Supporters’ Trust
Port Vale Supporter Club
Portsmouth Supporters’ Club (Central Branch)
Posh Trust
Proud Lilywhites (Spurs)
Proud Salopians (Shrewsbury Town)
Proud Valients (Charlton Athletic)
Proudsville Clarets (Burnley)
Push The Boundary (Oldham Athletic)
QPR1st Supporters’ Trust
Railwaymen Supporters’ Trust (Crewe Alex)
Rainbow Blades (Sheffield United)
Rams Trust (Derby County)
Red And White Army (Sunderland)
Robins Trust (Cheltenham Town)
Rover and Out (Tranmere Rovers)
SAFCSA (Coxhoe Branch)
Sheffield United Supporters’ Club
Sheffield Wednesday Supporters’ Trust
Shrimpers Trust
Shrimps Trust
Silkmen Supporters Trust (Macclesfield)
Sky Blues Trust (Coventry City)
Spirit of Shankly
Stand up for Town (Huddersfield Town)
Stevenage FC Supporters’ Association
Stoke City Supporters’ Club
Supporters Trust At Reading (STAR)
Swansea City Supporters’ Trust
The Stacey West (Lincoln City)
Torquay Talk
Torquay United Supporters Trust
Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust
Tranmere Rovers Supporters’ Trust
Trans Pennine Irons
Trust Oldham
TrustSTFC (Swindon Town)
Twe12thman (Middlesbrough)
Ugly Inside (Southampton)
Union FS (Leicester City)
Unita 1863
Up the Clarets
View from the Allotment End (North Ferriby)
Vikings Trust (Doncaster Rovers)
Walsall Supporters’ Trust
War of the Monster Trucks (S.Wednesday)
Watford Ladies Fan Group
Watford Supporters’ Trust
West Ham United Women Supporters’ Club
WHU Independent Supporters’ Association
Wigan Athletic Supporters’ Club
Wolves Fans Parliament
Wycombe Wanderers Supporters’ Trust
Yorkshire Gulls (Torquay United)

Contact:

Latest news: Governance, finance and politics

Newcastle United launch drive to purchase club shares

Newcastle United fans, led by their supporters’ trust, have launched a bid to buy part of the north east club.

Exeter City repay loan to fans that saved club

Exeter City, the fan-owned club who were saved by their supporters when the club was in crisis in 2003, have repaid the long-term interest free loan provided by the Exeter City Supporters’ Trust (ECST).

Football governance “requires emergency surgery” – MP tells Commons

In a Ten Minute Rule Bill brought to the House of Commons today, former sports minister Helen Grant said the country’s football governance requires radical reform to protect the game’s future.

MPs call on sports minister to start “fan-led review”

MPs yesterday called for the Government to fire up its “fan-led review” of football governance in a Parliamentary debate attended by sports minister Nigel Huddleston.

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