The Robins Trust is proud to join supporter groups from across the country as a co-sponsor of the Sustain The Game! campaign launched today by the Football Supporters Association.
Cheltenham Town are also one of only a handful of Football League clubs to officially back the campaign that calls for urgent action to protect football as we know it.
Sustain The Game calls for the football authorities to protect the existence of clubs throughout the game, especially in the wake of Covid-19.
The campaign calls for transparency in club ownership, greater and stricter financial controls and a fairer distribution of funding.
Crucially, it also demands that the fans “the lifeblood of the game” must have a voice in their clubs.
The Robins Trust has a significant voice at Cheltenham Town through our Fan Elected Director, Dave Beesley.
Dave presented the campaign to the Club board earlier this week and asked if his fellow directors would add their public backing.
And we are delighted to say that our club is one of just seven from across the country that will publicly support Sustain The Game!
Kevin Miles, chief executive of the FSA, said: “Football occupies a special space in our society as clubs carry huge cultural and local economic importance.
“Sustain The Game! will demonstrate the need for urgent action as the very existence of many clubs is under threat. If we don’t act now we might lose some forever.
“We call on everyone with an interest in the game, from clubs and leagues to players and managers, to come together and work in partnership to support Sustain The Game! The time for action isn’t next week, next month, or next year - it’s now.”
So far, the campaign has achieved support from supporter groups at almost all of the 92 Premier League and Football League clubs and women’s game.
High-profile former professionals and pundits such as Jamie Carragher, Henry Winter, Colin Murray, Amy Lawrence, Guy Mowbray and Peter Drury have also given the campaign their backing.
Political support comes in the shape of ex-sports minister Tracey Crouch MP, Labour’s shadow sports minister Alison McGovern MP and Liberal Democrats’ Daisy Cooper MP, the party’s sports spokesperson.
The campaign is also backed by the cross-party All-Party Parliamentary Group for Football Supporters and many community-owned clubs including the newly-formed Bury AFC.
Campaign backers say the football authorities and government cannot sit back and watch as dozens of historic clubs are under immediate threat and could disappear altogether.
Former Liverpool and England defender Jamie Carragher said: “The FSA's Sustain The Game! campaign can play a massive role in protecting clubs throughout the game.
“This is a difficult time for the game but it's also a chance to make real changes. Supporters' have to be involved in that as well.”
Sustain The Game! is built around five key principles and aims to protect clubs, increase transparency, implement strong independent financial controls, strengthen the football pyramid, and increase supporter engagement.
Sustain The Game! Principles: permalink
- Protect our clubs - football clubs are community assets and an important expression of individual and local identity, they deserve legal protection and urgent support to secure their future;
- Transparency - everyone has a right to know who owns their club, and how clubs and the authorities operate. Owners are custodians of clubs on behalf of all of us;
- Financial controls - fans want rules with real teeth which are independently enforced, clubs and leagues can't be left to regulate themselves;
- Strengthen the pyramid - football as a whole is wealthy, but we need a smarter and fairer use of the money in the game to encourage sustainability;
- Supporter engagement - fans are the lifeblood of the game, they need a voice in their clubs and on all issues that affect them and their communities.
To find out more about Sustain The Game! and see all signatories visit: www.thefsa.org.uk