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09/03/2012

MUST MEDIA RELEASE RE:Football Authorities response to Football Governance Reform


MUST & MUST members have been instrumental in initiating and contributing to this whole political process going back to meetings with main parties prior to the last General Election (which secured manifesto commitments) as well as the subsequent members' MP lobbying campaign which has been extremely effectve according to feedback from Westminster.
 
This was sent to media this morning ahead of Football Authorities (FA, PL, FL and National Game) response to Government recommendations on Football Reform: 
 
There is much more to do though as this is the beginning of the reform process rather than the end and we particularly want to see changes to prevent leveraged buyouts and also encourage supporter ownership and this is not sufficiently addressed in the response from the Football Authorities today.
 
In anticipation of the noon announcements by the football authorities (FA, Premier League and Football League), MUST - the Manchester United Supporters Trust has issued the following statement. We expect to provide a further response around 1pm.

"MUST welcomes the recent period of reflection undertaken recently by the English football authorities, working with the Government and other stakeholders to improve the governance of the game. The agreements we now have for a licensing system demonstrate that progress is being made.

MUST members have been monitoring developments closely, primarily hoping to redress the regulatory gaps that currently allow our own club to refuse to communicate with its own official supporters' trust and that allow its owners to continue saddling the club with the burdern of acquistion debts which have drained more then 500 million GBP out of the club in interest and fees since the Glazers took over in 2005. We are under no illusion that today's announcements will see all our concerns dealt with, but we welcome any step in the direction towards supporter engagement and sensible governance in the game.

MUST members have been conducting a concerted political campaign since prior to the last General Election, where all three main parties made manifesto commitments on reform of football. In the last two weeks alone 642 of the 650 MPs have been contacted by MUST members in their constituency urging them to promote meaningful reform with an independent FA Board and comprehensive club licensing system.

We do not see this as the end of the matter, merely the start of reforms that we will press to see evolve and develop.

Along with national bodies Supporters Direct and The FSF, as well as trusts at other clubs, we will now be formulating proposals for Government which would allow it to fulfill its Coalition Agreement commitment to 'Encourage reform of football governance rules to support the cooperative ownership of football clubs by supporters',  which remains the primary objective of MUST." 
 
 
TheFA.com - Football Authorities response on Governance http://bit.ly/xvFG6T  
 
FA to enforce stricter rules on club ownership with new independent regulator to prevent Portsmouth repeat - Telegraph http://tgr.ph/ywAF40
 
The Press Association: Independent body to monitor game http://bit.ly/xad7cc
 
New body to police ownership of English clubs | Reuters http://reut.rs/zEGy6g 
 
Further reference:
1. DCMS Select Committee report on Football Governance http://bit.ly/AioQKr
2. Government response to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee Inquiry:http://bit.ly/AFh41s
3. Supporters Direct proposals for club licensing system: http://bit.ly/AAtm0z
4. Cost of Glazers' takeover at Manchester United reaches £500m. Despite seven years of success under the Glazers' rule, United have leaked half a billion to service the debt-laden ownership. David Conn, The Guardian http://bit.ly/ztm4mz
5. Football Supporters Federation express alarm at response to select committee inquiry into sport governance of the sport - Telegraph http://tgr.ph/A88iJr
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