Trust backs licensing proposals
A delegation from the Fulham Supporters’ Trust went to Westminster this week as Supporters Direct unveiled their proposals for football club licensing at the House of Commons.
Supporters Direct’s plans are in response to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee’s report on football governance and aim to end the era of unsustainable debt, leveraged buyouts and reckless financial gambles in English football. There is cross-party support for the introduction of a licensing system, similar to that operating in Germany, as the event was hosted by Jessica Lee, the Conservative MP for Erewash, and the meeting also heard from the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Simon Hughes.
The founding chair of the Fulham Supporters’ Trust, Tom Greatrex, now Labour MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, said the licensing idea crossed political boundaries, saying: “Nobody seriously doubts the ability of (fans) to contribute in a constructive way. It’s right to recognise the role of fans in the new licensing arrangements as guarantors of the best interests of clubs and their communities.”
William Gaillard, an advisor to UEFA President Michel Platini, also offered his support, describing the Bundesliga model and outlining some of the ways in which European football’s governing body have moved towards licensing, such as introducing Financial Fair Play.
Whilst in Westminster, the Trust also took the opportunity to meet with Fulham season-ticket holders Andy Slaughter and Steve Pound (Labour MPs for Hammersmith and Ealing North, respectively).
The licensing proposals may be read here and the Trust will keep members informed of progress with the proposals.