The aborted attempt by six Premier League clubs to form a breakaway European Super League has brought to the fore longstanding concerns about open competition, ownership, financial sustainability and governance in English football.
The Government has responded by announcing a landmark fan-led review of football governance, led by Tracey Crouch MP, with far-reaching terms of reference that include fan ownership, the flow of money through the football pyramid, and assessing the case for a single, independent football regulator to oversee the sport’s regulations and compliance. After repeated failed attempts to put football in a more sustainable position over recent decades, this is an opportunity to deliver real and meaningful change.
This event brought together leading voices from within the game and leading politicians from both left and right to discuss the urgent issues facing English football and how to fix them. The panel agreed that there is a strong case for a formal regulator to help shore up clubs’ finances, reorganise governance structures and step in on behalf of supporters. A consensus was reached on the importance of giving fans more power over major decisions and ownership of the clubs themselves. Panelists also highlighted the essential role that football clubs play in people’s lives, as both a source of national pride and of local value to communities.
● Gary Neville, former Manchester United footballer
● Lord Mervyn King, former Governor of the Bank of England
● Alison McGovern MP, Shadow Sports Minister
● Tom Greatrex, Vice chair, Football Supporters Association National Council
● Lord O’Shaughnessy, former Health Minister and former Director of Policy, No.10