If it is broken, fix it
For many football fans, their optimism or pessimism about the state of the game is influenced by the last game their team played. Following Birmingham City’s fantastic win on Friday evening, some may be thinking that everything is ok. But it’s not.
This season we have seen Bury expelled from the League, which exemplified the inequalities in football. Some players in the nearby Manchester teams are paid in millions; the Bury players did not get paid at all when their club sank into its financial crisis. The “fit and proper persons test” for owners did not prevent their club having owners who ruined it. A Guardian article commented,
“Above all, it shows that there is no protection in this world for the social and cultural capital that football clubs exemplify, for the regulatory systems designed to protect them are broken. In these respects, Bury’s fate is just part of a wider set of global trends in football.”
Forever Bury is the supporters trust for the club. It was formed in 2002, when Bury FC was in administration, “with the very simple aim of trying to keep the club alive.” It is now working to find a way to have a community-based club playing football at Gigg Lane and is raising money through GoFundMe.
I hope that Birmingham City supporters would react in a similar way if our club’s future was threatened. But how should we react to the misfortune of another club? I believe that there are two things we can do. Those of us who can afford to donate, can give to their fundraiser. And we can support a call for a better regulatory system for football by signing the petition calling for the creation of an independent regulator for football.
Here is the wording of the petition:
We petition HMG to legislate for the creation of an independent regulator for football and subsequently to oversee the implementation of such a body.
We assert that the finances and administration of football are in crisis, that self-regulation has failed and that, without a new independent body, there is a serious risk that clubs will begin to fold.
A year on from the government’s refusal of an independent regulator, the situation for clubs has deteriorated to the extent that we believe the decision needs review.
Full information can be found at http://againstleague3.co.uk/2019/07/30/independent-regulator-epetition-supporting-submission/