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Darlington Football Club

Ray Simpson / 10th May 2022

From Fair Game: Commitment to cultural change in football needed

From Fair Game: Commitment to cultural change in football needed

Levelling up agenda under the microscope

Fair Game says Queen's Speech must include commitment to cultural change in football if it is serious about Levelling Up agenda

  • We need a re-boot for the game we all love. The ecosystem is struggling with over half of our clubs technically insolvent. That culture is not sustainable.’ – Niall Couper, CEO Fair Game

ON THE day of the Queen’s Speech, Fair Game urged the Government to re-commit to the Levelling Up agenda, lay out a timeline for an introduction of an independent regulator in football, and crucially back the Sustainability Index.

The Sustainability Index would rate every professional football club in the country on four criteria: Financial Sustainability, Good Governance, Equality Standards and fan & community engagement. And the higher the club scores the more money it gets.

Those funds should then be used largely to invest in sustainable projects such as ground improvements, football academies and community programmes – effectively help levelling up those numerous towns and cities the clubs are based in, whilst also securing the long-term future of those clubs.

Fair Game is an organisation of 34 hard-working professional clubs in England and Wales backed by over 40 world-renowned experts developing realistic long-term solutions to the problems football faces.

Niall Couper, CEO of Fair Game, said: “We need a re-boot for the game we all love. The ecosystem is struggling with over half of our clubs technically insolvent. That culture is not sustainable.

“We urge the Government to deliver a firm timeline for the introduction of a new independent regulator. And grasp this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a future where every fan can feel secure that their club will be there for the long term.

“Incentivise clubs to be well run, encourage them to become embed in their community and financially viable for the long term, bring in the Sustainability Index. It would show a real commitment to the Levelling Up agenda.”

The appeal follows concerns voiced by the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Michael Gove, that the cost-of-living crisis could derail the Government’s 2019 manifesto commitment.

Fair Game is urging all the main parties to include the Index in their upcoming election manifestos.