Final report of the Government Expert Working Group on Supporter Ownership and Engagement

21 Jan 2016

On 19th January 2016, the Government released its final report from the Expert Working Group (EWG) on Supporter Ownership and Engagement that was established by the Minister for Sport in October 2014.

Blues Trust welcomes the report that contains a number of recommendations which are designed to assist supporter ownership including opportunities to bid in an insolvency process, and additional funding set aside to help supporters’ trusts to prepare an ownership bid, when suitable opportunities arise. You can read a copy of the full report (36 pages) in pdf format here.

The EWG was tasked with making recommendations to the government and the core was made up of representatives from:

  • The FA
  • The Premier League
  • The Football League
  • The National League
  • Supporters Direct (SD)
  • Football Supporters Federation (FSF)
  • Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS)

Supporters Direct (SD) has welcomed publication of the report as a “step forward” with the potential to mark the start of a new era of meaningful dialogue between supporters and football clubs if the recommendations are implemented effectively.

“This report has the potential to mark the start of a new era of structured meaningful dialogue between clubs and Trusts, supported by changes which will lead to more opportunities for supporter ownership. Implemented correctly it can be a welcome step forward in a long-term process of reform, helping to reconnect clubs with their communities.” Supporters Direct Chairman Brian Burgess
You can read more from the SD statements here and here.
“A government report, endorsed by the football authorities, that requires clubs to listen to supporters on strategic issues including finance, governance and ownership, has to be a step in the right direction.Kevin Miles, chief executive of the FSF
You can read more of the FSF statement here.
“Supporters are the lifeblood of the clubs they support but over time there has been a growing disconnect between them and those that run their clubs. So it was right that government set up this group and brought the football authorities and supporters together to see what more can be done for clubs to engage with fans. “The agreement to have meaningful dialogue between clubs and supporters on issues that matter to them, which can include strategic and ownership related issues, is a big step forward. I thank all those involved for their hard work on this report and the progress that has been made. It shows what can be achieved with the football authorities and supporters working together in partnership.”Sports Minister Tracey Crouch
Blues Trust will be studying the report fully to establish what steps we may need to take going forward.

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