Wrexham Supporters Trust is fully backing Supporters Direct in its campaign to increase engagement between Supporters' Trusts and its clubs.
We at Wrexham do not have a problem anymore, but we know the process for fans owned clubs is not an easy route to take. We are proud of the fact that we became the first Supporters Trust owned club to take over the running of the Club as a going concern.
We are fully behind SD's campaign to give football back to the fans; too often these days we are seeing Football Clubs mismanaged due to owners attempts to 'keep up with the Jones's'. This type of management has led to clubs facing extinction, Portsmouth being a fine example, whilst many other clubs are on the brink.
Premier League football may have been good for the game in bringing the world's most talented players to these shores, but the grass roots of the game seems to have been neglected, with few domestic players making an impact at that level, which no doubt has had an effect on the home nations impact in international football.
Following the 2011 Football Governance inquiry undertaken by the Select Committee for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, SD, with the support of the Trust movement's 300,000 members in the UK, has been working towards ensuring that the Committee's key recommendations are adopted by football's authorities and the Government.
Today, 5th February, SD are hosting an event at the Houses of Parliament, beginning at 4:00pm in the Jubilee Room, featuring contributions from Penny Mordaunt (Conservative MP, Portsmouth South), John Leech MP (Liberal Democrat Sports spokesman) and Clive Efford MP (Shadow Sports Minister).
There is a clear need for greater supporter involvement at football clubs, a point emphasised by the Committee in their July 2011 report; endorsed by the Government in its October response; and recognised by the football's authorities (The FA, Premier League and Football League) in their February 2012 joint response.
However, the issue of constitutional reform at The FA appears to be facing a blockage, which is impacting on the wider reform process. We believe that now is the opportune moment for the Committee and the House as a whole to back the efforts being undertaken by the Trust movement to ensure that supporter related agendas that do not require constitutional reform or legislation are realised.
As such, there are three key recommendations from the Governance review that we would like to see implemented in a timely fashion, all of which are broadly supported by the key stakeholders:
- The establishment of a Government Expert Group to explore methods of removing barriers to increased collective supporter share ownership in their football clubs;
- The inclusion of a clause in the League's rulebooks that underpins a Structured Relationship between supporters' trusts plus other supporter groups and their clubs;
- The designation of sports stadia as Assets of Community Value as prescribed in the Localism Act 2011.