Deeside politicians back call for independent regulator to “put football back in the hands of fans”
Local politicians Mark Tami and Jack Sargeant want to see an independent regulator that will “put football back in the hands of football fans.”
The comments came ahead of a Parliamentary debate on an independent regulator for football.
The debate taking place on Monday, June 14, is in response to a petition signed by 140,000 football fans – including hundreds in Flintshire.
The petition is also supported by high profile former players like Gary Neville and Gary Lineker.
The petitions creator said a regulator would help protect football and its fans from proposals like the European Super League.
The UK government announced that Tracey Crouch MP will chair a fan-led review of governance. “She will engage extensively with fans to ensure their experiences are at the centre of the review.”
The petition states: “The Government should use the recently established fan led review of football to introduce an Independent Football Regulator in England to put fans back at the heart of our national game.”
“This should happen by December 2021.”
“Like a referee, an independent regulator would safeguard our beautiful game impartially. This doesn’t currently exist.”
“An Independent Regulator could protect the game against another attempt at a super league or other efforts to put money ahead of fans.”
“Water companies, energy providers and the media all have an independent regulator. Football matters to millions and should also have a regulator of its own.”
The 50+1 rule is a model adopted in German football in 1998, the clause states that clubs will not be allowed to participate in the German Football League – the Bundesliga – if commercial investors hold more than a 49 per cent stake.
That means a club’s members – the fans – must therefore retain a majority ownership stake.
The rule guard clubs against the motives of private investors, who could potentially prioritise and fiercely pursue profit over the will of the supporters or the long-term health of the club.
The 50+1 rule has been praised for its impact on the game in Germany, with the Bundesliga regularly dominating the average attendance charts of European football and ticket prices remaining relatively affordable for fans.
Alyn and Deeside MP Mark Tami said: “Football should belong to its fans and we should never again see wealthy owners trying to damage the beautiful game with proposal like the European Super League. ”
“That is why Jack and I support the idea of an independent regulator and fans having a meaningful stake in clubs.”
Jack Sargeant recently won praise for highlighting the problems with the appointment of Angela van den Bogerd to director of the Football Association of Wales.
Bogerd was heavily involved in the Post Office scandal which saw dozens of post office staff wrongly convicted and some spend time in jail for crimes they didn’t commit.
The Alyn and Deeside MS has long called for football to be more accountable to fans, he said:
“I am a passionate football fan and want to empower fans to have a real say in the direction of the game.”
“I really welcome proposals for an independent regulator as I was disgusted with the idea of a European Super league and am clear that we must take it as warning and act to change things now.”
The debate will last 90 minutes, and will provide opportunities for MPs to question Government Ministers directly on these issues. The debate will take place in Westminster Hall from 18:15, and will be available to view on Parliament TV and on YouTube. Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com