You may have heard in the news recently about the Fan-Led Review. The review has been brought forward by the UK government due to controversies over the proposed European Super League, and will consider ownership, finance and supporter involvement in the game. We explain here the objectives of the Fan-Led Review and the role TrustSTFC is playing in supporting this important initiative.
What is the Fan-Led Review (FLR) ?
This review was promised by the current Government in its Party Manifesto for the 2019 General Election. It will look at the way that football is governed in England across a wide range of issues.
What sort of issues?
There is no single, definitive list. But the FLR will certainly look at reforms to the way that TV revenues are distributed ; at securing a greater role for supporters in the way that their clubs are managed ; it will examine the way in which the FA and the various Leagues carry out their functions. Finally, it will consider whether a new, independent regulator is needed for football in much the same way as has been introduced for public utilities.
Partly because of the Manifesto Commitment. But there is no doubt that the recent developments around the European Super League (ESL) have given looking at these issues even more urgency.
Who is going to carry out the review ?
It will be chaired by Tracey Crouch MP, and she will be supported by a panel of people reflecting views from different parts of the game. As the name of the review suggests, the views of fans will be especially influential.
Ms. Crouch is the MP for Chatham & Aylesford, a former Sports Minister, and a Tottenham fan.
The Members of the Panel supporting her are :
Kevin Miles – Chief Executive, Football Supporters Association
Denise Barrett-Baxendale – Chief Executive, Everton FC
Clarke Carlisle – former Chair Professional Footballers Association
Dan Jones – Football Finance
Dawn Airey – Chair, Football Association Women’s Super League
David Mahoney – Chief Executive, England & Wales Cricket Board
James Tedford – former Secretary, Southport FC
Godric Smith – Director, Cambridge United FC
Danny Finkelstein – Independent
Roy Hodgson – former England Manager
How long will the review take?
It’s impossible to be precise. As we understand it, Ms. Crouch is already meeting key players, and will start taking evidence very soon. The aim is to come up with some interim findings by the Parliamentary Recess in July, with a final report in the autumn, probably around October.
Who will be giving evidence?
A wide variety of people and organisations from around the game. The views of fans are particularly important, and Ms. Crouch has already said that she wants to meet with as many Supporters Trusts as she can.
TrustSTFC have been selected for an independent session and will be presenting Swindon Town’s case directly to Ms. Crouch and the panel on Tuesday 15th June.
What will TrustSTFC’s evidence cover?
Our presentation will depict the challenges we have faced with owners past and present, and we will also share ideas as to how the way the game is run needs to change.
When does this all start?
It already has – the Review had a fairly low key launch on 20 May ; meetings are already underway
When will it finish?
The Review may be concluded by the autumn. Our assessment is that it is very likely to recommend some changes that require legislation. If it does, then the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport will have to secure Parliamentary time for a Bill. And that is very likely to take the process into 2022 at least.
How can I get involved?
You can Contact Us with your own views for consideration.
Alternatively, you can write to your local MP to express your support for reform. If enough of their constituents do this, most MPs feel obliged to take an active interest in proceedings.
How can we keep up to date with developments?
• Become a member of TrustSTFC via www.redarmyfund.co.uk and look out for our newsletters
• Look out for our Trust Matters column in the Swindon Advertiser
• Subscribe to our YouTube channel and watch future Trust Matters episodes