Stone calls for support for small football clubs and fan-led review of Scottish football

Jamie Stone, Far North MP and Liberal Democrat spokesperson for sport, has called for the UK Government to consult and support smaller football clubs as it implements the recommendations of the independent fan-led review of football governance and called for a similar review to take place in Scotland.

The UK Government today backed a fan-led review which called for the government to create a new independent regulator for English football (IREF), claiming this is necessary for the long-term financial stability of the men's professional game.

The report makes 47 recommendations, which are summed up in 10 major points:

  1. The government should create a new independent regulator (IREF).
  2. IREF should oversee financial regulation in football.
  3. IREF should establish new owners' and directors' tests.
  4. A new corporate governance code should be set up.
    Equality, diversity and inclusion plans should be mandatory for all clubs.
  5. Supporters should be consulted on all key off-field decisions through a 'shadow board'.
  6. Key items of club heritage should be protected by a 'golden share' for fans.
  7. There should be more support from the Premier League to the pyramid through a solidarity transfer levy, paid by Premier
  8. League clubs on buying players from overseas or other top-flight clubs.
  9. Women's football should be treated equally and given its own review.
  10. Stakeholders should work to increase protection of welfare of players leaving the game.

Mr Stone commented:

"For clubs further down the football pyramid they feel like they are entering into extra time. The review recommended that the Premier League clubs pay a "solidarity transfer levy" to further support the football pyramid and redistribute wealth.

"It seems that the Government will be leaving this important aspect to football authorities rather than taking control, which will come as a disappoint many teams in the Football League who will feel that it is a missed opportunity. What I seek is reassurance from the Government that clubs in the lower divisions will be better supported.

"I hope the Scottish Government now begin to listen to the pleas to conduct their own fan-led review. Scottish sport is not immune - it is also suffering because of faulty, broken structures. A fan-led review is what we need to put the fans back in charge of our beautiful game."

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