Fan-led review gathers ‘momentum’ with 52 MPs in favour of all recommendations

·3-min read

A group of 52 MPs have pledged to vote in favour of implementing all the recommendations of the fan-led review.

The Government is expected to issue its response to the review next week, having commissioned it in the wake of the Super League scandal a year ago.

The key recommendation of the review, which was chaired by Conservative MP Tracey Crouch, was the introduction of independent regulation to English football focused on ensuring the game’s financial sustainability.

It also called for clubs to set up shadow boards for fan representation and the creation of ‘golden shares’ to give supporters’ trusts a say over key club heritage matters, such as changing ground, colours or entering unsanctioned competitions.

The Fair Game group held a drop-in session at the House of Commons this week and had MPs queuing out of the door pledging to give their backing to implement all the recommendations should it come to Parliament for a vote.

“Momentum is building. A year on from the European Super League, and with several clubs on the brink of extinction, now is the time to deliver real change,” former England international and Fair Game ambassador John Scales said.

“Football is the people’s game and we need to protect its heritage and traditions.

“We are calling on the Government to include a new Football Bill in the Queen’s Speech and commit to implementing all the findings of Tracey Crouch’s review in full.”

Labour MP Ian Byrne insists fans' voices must be heard in the wake of the Super League scandal
Labour MP Ian Byrne insists fans’ voices must be heard in the wake of the Super League scandal (Peter Byrne/PA)

The 52 MPs pledging support represent all the four main political parties – Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Scottish Nationalists. Fourteen MPs had previously expressed their support for Fair Game, and overall 61 MPs have now given their backing.

Ian Byrne, Labour MP for Liverpool West Derby, said: “Fair Game is a fantastic initiative. It is important that fans’ voices are heard after the debacle of the European Super League. I look forward to working with Fair Game in the future.”

Fair Game is endorsed by 34 professional clubs in the pyramid, including 14 EFL sides.

EFL chairman Rick Parry hopes the Government response to the fan-led review provides a catalyst in talks over how Premier League broadcast income filters down the pyramid
EFL chairman Rick Parry hopes the Government response to the fan-led review provides a catalyst in talks over how Premier League broadcast income filters down the pyramid (Mike Egerton/PA)

The review called for the independent regulator to be given backstop powers to resolve any dispute between the Premier League and the EFL on financial distribution, if they have not reached agreement themselves by the time the regulator is set up.

Talks between the leagues have not reached a conclusion, with EFL chairman Rick Parry saying earlier this week that he hoped the Government response to the review would provide the catalyst to an agreement.

The review also called for a levy on Premier League transfers of up to 10 per cent to provide further financial support lower down the pyramid and for the grassroots game, something which top-flight club executives have publicly opposed.

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