Tell your MP we’re #fansnotnumbers
The Fulham Supporters’ Trust strongly supports the #FansNotNumbers campaign launched by Supporters Direct earlier month.
The campaign might have got underway with an excellent event organised by the Blackpool Supporters’ Trust shining a light on the worrying developments at Bloomfield Road, but the proposals contained within Supporters Direct’s policy paper advocating regulatory reform of English football have been developed over eleven years of studying the inadequateness of our game compared with the continent’s licensing structures.
The #fansnotnumbers campaign, which is being backed by the sports clothing manufacterer Skins and the online discussion site Sporf, aims to demonstrate to decision-makers that football in England and Wales should be reformed along the lines suggested by the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee in 2012 and the Department of Culture Media and Sport’s Expert Working Group in 2015. The recent examples of Blackpool, Blackburn Rovers, Coventry City, Charlton Athletic and Leyton Orient show that owners are currently allowed to treat fans as consumers rather than recognising that they are the lifeblood of the game.
As the Fulham Supporters’ Trust chair Tom Greatrex told the #fansnotnumbers meeting at Brisbane Road, the era of ‘clubs marking their own homework’ has to end. Supporters Direct have made a number of recommendations to improve the governance of the game:
- An independent regulator sufficiently resourced and empowered to set and monitor regulation of clubs
- A new club licensing system that will proactively regulate club football
- Tangible improvements to English football’s governance framework around the ownership, stewardship and funding of clubs, the protection of stadiums and curbs on taking money out of the game.