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What is the Fan Led Review (FLR) ?


This review was promised by the current Government in its Party Manifesto for the 2019 General Election.


It will look at the way that football is governed in England across a wide range of issues.


What sort of issues?


There is no single, definitive list. But the FLR will certainly look at reforms to the way that TV revenues are distributed ; at securing a greater role for supporters in the way that their clubs are managed ; it will examine the way in which the FA and the various Leagues carry out their functions. Finally, it will consider whether a new, independent regulator is needed for football in much the same way as has been introduced for public utilities.


Why now?


Partly because of the Manifesto Commitment. But there is no doubt that the recent developments around the European Super League (ESL) have given looking at these issues even more urgency.


Who is going to carry out the review ?


It will be chaired by Tracey Crouch MP, and she will be supported by a panel of people reflecting views from  different parts of the game. As the name of the review suggests, the views of fans will be especially influential.


Ms. Crouch is the MP for Chatham & Aylesford, a former Sports Minister, and a Tottenham fan.


The Members of the Panel supporting her are :


Kevin Miles - Chief Executive, Football Supporters Association


Denise Barrett-Baxendale - Chief Executive, Everton FC


Clarke Carlisle - former Chair Professional Footballers Association


Dan Jones - Football Finance


Dawn Airey - Chair, Football Association Women’s Super League


David Mahoney - Chief Executive, England & Wales Cricket Board


James Tedford - former Secretary, Southport FC


Godric Smith - Director, Cambridge United FC


Danny Finkelstein - Independent

Roy Hodgson - former England Manager. 


How long will the review take?


It’s impossible to be precise. As we understand it, Ms. Crouch  is already meeting key players, and will start taking evidence very soon. The aim is to come up with some interim findings by the Parliamentary Recess in July, with a final report in the autumn, probably around October.


Who will be giving evidence?


A wide variety of people and organisations from around the game. The views of fans are particularly important, and Ms. Crouch has already said that she wants to meet with as many Supporters Trusts as she can.


We know that she is particularly interested in hearing from supporters of clubs who are in, or have been in, a crisis. That obviously includes us!


What form will evidence take?


Much of it will be written, as there isn’t time to do anything else. But Ms. Crouch will be taking oral evidence as well in due course.


What are BST doing to prepare?


We have a strong relationship with the Football Supporters Association (FSA), and are contributing to their evidence. In addition, we are also actively preparing our own ; it will be formally shared with Ms. Crouch and her support team as soon as is appropriate.


What will BST’s evidence cover?


We think it needs to do a couple of main things. The first is to tell our, unique story in a way that is relevant to the review. The second is to feed in our own ideas about how the way the game is run needs to change.


When does this all start?


It already has - the Review had a fairly low key launch on 20 May ; meetings are already underway


When will it finish?


The Review may be concluded by the autumn. Our assessment is that it is very likely to recommend some changes that require legislation.


If it does, then the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport will have to secure Parliamentary time for a Bill. And that is very likely to take the process into 2022 at least.


Is this not likely to disappoint supporters?


The more radical the recommended changes, the longer it is likely to take to implement them. Our view is that they will probably be worth the wait.


How can I get involved?


You can submit evidence of your own, if you wish, or write to the Review team to support whatever BST put forward.


Alternatively, you can write to your local MP to express your support for reform. In our experience, if enough of their constituents do this, most MPs feel obliged to take an active interest in proceedings.


How can we keep up to date with developments ?


Make the BST website one of your favourites! We will :


•   publish regular updates  on the review’s progress


•   publish our own contribution to the review when it goes forward


•   use our Newsletters to get key information out


•   provide opportunities to discuss the review at our general meetings and/or AGM


•   focus on different aspects of the review in order to give our supporters more “in depth” coverage on some of the detail


•   use a variety of social media to reach as many of our fans as we can, in as many formats as necessary


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