Fair Game: Three proposals to be debated further by MPs

By Ray Simpson

Fair Game: Three proposals to be debated further by MPs

Amendments to Football Governance Bill

From Fair Game, of which Darlington FC are members:


SATURDAY 18 MAY 2024, LONDON, UK - Fair Game’s determination to support football’s hard-working community clubs and build a fairer future for football received a massive boost this weekend, with the news that three of its proposed changes to the Football Governance Bill have been selected for further debate.

Fair Game believes any new regulator must:

  1. Ensure financial fairness – the status quo is deeply flawed, the gaps between the haves and the have nots is getting wider at every level

  2. Be truly Independent – there can be no place in the decision-making process of the regulator for those in the pay of football’s authorities

  3. Not be a burden – there needs to be adequate support for clubs throughout the pyramid to ensure the highest standards are met

All three are crucial powers for the Independent Football Regulator (IFR) to have, if it is to be able to deliver a fairer future for football. All three should be absolute no brainers, yet incredibly all three were missing from the draft Bill.

Fair Game’s legal team drafted the required amendments and then submitted them for consideration. After intense lobbying on behalf of the 34 men’s professional clubs of Fair Game and dozens more similar clubs, the three have now gone forward to the 17 MPs who make up the Football Governance Bill committee for further consideration.

It is now up to the 17 to decide the fate of football.

Without these three, the IFR will not be able to deliver its core objectives of:

  1. Improving financial sustainability of clubs;

  2. Ensuring financial resilience across the leagues; and 

  3. Safeguarding English football's heritage.

Niall Couper, CEO of Fair Game, said:

“This is a now-or-never moment in the creation of a football regulator to transform how the beautiful game is run

“We are delighted that the Football Governance Committee has agreed to discuss three of our amendments, which if accepted will create a truly independent football regulator with the teeth required to deliver its core objectives. 

“Vested interest needs to be kicked out of the governance of football. The growing gap between football’s haves and have-nots needs to end. And clubs need the proper support to deliver the changes required.

“If a regulator is created without the appropriate bite, we will end up with a toothless body unfit for the purpose it was created.

“Now the onus is on the 17 members of the Football Governance Bill committee to ensure that these amendments are adopted into the final draft legislation.”

Fair Game is now calling on like-minded clubs to get in touch, support its calls and help ensure the final Bill is fit for purpose.