Football Governance Bill

The Football Governance Bill had its second reading on Tuesday 23 April 2024. This is a landmark bill which establishes a regulator which will ensure clubs are regulated with a light touch but with sanctions if necessary. There will be a fit and proper test for Directors and the regulator will be able to intervene on behalf of the fans for example if the name , colours are changed and the Stadium is moved. However, the Bill does not mandate or change the parachute payments which are paid to clubs as they go down from the Premier League to the Championship and back up. 

The Bill has cross-party support. I made 3 interventions in the debate. 

I asked the Secretary of State: 

“I am not going to mention my local football clubs—oh, all right, I will: Walsall football club and Darlaston Town 1874 FC, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary. The shape of the Bill at the minute is due to the Minister sitting next to the Secretary of State, the right hon. Member for Pudsey (Stuart Andrew), who has engaged with all Members. I pay tribute to him for including all of us. It is a pity that the Secretary of State is looking at the Bill in a party political way, because the Government have been in power for the last 14 years. Let us all pay tribute to the right hon. Member for Pudsey, who has done a fantastic job.”

“Do the regulators have sufficient power to intervene if some of the owners are servicing debts in other areas of their company?”

I asked the Shadow Secretary of State: 

“My hon. Friend mentioned the fan-led review. Does she agree with me that the women’s game, which is out of scope of the Bill, is growing exponentially, and that there is scope for the hon. Member for Chatham and Aylesford (Dame Tracey Crouch), in a new role, to look at the women’s game and see whether we could have some regulation there?”