Fan Led Review - Update

— 4 minute read

Cheltenham Town fans will get their chance to submit evidence to the Government's Fan Led Review of Football.

The chair of the Review attended a meeting of the Football Supporters Association National Council on Monday night to explain in detail how the review will work.

Robins Trust chair and FSA National Council member James Young heard Tracey Crouch MP outline just how Robins fans will be able to feed into the review and how the report which will concentrate on the governance of the English pyramid system will be submitted.

The Robins Trust will be joined by hundreds of supporter organisations across the country at FSA-led evidence sessions to the panel throughout May and June, at which Crouch will listen to their experiences and proposals for improving football governance.

Detailing the process, Crouch told the Council that while a panel of football, business and regulatory experts had been brought together to carry out the review, the final recommendations to government will be hers alone.

She said: "The initial plan had been to operate the fan-led review on a regional basis, however, after consultation with the FSA it was agreed that conducting the meetings by league, using existing FSA Networks, was likely to bring better results. The meetings will be held online to increase accessibility.

"The report will be my report as chair, not the panel’s, and a clear Terms of Reference has been laid out. The advisory panel will join the fan-led evidence sessions and advise on technicalities which arise from within their area of expertise, but it does not sign off the final report.

"The fan-led review has full government backing, unlike previous football governance reviews which have either been led by Culture, Media and Sport committees, or football itself, meaning that in all of those cases, Government has not had to act on their recommendations."

Crouch stressed that there will be grey areas and subjects such as replica kit or match ticket prices would not be covered as there were far more important issues to tackle.

"They are important issues but we want this review to focus as tightly as possible on structure and finance of the game," she said. "The key subjects will therefore include the Owners’ and Directors’ Test, an independent regulator and meaningful fan engagement.

"I’ll also be speaking to governing bodies and fan organisations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Germany to gauge opinions from different leagues."

Fan-led evidence sessions permalink

A series of fan-led evidence sessions, starting today, will take place during May and June with FSA-affiliates and associates at every level of the game being given an opportunity to make proposals.

An interim chair’s report is planned for July while the final report has been scheduled for October 2021, which will be written after evidence from hundreds of supporter organisations across dozens of events has been heard.

The advisory panel will offer specialist advice to the chair but it will not write the report.

In past reviews the involvement of the football authorities gave them a veto on proposals – this review is not structured in that manner.

The FSA did not select the advisory panel, but are represented on it through CEO Kevin Miles, and he is looking forward to working with the other members.

The FSA did help shape the process that will see all supporter organisations involved in the fan-led evidence sessions.

Those sessions give all fan groups, from the top of the pyramid to its base, more opportunities to present their proposals to the chair than those afforded the football authorities.

More information about the evidence sessions and how supporters can feed into the Fan Led Review will be announced by the Trust and the FSA in the coming days and weeks.