Labour’s Football Proposals: Playing To The Gallery Or Genuine Change?

There was a time when members of parliament would only really queue up outside Westminster to discuss how to brow beat our game. They considered us animals that needed to be caged and carry ID cards at all times during the 1980s, it took a lot of work to undo the damage done to the reputation of the rest of us for the actions of what was always a very small minority. Times, however, have moved on. From Tony Blair playing keepy-ups with Kevin Keegan to Gordon Brown’s professed love of Raith Rovers, football’s use as a political football has almost now come full circle, and it has reached its logical conclusion with a story leaked to The Guardian this evening – possibly accidentally, more likely tactically – about Labour Party proposals for their forthcoming general election manifesto which, were it would happen, would go some way to changing the landscape of the game in this country. Amongst the plans would be the following: • Requiring clubs to hand a stake of up to 25% to fans in recognition of their links with their local community. • Implementing a change-of-control clause that would allow fans a window to put together a takeover of their club if it was up for sale or went into administration. • Giving the football authorities a deadline to reform the FA and remove “vested...

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