Fair Game launch campaign for changes to football governance at Wimbledon’s Plough Lane

·2-min read
Fair Game’s manifesto was launched at AFC Wimbledon’s Plough Lane  (Getty Images)
Fair Game’s manifesto was launched at AFC Wimbledon’s Plough Lane (Getty Images)

A campaign group has launched its attempt to bring about fundamental change to football governance in the United Kingdom.

Fair Game has claimed its vision has the backing of 24 senior clubs, including AFC Wimbledon, as well as support across the political spectrum. The organisation launched a 48-page manifesto at Plough Lane on Thursday.

Fair Game’s manifesto includes the implementation of an independent regulator, a fairer and “more responsible” financial structure, a larger distribution of money from the Premier League down, changes to clubs’ accounting, embedded fan engagement and greater recognition and protection of current competitions.

“I feel at the moment there is a groundswell of people coming from all different quarters that change is needed and what sets this initiative apart is the fact that it is club driven,” said Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, at the manifesto’s launch.

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, has backed Fair Game’s manifesto (PA Wire)
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, has backed Fair Game’s manifesto (PA Wire)

“There is lots of expert support behind you as well and cross-party support from politicians.

“I fully support an independent regulator, backed by legislation and appointed by the Government. The time has come for clubs themselves to step forward and say ‘this is what we need’.”

Former sports minister and Conservative Party MP Tracey Crouch chaired a review, led by fans and commissioned by the government, this summer and proposed a series of measures that would appear in line with Fair Game’s proposal.

Her final report is due in October.

So far 11 English Football League clubs have given Fair Game their backing, including Wimbledon and League Two side Leyton Orient.

Fair Game chief executive officer Niall Couper claimed that discussions had also been had with those higher up the football pyramid.

“We’ve had conversations with three different Premier League clubs and there’s interest there, but it’s about them being brave enough to put their head above the parapet,” Couper told the Pa News Agency.

“One of those is from the ‘big six’, the other two mid-table clubs. It’s about trying to get them thinking beyond their own club’s and what’s in the wider interests of football.

“That’s the bit we want the Premier League clubs to start grasping, what the long-term security of the national game is because what we are proposing is transformational for clubs lower down the pyramid.”

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