Last week, I appeared on the Daily Politics show to talk about why I am pleased Labour have announced plans for football fan representation at the most senior level at their football clubs.
We wouldn't have football clubs at all without the dedicated supporters who turn up at matches and offer their loyal support. As the saying goes, football without fans is nothing.
It therefore makes logical sense to me that they be given more power and more say in the clubs that they support. We have seen in Wirral the excellent work of the Tranmere Rovers Supporters Trust, for example. So it’s right that we offer properly constituted fans’ trusts more chance to be heard in the running of the game by appointing some of the directors, and getting a chance to buy up to a 10 per cent stake.
It is no big secret that I am a lifelong proud Liverpool FC supporter and I know that the club you support is part of your identity. You can’t just switch allegiances, as you would with any other business. I’m sure Evertonians, and fans of all clubs, would agree!
It is easy to think that football clubs in terms of big businesses nowadays with money and power but it is important that the connection between the clubs core supporters is not lost.
I personally believe that football fans deserve to have more of this power than they currently do and that they have the capabilities and knowledge to take on such roles and have more of a say in the main issues facing their team.
Labour’s plans would allow for accredited supporters’ trusts to appoint and remove up to a quarter and not less than two of a football club’s board of directors and to purchase up to 10 per cent of the shares when a club changes ownership, if they so wish.
The plans would give the fans more powers in terms of accountability. I believe these proposals are a positive step in transferring some power back to fans who have previously perhaps felt at times left behind in the direction of their club. This is something I have been wanting to see for a long time.
By Alison McGovern MP for Wirral News