Mansfield MP backs government plan to put fans at the heart of football

Mansfield MP Coun Ben Bradley has welcomed the news from the Government that for the first time, a new independent regulator for the men’s elite game will be established in law to oversee the financial sustainability of the game and put fans back at the heart of how the game is run.
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Culture, Media and SportThe regulator will implement a new licensing system from the Premier League to the National League that will require clubs to demonstrate sound financial business models and good corporate governance as part of an application process before being allowed to compete

Fans will also have a greater say in the strategic running of their clubs. The regulator will require clubs to comply with the Football Association on their new rules for heritage which will give fans a veto over changes to the badge and home shirt colours, in addition to the strong existing protections for club names.

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In addition, clubs will have to seek the approval of the regulator for any sale or relocation of the stadium, with fan engagement a major part of that process.

Coun Ben Bradley in goal at Mansfield Town's One Call Stadium.Coun Ben Bradley in goal at Mansfield Town's One Call Stadium.
Coun Ben Bradley in goal at Mansfield Town's One Call Stadium.

There will be new tests for owners and directors, ensuring good custodians of clubs, stronger due diligence on sources of wealth and a requirement for robust financial planning.

The regulator will have a targeted power of last resort to intervene in relation to financial distributions, to deliver a solution if football fails to itself. This will ensure greater financial protection for clubs throughout the entire pyramid

The regulator will have the power to prevent English clubs from joining new competitions which do not meet the predetermined criteria, in consultation with the FA. This will stop any future attempts at closed shop breakaway competitions like the European Super League.

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Coun Bradley, also Nottinghamshire Council leader, said: “Local clubs like Mansfield Town are at the heart of our community. While we have been lucky to have good owners that care about Mansfield and put the fans first, too many fans have suffered due to unscrupulous owners that have failed to properly protect their clubs.

“This announcement from Government has the potential protect clubs and ensure that we don't see further financial failings, as well as to give a voice to the fans who have been ignored for far too long.

“It needs to be the right balance. Nobody wants the Government to be running football, but the right, light touch system to ensure that Football is run to the benefit of clubs and communities could be very positive.

“If we can do that then I know people across Mansfield and Warsop will welcome this announcement that can help safeguard our national game, making it fit for the future.”

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Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Lucy Frazer said: “Our plans will end the boom and bust culture of football club finances and prevent the risk that club owners treat historic assets as expendable commodities.

“But for too long those responsible for running our national game have failed and our reforms will help strengthen the game.

“With a new independent regulator to check prospective owners, stop unwanted breakaway leagues and protect clubs’ heritage, we are now calling time on mismanagement which has left too many fans facing the loss of the club’s that they love.