Bassetlaw MP backs plan to put fans at the heart of football

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A Bassetlaw MP has welcomed a planned overhaul of football governance which will give fans a greater say in the running of clubs.

Changes proposed by the Government will mean a strong, independent regulator will oversee the top five tiers of men’s football and prevent the repeat of financial failings seen at some clubs.

The changes mean football fans and their clubs will be given greater protections.

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Brendan Clarke-Smith, Conservative MP for Bassetlaw, said: “Football is at the heart of our community, but for too long fans have not been put first and unscrupulous owners have failed to properly protect our clubs.

Brendan Clarke-Smith, Bassetlaw MP.Brendan Clarke-Smith, Bassetlaw MP.
Brendan Clarke-Smith, Bassetlaw MP.

“That is why I welcome the announcement from the Conservative Government which will see the current system transformed thanks to new regulations. This will give a voice to the fans who have been ignored for far too long.

“I know my constituents across Bassetlaw will feel comfort in the knowledge that their beloved club will be protected by the Government’s new regulator.”

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The regulator will implement a new licensing system from the Premier League to the National League that will require clubs to demonstrate sound financial business models and good corporate governance as part of an application process before being allowed to compete.

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Fans will also have a greater say in the strategic running of their clubs. The Regulator will require clubs to comply with the FA on their new rules for heritage which will give fans a veto over changes to the badge and home shirt colours in addition to the strong existing protections for club names. In addition, clubs will have to seek the approval of the regulator for any sale or relocation of the stadium, with fan engagement a major part of that process.

There will be new tests for owners and directors, ensuring good custodians of clubs, stronger due diligence on sources of wealth and a requirement for robust financial planning.

The regulator will have the power to prevent English clubs from joining new competitions which do not meet the predetermined criteria, in consultation with the FA. This will stop any future attempts at closed shop breakaway competitions like the European Super League.