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Earthquake for English football – what the fan-led review means for Newcastle United fans




Proposals have been published that would change the landscape of English football forever, create an independent regulator with broad powers and create a shadow panel of fans with which clubs must interact.

Fan groups have described the fan-led review on football governance as a game-changer and “a momentous day” for the game as the government has called for it to be put into law next year.

Under the proposals of the review, which was chaired by Tracey Crouch and heard 100 hours of evidence, an independent regulator with broad powers of fan involvement with police, club funding, governance and – most importantly – who is responsible for our clubs is brought in.

READ MORE: Busy football day as fan-led review calls for change

A new shadow council of democratically elected fans will also be established at each club, with owners and managers legally required to consult on long-term plans.

These fans will have a “golden share” of their clubs, giving them veto power over heritage issues such as changing colours, moving the club’s stadium and, most importantly, whether they join new competitions.

This effectively means that the possibility of another European Premier League exit is dead.

The offerings include a newly formed owners and managers test, overseen by the independent regulator rather than the Premier League as the Newcastle takeover disaster has a far-reaching impact.

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Owners will be forced to take the exam every three years, while new managers will have to demonstrate an understanding of the club’s heritage and demonstrate future plans – as well as demonstrate that they are suitably qualified for the role.

There are also proposals to make the distribution of funding more equitable, and to reform the parachute payments system.

Newcastle owners may also take note of the detailed plans to overhaul the club’s finances, with owners having to prove they have the money to support their business plans.

In a move that interests new Newcastle owners, the review also introduces a clause to limit spending by wealthy owners if it “disrupts” the league.

Tracey Crouch, former Minister of Sports and chair of the fan-led review of football governance

That may quell some hopes of runaway spending by the Public Investment Fund if it goes into effect but United’s owners say their business plan will create a club that is sustainable in the long term.

The report states: “Because of the club’s precarious financial condition, if one or a few sordid club activity driven by owner subsidies is objectively assessed as destabilizing in the long term for the broader league in which it competes, the IREF should be able to prevent More owner injections on the grounds of financial stability and proportionality.”

Newcastle was explicitly mentioned in the report as an example of mismanagement under Mike Ashley when they had only one CEO on the board – Lee Charnley.

There are also proposals to improve diversity, enhance women’s football, and start a trial run to allow alcohol to be allowed on the stands in lower leagues before moving up to the higher level.

Greg Tomlinson, President of the Newcastle United Supporters Trust, who met Crouch and provided evidence of his own said: “I welcome a number of fan-led review findings and am delighted that Tracy Crouch and the Evidence of Trust team have provided them.

“It has been clear for some time that the Premier League is not fit to govern itself and that the recommendation for a new independent regulatory body for English football created by Act of Parliament should be welcomed by all football fans.

“I also welcome the report acknowledging that fans are the most important stakeholders in every club, for far too long until the takeover which was not the case at Newcastle United, and we are pleased with the approach that our new owners have publicly put in place.

“The Trust welcomes the recommendation to create a Shadow Board and the ‘Golden Engagement’ proposal and we look forward to continuing to work with the new owners of Newcastle United to create best practices in meaningful fan engagement.

“As always – the evidence is in action. The findings of this report represent an important step in the right direction but actions speak louder than words and the government must now act decisively through Parliament to enact legislation to put these recommendations into law and re-set football. to act in the interests of the masses.

The next step is to push for the proposals to be turned into law and the Football Supporters’ Association says they will now lobby the government, with fans encouraged to write to their deputies and their supporters trust too.

Kevin Miles, chief executive of the FSA, said: “This is potentially a huge step forward for football governance – the government has committed to a fan-led review that listened to the voices of the fans. It is now up to the government to make recommendations.

“Review proposals to strengthen the voice of fans in the game, protect football’s legacy and hierarchy, and provide truly independent regulation, lay the foundation for a prosperous and sustainable future for football at all levels.”

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