For Everton, Liverpool, and football fans, the conclusions of the fan-led review feel like a’step forward.’
The findings of a fan-led assessment conducted in collaboration with the government appear to be a positive step forward for football.
However, it is unclear how big that step will be at this time.
The much-anticipated review’s findings were released on Wednesday night, and a number of recommendations were made to potentially enhance the sport’s governance.
The research recommends that an impartial regulator be established to assess the financial health of clubs.
In principle, a body like this would prevent scenarios like the one that occurred at Bury in 2019 – the events at Gigg Lane were what sparked the review in the first place – when the team was ejected from the Football League due to resolvable financial concerns.
It would necessitate proof of financial stability and actionable business strategies in the future.
In addition, the assessment suggests that a number of measures be put in place to prevent another European Super League disaster.
It is suggested that democratic fan clubs be formed to effectively overrule any board decisions that may have a negative impact on totemic traditions. These would include things like a club’s crest, stadium relocations, and, most importantly in the context of the Super League, the competitions they compete in.
The vast majority of supporters will be pleased with these suggestions. A ‘golden share’ on club policy would make their voices more consistent and meaningful rather than sporadic and ineffective.
Furthermore, it is suggested that the ban on fans drinking alcohol in stadium seats be lifted.
Conservative MP Tracey Crouch, a former minister for sport, is said to have met with supporters and that some potentially constructive improvements can be made. Changes that will preserve the game’s essential traditions while also amplifying fan complaints.
However, it is unlikely to be so simple.
At this time, the report’s recommendations are just that: suggestions.
It indicates that, even if the subsequent process goes well, such ideas will not become law for some time.
For that to happen, the suggestions will need to be approved by the government first and foremost, even if someone as high-profile as Crouch signs them. “The summary has come to an end.”