Fair Game: Campaign group launches bid to alter football governance in England and Wales | Football News


Campaign group Fair Game has launched its ambitious bid to bring about fundamental changes to how football in England and Wales is governed, financed, regulated and sustained.

Fair Game claims its vision, outlined in a 48-page manifesto, is “backed by leading politicians from across the political spectrum” and has the support of 24 senior clubs, plus Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham.

Speaking at the launch, Burnham said: “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.

“There is lots of expert support behind you as well and cross-party support from politicians. It’s great that you’ve managed to pull that together and the manifesto you have developed is entirely reasonable.”

PA - Andy Burnham
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham spoke at the Fair Game launch

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.

Burnham added: “The notion of a sustainability index seems to me to be unanswerable, who can argue against that?

“The big example is Bury, that’s the salutary lesson here. Gigg Lane is a monument to failed football regulation and governance. It’s the proof that the status quo hasn’t worked.

“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’.”

Bury's Gigg Lane stadium (PA)
Bury were expelled from the English Football League in 2019 due to financial issues

Fair Game has assembled experts in finance, race relations, administration and law, while former players Dion Dublin, Brian Deane and John Scales are among its ambassadors.

Former sports minister Tracey Crouch chaired a fan-led review commissioned by the government in the summer and proposed a series of measures that dove-tail with Fair Game’s manifesto.

Fair Game chief executive officer Niall Couper told the PA news agency: “We have already been in talks with Tracey Crouch and she will be launching her final report in October.

“We want to have as many conversations with her between then and now in the aim of getting as many of our recommendations as possible referenced in her report.”


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