Government seeks views on supporter ownership

A government taskforce has issued a ‘call for evidence’ on barriers to increasing supporter ownership and engagement in football clubs.

The Expert Working Group on Football Supporter Ownership and Engagement was launched by the government in October and met for the first time on November 25.

And it now wants to hear expert views about legal and regulatory barriers and incentives to increasing supporter ownership and engagement in clubs.

The call for evidence aims to:

  • identify current legal, financial, tax and insolvency barriers that prevent greater supporter ownership of football clubs
  • gather views on which current football rules and regulations, and/or statutory laws, create barriers to supporter ownership
  • collect ideas and opinions on possible changes to existing regulations and legislation that would support greater supporter and community ownership of clubs
  • hear suggestions of best practice and ways to sustain and increase supporter engagement in football clubs.

Supporters’ groups and people working in relevant sectors and industries are expected to respond, although individual supporters can also present their views.

You can submit evidence online. The deadline is January 9, 2015.

The group will discuss and review the evidence in January and February next year before delivering initial recommendations by March 2015, with a full report following later in the year.

Minister for Sport, Helen Grant, said: ‘Everyone involved in the Expert Working Group wants this to be a thorough piece of work and today’s call for evidence is a statement of intent that the group will be as inclusive as possible.

‘Many people, groups and sectors have opinions on how we can support and sustain supporter ownership of and involvement in football clubs and this process gives everyone an opportunity to be heard.’

As well as the Dons Trust, the Expert Working Group members are:

Additional expert witnesses, which are likely to include other supporters trusts and expert organisations, will be invited to attend future meetings as appropriate.