It’s time to empower football fans

It looks like we football fans are finally getting a say in how our clubs are run. We’ll take you through the typical length, width and overall size of a soccer field dimensions so that when it comes time for your next game day.

We can be happy about that. . . or at least say, “Fucking time too.”

It looks like we football fans are finally getting a say in how our clubs are run


It looks like we football fans are finally getting a say in how our clubs are run

The Government has committed to trying to implement all ten key recommendations from a fan-led review in English football.

This review was the work of Conservative MP and former Secretary of State for Sport, Tracey Crouch, and we should applaud her efforts.

Let’s see if they actually become law and make a difference.

We need to make this work – for the good of the game, the fans, our clubs, even the safety of the owners who are increasingly feeling the wrath of the fans.

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Fans can only be taken for granted and ignored until it gets ugly.

There are 85 league places between Manchester United and Oldham Athletic, but only 11 miles as the crow flies.

And they’re even closer in fans’ despair over the owners of their respective clubs.

Both have now seen games canceled or suspended – in Oldham’s case just this weekend – as that desperation has turned to anger.

Keep up the good work and we’ll see more of the same each season.

Fans have to have a say.

It looks like we – or rather our representatives in the club hierarchy – could get a veto on things like selling a stadium or changing the crest or colors of the team.

As much – or little – input as we get, it will likely be better than what we have at the moment, which is next to nothing.

The biggest question of all is who, if anyone, can stop the wrong people from taking over our clubs.

As it stands, we as fans are powerless. This is critical.

As managers and coaches come and go, the owner stays with you.

Where we are now with these proposed reforms reminds me of a coach on the morning of a game who has been working on a meticulous game plan all week and is now about to find out if the opposition is coming and preventing it from functioning.

The opposition in this case? The big deal that is football.

The proposal provides for an independent regulator to keep football clubs – i.e. football companies – in line.

I don’t want to be cynical, but let’s ask ourselves how successful regulators have been in keeping other industries in line.

For an answer, a good place to start might be to start with how much untreated wastewater your water company’s regulator allows it to be pumped into rivers and the sea. Yes, exactly.

Important recommendations

An independent regulatory body for the game that also oversees financial matters.

The Premier League should guarantee the support of a wider football community.

A “gold stock” to give fans a say in “Heritage” decisions like moving stadiums and changing badges.

A “shadow board” that allows fans to be properly consulted on important decisions.

Tests for New Owners/Directors – Only “good administrators and qualified directors” can lead clubs.

Women’s football should be treated equally.

Corporate governance in a new football code.

The welfare of players leaving the game needs better protection.

Improve equality, diversity and inclusion.

If it were easy to stop a fake guy from taking over your club, there wouldn’t be fake guys running our clubs.

But they are there – although we already have so-called “Fit and Proper” tests to prevent this.

A key problem is that football clubs are not rational companies.

Yes, Premier League clubs make tons of money from shirt sales and fortunes in TV money.

But their expenses are monstrous.

Imagine a player at a club – Jack Grealish at Manchester City.

The purchase cost them £100m and they will pay him more than £70m in wages over the course of his contract.

The numbers are insane and it is actually very difficult for clubs to turn a profit.

In order to be successful they often take on huge debts like Barcelona did.

So why would anyone want to own a club? Well, here’s the problem.

Probably no sane person would do that. So you’re left with people doing something else.

To be fair they are just good souls who love the game or club and are happy not to make any money from it.

Or they could just be stupid.

Or their motivation could be to improve the reputation of a fabulously wealthy country with a terrible human rights record.

Or the looks of a fabulously wealthy person who happens to be a horrible person.

Or maybe they’re a group of faceless wealthy individuals who have figured out how to use some complicated financial tools to turn a club into a quick buck.

And if that process leaves the club in tatters, so be it. what do they care

The only part they ever had in it was financial. Emotions never came into play.

The idea is to have a regulator that can stop these types of people from behaving this way with our beloved clubs.

That would be great.

But the problem is that these types of people have a lot more money to spend on lawyers than anyone trying to stop them.

Sorry if I sound cynical but I’m fed up with football at the moment – ironically for reasons not entirely unrelated to the current ownership of my club, West Bromwich Albion.

But the answer for all of us is to stand behind these new ideas and make sure government carries them through – and then perhaps our clubs could be sustaining after all for their fans, be they rich or poor, and the communities they are meant to serve stay.

We should all pay tribute to Conservative MP and former Secretary of State for Sport, Tracey Crouch, for her efforts


We should all pay tribute to Conservative MP and former Secretary of State for Sport, Tracey Crouch, for her effortsCredit: Paul Edwards The Sun It’s time to empower football fans


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