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This report has been produced on behalf of ‘For Fans Too’ a supporters-first campaign advocating for improved governance and regulation of football in England. It follows on from the fan-led review into English football governance carried out by former sports minister Tracey Crouch MP and published in November 2021. It builds on the central recommendation of the review to establish an independent regulator for English football (IREF) which can protect the financial sustainability of the game.
The report explores how an independent regulator can be structured to function in an effective manner by delivering maximum value for the fans. It considers the evidence for regulatory best practice from within football, corporate governance and beyond. Case studies illustrate the importance of greater financial responsibility and the protection of cultural heritage in English football. This leads into a broader discussion of what good governance would look like – ensuring that the new IREF does not fall to Premier League dominance and forms of regulatory capture.
The main findings and recommendations consider a framework for English football governance which is enshrined in statute to recognise the unique social and economic value which football clubs provide to their community, while ensuring fair competition and greater supporter input, to secure the financial sustainability of the game and maintain the global economic appeal of English football.
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