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“For Blackpool Fans, our Club and our Community”

Dear fellow “Pool fan

You may have seen that the King has today set out the Government’s proposed legislative programme for the final session of the current Parliament.

The big news for us is that the long anticipated announcement of legislation governing English football was included.

His Majesty said :

"Legislation will be brought forward to safeguard the interests of football clubs for the benefit of communities and fans."

We understand that the Bill will :

  • establish a new Regulator for English football (top five tiers)

  • create a new, strengthened, Owners & Directors Test

  • set a new minimum standard of fan engagement, including heritage issues like club name, colours and badge

  • make all future sales or relocations of football stadia subject to Regulatory approval following fan consultation

  • prevent clubs joining breakaway or unlicensed Leagues

  • give the Regulator "last resort" powers to intervene regarding the distribution of TV broadcast revenue

  • create a compulsory Corporate Governance Code for football clubs

The Bill will apply in England and Wales.

This is obviously a significant moment for football fans at countless clubs up and down the country, many of who have campaigned hard for change. Thankfully, we at Blackpool are nowadays free of the anxieties that supporters of clubs in crisis suffer. But there are still far too many fans in that position. This is a big step forward for them.

The fact that this has happened at all is also a huge vindication for Blackpool fans. We were one of the supporter groups that were invited to give evidence to Tracey Crouch.

But every 'Pool' fan that played a part in the Blackpool campaign - whether that be signing a petition, writing to an MP, joining a protest, taking part in the boycott or working for change behind the scenes - has helped to bring this about.

The next step will be for the Department of Culture, Media & Sport to publish a draft Bill, which will then make its way through Parliament. We will keep you up to date on its content and progress, and on how we think it affects all of us.

BST Committee

7 November 2023

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