Letter to Hugh Robertson MP, Minister for Sport and the Olympics
Hugh Robertson MP,
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Sport and Olympics),
Department for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport,
2-4 Cockspur Street,
6th March 2012
I have recently been contacted by a number of my constituents who welcome the Government’s response to the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee Report on Football Governance and are keen to see the recommendations progress. I understand that the football authorities (the FA, Premier League and Football League) have also responded very recently to the Committee report and to the Government’s response.
It is very important to my constituents, and to me, that club supporters are given more of a voice in the management of football clubs. I believe this is vital if the clubs are to fully realise their potential as local community assets.
The Government’s response laid out plans for clubs to be required to hold regular AGMs to which supporter groups are invited and where key information is shared for the sake of transparency and consultation. Furthermore, the importance of ongoing dialogue between supporter groups and clubs, particularly following a ‘trigger point’ such as a change in control when it would be appropriate to have supporter representation on the board, was acknowledged.
These are positive proposals and I look forward to seeing them implemented as a first step in the process of reform. I also think there is a strong case for a far-reaching club licensing system. This must be independent not just in its enforcement but also, crucially, the rules that make up the license must be set independently and cannot be allowed to be dictated or vetoed by the vested interests (clubs, leagues)that they are intended to regulate.
I understand the Government expressly stated its intention to have ‘proposals for a plan of implementation’ in place by the end of February. I would be interested to know whether this deadline has been met and what plan of action has been put in place for meaningful progress on the reform of football governance.