MP leading Football Governance reform campaign in Westminster calls on fans to get involved on July 26th
Damian Collins, MP for Folkestone and Hythe, and the man responsible for the cross party supported Football Governance Bill has come out strongly in favour of Supporters Direct and the FSF’s call for proper consultation with supporters about the future of our national game, and urged fans to attend the Supporters Summit on the 26th July.
His Bill is designed to tackle some of the issues long campaigned on by SD and the FSF, including the most recent Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee reports – the fifth report in forty years demanding big changes to the way the game is run in England.
Much of the recent focus has been on the widely panned proposals for B-Teams and ‘Strategic Loan Partnerships’. The deeply unpopular ideas were tabled by Greg Dyke’s FA Commission on the ‘Future of the England team’, with the response summed up in grassroots #SayNoToLeague3 campaign.
Despite Dyke’s Commission claiming to have ‘engaged widely with football’s stakeholders’, SD only had their submission acknowledged days after the report had been published, the FSF merely had their submission ‘acknowledged’, and neither were invited to give evidence formally to the Commission. This is despite both representing a combined membership/activist base of some one million fans, members of supporters’ trusts and other supporters’ organisations.
More recently, the way that important decisions are being made across Leagues and governing bodies has moved into sharp focus, particularly in recent days.
In his message, Collins said:
“Football is nothing without the fans and any reform of the sport must include consultation with supporters including representative bodies such as Supporters Direct and the Football Supporters’ Federation. I would urge fans to attend the upcoming SD/FSF Summit and have their voices heard.”
Robin Osterley, Chief Executive of SD, commented:
“We welcome Damian’s work on the running of the game, which is a continuation of the work done by John Whittingdale’s Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee. Fans need to unite on the big issues, along with our other allies in the game – at grassroots, in non-league, and across football. So many of us share a desire to see the way the game is run changed to benefit the fans and all those who care about it, and not just a privileged elite. We urge you to seize the opportunity on the 26th July, and help us to create a real manifesto for change that we can all campaign on together.”
Five things you can do
1. You can sign up for the Supporters Summit via a specially dedicated website: www.supporterssummitt.co.uk
2. You can watch a video about Damian’s Bill via his You Tube Channel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4T8QonHpu9s and ask for your MP to support it via www.writetothem.com
3. You can sign and share the #SayNoToLeague3 petition via: http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/football-association-say-no-to-b-teams
4. You can read SD’s submission to the Dyke Commission www.supporters-direct.org/homepage/research/policy/response-to-the-fa-chairmans-commission
5. You can read the FSF’s submission to the Dyke Commission www.fsf.org.uk/assets/Downloads/Misc/2014/England-Commission-FSF-evidence.pdf