On the same weekend as the play-off final, Board Member Paul Larter represented HUST at two meetings with the Football Supporters’ Association and Tracey Crouch MP, who is leading the football governance review.
It was evident from these meetings that we share similar historic experiences with other Clubs and there is a real desire from Trusts around the country, along with Tracey Crouch herself, to commit to meaningful change within the game. HUST drew upon the various experiences we have faced including the ‘near-miss’ experience of TMH to help provide input into the meetings. As the aim of the review is to review governance as a whole, we wanted to ensure that any suggestions made were to benefit Football Clubs at any level, therefore focussing on:
- The importance and benefits of genuine fan representation at a Board Level, also noting the importance of this being a democratically elected role to ensure any individual truly represents supporters.
- The importance of genuine and structured fan consultation with regards to key decisions involving a Football Club.
- Review of the fit and proper test and also developing ownership models that helps avoid Football Clubs from accruing unsustainable levels of debt. There was also a shared belief that too often it is ultimately the fans that suffer following repercussions of mismanagement of Football Clubs.
- Ideas shared to help protect Football Clubs from the previous point included allowing a ‘stopgap’ period following any owner withdrawing support to allow the best possible opportunity for a Football Club to remain in its current guise. Suggestions for a requirement for Clubs to pay leagues a deposit which would help ensure Clubs can operate until the end of the season was also discussed.