Politicians are being urged to think football as a new website is launched, giving supporters across the country an opportunity to lobby prospective MPs in their constituency.
- Lobby your MP: votefootball.org
Vote Football calls on politicians to protect clubs from “exploitative, clueless or reckless owners” and is backed by fan groups, including the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF).
Supporters visiting the site enter their post code and Vote Football generates a tailored email to local politicians asking if they will reform the game.
Malcolm Clarke, chair of the Football Supporters' Federation, said:
“Football clubs are more than private companies. They are part of the cultural heritage of their local communities. And supporters are more, far more, than customers.
“We are the lifeblood of the game and our allegiance is lifelong. Our voice must be heard in all the key decisions affecting our clubs.
“Existing Company Law does not give sufficient protection to clubs or rights to supporters when owners want to ignore traditions or behave in a financially irresponsible way. A stronger legal framework is needed.
“Vote Football gives fans the chance to lobby their next MP to enshrine, in law, the protection of clubs from exploitative owners. We urge all supporters with a vote to use the site.”
In 2011 the then Sports Minister Hugh Robertson said football was “without a shadow of doubt” the “worst governed sport in the UK”.
In October 2014 the Department for Culture, Media and Sport announced the launch of an Expert Working Group on ownership and fan engagement. Its recommendations are yet-to-be released.
While the pre-election focus is on the game’s governance, Vote Football can be used to lobby on other issues, such as safe standing or ticket prices, after Thursday 7th May 2015.
- Find out more: votefootball.org
Vote Football is backed by many organisations and the FSF would like to hear from any other supporter groups who'd like to get involved, regardless of size or league. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to add your fan group to the list of supportive organisations.