Football Association Governance

Part of Occupied Palestinian Territories: Israeli Settlements – in the House of Commons at 3:55 pm on 9th February 2017.

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Photo of Jason McCartney Jason McCartney Conservative, Colne Valley 3:55 pm, 9th February 2017

It is a pleasure to follow Judith Cummins. In a previous life, I reported on both Bradford City and their run in the Intertoto cup—we had a trip to see Zenit Saint Petersburg—and the Bradford Bulls in their successful time, with grand final wins, world club challenges and Challenge cups. I welcome her passion for the sporting clubs in the great city of Bradford.

I refer to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. I must also declare that, as a Huddersfield Town fan, I am delighted that my team is still in the FA cup, but slightly perplexed that the television companies have not picked our mouth-watering fifth round tie at home to Manchester City for live broadcast. Perhaps they will cover us in the quarter finals, when we might be playing Sutton United.

I must also put on record my thanks to the FA’s delivery partner, the Football Foundation, which has invested almost £600,000-worth of grants in my Colne Valley constituency. That includes £340,000 to Hepworth United for a new changing pavilion, and a grant of £53,000 for Honley cricket club and Honley junior football club for the refurbishment and extension of existing changing pavilion facilities. I was involved in both bids and supported both community projects.

My hon. Friend Damian Collins, the Culture, Media and Sport Committee Chairman, covered much of the ground. I want to focus on the fans. I am very lucky to support a club with a wonderful owner who is a genuine fan, Dean Hoyle. He has introduced many wonderful initiatives at my club, including season tickets for just £179. On Boxing day, two parents and two kids could see Huddersfield Town play for just £12—we won as well. The Huddersfield Town Foundation provides thousands of healthy breakfast clubs at schools, and the “Keep It Up” campaign of fans has organised bike rides that have raised more than £1 million for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and the Town Academy.

Not all fans are so lucky. Blackpool, Blackburn Rovers and Coventry fans will testify to that. That is why we need reform.