Football clubs play a fundamental role in preserving and representing the identity of their local communities. I believe that the Football Association (FA) has a duty to ensure that all clubs, regardless of their league position, are well maintained both on and off the pitch.
Football clubs are more than just businesses. I share the concerns raised by organisations such as the Fans not Numbers Campaign about the governance structure of the Football Association. Due to pressure from supporters groups and organisations, in May 2017 the FA ratified new corporate governance proposals.
The reforms included the addition of 11 members to the FA council to ensure it reflects the inclusive and diverse nature of English football better. It also brought an end to the appointments of senior vice presidents and life vice presidents of the FA council. However, I believe that The FA should be the champion of football at all levels, from the Sunday league to the Premier League. I would like to see more representation for the EFL League 2, the National League, and Women’s Football on the FA Board. I support groups such as SKINs and Supporters Direct who are calling for further reform of the Football Association.
I share the concerns voiced by lower League club owners at the lack of investment in grassroots football. This reduction in funding has occurred during a period within which the Premier League has a revenue of £8.3 billion from broadcasting rights alone. Despite lucrative domestic and international TV deals, the grassroots game has not seen the funding it deserves over recent years. I believe the Conservative Government should ensure that 5% of the income from Premier League's television rights is diverted to the grassroots game.
The Labour Party’s Manifesto commits to giving football supporters the opportunity to have a greater say in how their clubs are run. It pledges to legislate for accredited supporters trusts to be able to appoint and remove at least two club directors and to purchase shares when clubs change hands.