Does Anybody Care?
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Do football fans really care about the business side and ownership of their clubs? Do they only want a billionaire owner who can splash the cash?

Or are they only bothered about results, crowing over other fans and getting drunk?

Supporters Direct, the organisation that enables supporter ownership and involvement in clubs, has launched its own manifesto to reform English football.

Chief Executive Robin Osterley highlighted two of the chief demands being made by SD: "We don't think that it is too much to ask that supporters know exactly which person actually owns their club. We think it's equally reasonable to expect that the rights of supporters are protected properly by the rules, and that it's about time it was done, and done properly."

The manifesto calls for:

  • Address the issue of reform of the FA to alter the balance of power in the game, and ensure that it can take the lead, as an independent regulator, in decision making for issues of major significance for football.
  • Implement an effective licensing system for football clubs which enshrines the rights of supporters.
  • Support the work of the Expert Working Group on Supporter Ownership and Engagement, which will produce an interim report in March 2015.
  • Implement the SD proposal for Community Owned Sports Clubs (COSCs).
  • Implement a tighter and more effective Owners and Directors Test and empower the FA to police it adequately.
  • Ensure that football makes public the name(s) of the ultimate individuals who own and control our clubs.
  • Ensure that every professional football club has in place a formal structured plan for meaningful engagement and consultation with supporters groups.
  • Give supporters the opportunity to bid to take control of their club if there is a change of ownership.
  • Remove barriers to supporter ownership and facilitate the introduction of independent and/or supporter directors on club boards.
  • Develop a Code of Governance for football clubs at least as robust as that operating in the wider business community.

Osterley added: "Much of this manifesto serves as a timely reminder that there has been a block on vital areas of change for far too long. We hear increasing rhetoric from politicians that suggests that they're prepared to move and force the change that is needed. We now need that rhetoric to be turned into action - the Expert Working Group is a great start. Additionally, football itself must work with supporters, government and other stakeholders to ensure a positive and proactive approach to the way our game is run."

The full manifesto can be downloaded at

Supporter Ownership Week is on the 11th April. For more, go to:

Parliament published its Football Governance Report four years ago but the politicians have done nothing since. Nor have the FA, UEFA or FIFA. And of course they won't unless you make them. You can read the report here:

What do you think? Sensible comments only below.



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