Fan Led Review – OASF role.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport appointed a Fan-Led Review chaired by Tracey Crouch MP in the wake of the European Super League proposals (which threatened the very fabric of the football pyramid) and the collapse of Bury and Macclesfield which shone a spotlight on deficiencies in the corporate governance of these clubs, the failure to engage in meaningful communication to of critical information and lack of responsiveness to their wishes and interests.

Philippa Whittaker’s role

Retiring Foundation Director Philippa Whittaker has been much involved over the last number of months with the FSA’s submissions to the FLR, both as a financial expert member of the FSA’s study into corporate governance in EFL Clubs and as one of the Supporter Representatives selected to give evidence to the FLR fact-finding session on League 1 and 2 where Philippa;

  • Led on Safeguarding of Community and Club and Community Assets
  • Contributed to the analysis of deficiencies and gross inconsistency in scope, quality and reliability of financial, operational and planning information provided by EFL Clubs to their fans.

On July 21st Philippa was asked to join FSA League 2 elected reps to present the FSA’s views and concerns to the EFL Board at a Structured Engagement Meeting.

The text of the letter from Tracey Crouch MP to the Secretary of State is reproduced below.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1004891/TC_letter_to_Oliver_Dowden_Accessible_Format.pdf

Tracey Crouch MP House of Commons LondonTracey Crouch MP House of Commons London SW1A 0AA The Rt Hon Oliver Dowden CBE MP Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport . Department for Digital, Culture Media & Sportassets.publishing.service.gov.uk

OASF particularly welcomes the following aspects of the letter that we have been supporting:

  • Independent Regulator able to require Clubs to report meaningful, consistent and accurate financial and operational information to fans – rather than having to rely on owners to report largely what they choose, as the statutory reporting baseline is so weak ,especially for Clubs who are Small Companies”;
  • Recognition that whilst fans are forever, owners are stewards of a Club and its heritage and culture who come and go;
  • Adoption of “Golden Share” proposals to give fans a veto over changes to Club assets in terms of its ground and ownership, club badge and club colours;
  • Recognition that the role of Supporter Director on Club Boards frequently does not work well, with such directors lacking any real power, but tending to be held responsible by fans for unpopular Club policy;
  • Criticism of football authorities for a supine attitude to enforcement of commitment to transparency;
  • Reforms to the Governance of the EFL so that its governance is more independent of Clubs and their interests and instead is responsive to the needs of fans and wider society.

OASF will post the link to the full FSA evidence submission as soon as the FSA publishes it.

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