Professional and Amateur Sport: Government Support

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:45 pm on 30th September 2020.

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Photo of Chris Evans Chris Evans Labour/Co-operative, Islwyn 12:45 pm, 30th September 2020

Community ownership of sports clubs comes in all shapes and sizes. It can be a lifeline for a local sports club to have fans who have not only a financial stake, but a say in how the club is run. When we were campaigning in Islwyn to save Pontllanfraith Leisure Centre, it was particularly helpful to have that community ownership element as an option for people to take over the running of the leisure centre. I hope the Minister will look at ways of expanding that scheme. Community ownership can go wider—I am thinking here of football. Has the Minister thought of more innovative ways of raising finance by creating some sort of community trust in which we ask the top earning 100 footballers in this country—some are earning £350,000 to £500,000 a week—to donate just one week’s wages to a trust, which then can be distributed among those struggling clubs to ensure that communities can still enjoy their football.