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Football: Governing Bodies

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 18th October 2018.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of (a) the response of stakeholders to the 2011 report of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee on football governance and (b) other aspects of that governance.

Photo of Tracey Crouch Tracey Crouch The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The football authorities in England have responded to the governance challenges put to them by the Commons Digital Culture, Media and Sport Committee in 2011. The Football Association has reformed its Board and Council to meet the requirements of the UK Sports Governance Code published in 2016. The Code requires all sport National Governing Bodies to have in place appropriate levels of transparency, accountability and financial rigour. Working with the football authorities and supporter groups, the Government’s Expert Working Group on supporter interests, has improved the relationship between clubs and fans.

The FA has introduced a club licensing system in the National League System covering the areas of legal; ownership and control; integrity; finance; and grounds and security of tenure. The Premier League and English Football League that take responsibility for these matters for clubs in their competition now require business cases and proof of funds from owners. Salary caps and transfer embargoes, together with financial fair play rules has made the financial state of clubs in this country better than at any time over the last 20 years. However we are not complacent and we will continue to work with football to ensure its governance meets the future challenges of the game.

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