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Fair Game proposes a Sustainability Index for all clubs down to National League North and South

Fair Game Member Clubs Shirt Display

Fair Game has called on the football authorities to embrace Tracey Crouch's Fan-Led Review recommendations and create a new mechanism to reward well-run clubs.

FAIR Game has called on the football authorities to embrace the Fan-Led Review’s recommendations and create a new mechanism to reward well-run clubs at a prestigious launch.

The launch was hosted by the former Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron with the support of Baroness Ann Taylor, former England internationals John Scales and Brian Deane, as well as representatives of Fair Game.

Fair Game works with its network of world-renowned experts to develop realistic long-term solutions to the problems faced by football in England and Wales. 

Fair Game commissioned the highly-respected independent financial and business analytics consultancy LCP to look at how the findings of Tracey Crouch’s recent Fan-Led Review could be operationalised and embedded in football. The result is the Sustainability Index. 

The Index looks at using new and existing revenue streams in football, such as the proposed Solidarity Transfer Levy solidarity payments and parachute payments, to incentivise clubs by distributing funds according to how well they score well on four criteria.

The four, which are all heavily referenced throughout the Fan-Led Review, are

  • Financial Sustainability

  • Good Governance

  • Equality Standards

  • Fan and Community Engagement

Christina Philippou, Director of Policy for Fair Game, said: 

“The Fan-Led Review led by Tracey Crouch was comprehensive and thorough. It chimed well with our own findings and we believe all the recommendations from the Review should be enshrined in legislation.

“It addressed concerns over financial management of clubs, poor governance, and fan engagement. And rightly outlined several potential sanctions. 

“The Index creates an incentive for clubs to reform or maintain governance and reporting standards. It is an approach that has consistently worked in other industries and with other regulators.”

Head of football analytics at financial consultants LCP, Bart Huby, explained: 

"In simple terms, regulation needs a stick or a carrot to succeed – and carrots tend to encourage more collaborative behaviour than sticks.

“Successful examples of regulation influencing behaviour tend to include a strong element of incentivisation, for example the increase in wind and solar power in the electricity generation industry, and the pension protection levy. 

“The Sustainability Index proposed by Fair Game provides that carrot for football.

“It takes all the elements recommended in the Fan-Led Review and brings them together to create a scoring mechanism. And the clubs that score well get a larger share of football's broadcasting revenues - the carrot. 

“The Index is a realistic and practical solution that will help the game to truly embed the changes it needs to thrive in the future.” 

Niall Couper, CEO of Fair Game, added: 

“The potential for the index is huge. It could be truly transformational for our National Game.

“There are significant funds that are allocated from the Premier League. The Sustainability Index provides the mechanism to ensure that those funds are channelled to well-run clubs.

“We believe it would create a cultural change that would benefit all of football.

“The Fan-Led Review provided the ingredients, we believe the Sustainability Index is the recipe and now it’s up to politicians to serve it and deliver a better future for future.”

The event finished with MPs being asked to pledge their support to Fair Game and the implementation of the recommendations of Tracey Crouch’s Fan-Led Review. 

Published Friday 21st January 2022