Fan-Led Review: Help Fix Football

Football in England is broken, and we need your help to fix it.

The Fan-led Review of Football Governance makes a series of recommendations that could reform the way in which football in England is run. It makes proposals that, if implemented, will ensure a fairer financial structure (especially in the Championship) and a veto for some key matters, like club colours and stadium location.

The Fan-led Review’s main recommendation is to create an Independent Regulator for English Football (“IREF”). Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston has said that an IREF will be created, but the Government hasn’t yet begun this process. It is now our job to put pressure on the politicians, and to ensure that there is no watering down of the Fan-led Review’s recommendations and thus of IREF’s powers. The big Premier League clubs are already trying to do precisely that.

Bristol City Supporters Club & Trust wholeheartedly support the Fan-led Review’s recommendations and want the Government to implement them all. Key among them are:

• supporters to have a veto over changes to stadium names, club badges, club location, home colours and joining any breakaway competition;

• a revamp of wealth distribution in the game, including a reform of parachute payments, so that a more level playing field is created, especially in the Championship;

• the creation of an independent regulator for football (IREF) with the necessary powers to prevent developments like the European Super League;

• the regulator to impose stronger financial controls to avoid another Bury or Derby; and

• a separate review to be set up specifically to explore the challenges facing the women’s game

As first reported back in January, we are in ongoing discussions with Bristol City CEO Richard Gould about how the football club could embrace the recommendations of the Fan-led Review, and we understand that he has written to local MPs seeking their support for it.

Now it is our turn! We need to write to our MPs to ensure that the Fan-led Review’s recommendations don’t get watered down to serve the interests of a few mega-rich clubs.

Fans at Ashton Gate. Photo by Rogan Thomson/JMP

The Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) are encouraging all fans to lobby their MPs, and here’s how you can help:

E-mail your MP.

You can find their e-mail address here:

MPs respond well to personally written e-mails from their constituents, but we have provided some guidance below which you can use and/or rewrite into your own style.

What should I say to my MP?

• Say who you are and where you live. Be polite. If your MP’s constituency is in BCFC’s ‘patch’, mention City (and any specific aspects of the review’s recommendations that you think would help the club and/or its fans).

• Ask your MP to write to Nadine Dorries, Secretary of State at DCMS, to ask her for a firm commitment that legislation supporting the full implementation of the Fan-led Review will be in the upcoming Queen’s Speech.

• Point out that football has had many opportunities to self-regulate and has not taken them. The Government’s commitment to the Fan-led Review in its manifesto was welcome, and it should now deliver upon the recommendations of the report (you might wish to mention some of them, see above).

• Thank your MP and encourage them to read the Fan-led Review which can be downloaded from the DCMS website here.

• Copy in (as a blind copy, i.e., BCC) the FSA’s dedicated address of so they can see which MPs have been contacted.

Some further advice can be found on the FSA’s website here.

We as an organisation will also be writing to all MPs in Bristol’s catchment area.

Fans and fan groups all over the country are doing this. The more e-mails, ideally written in your own personal style, that MPs receive, the greater the chance that critical change for a better future for football will finally be implemented.

Please don’t delay. Send off that e-mail to your MP today.

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