Whose game is it? Football governance through the eyes of the supporters [Paper #4: Supporter ownership and the Supporter Trust model in football]

2015-11-27T10:21:01Z (GMT) by Borja Garcia-Garcia Joanna Welford
Within the FREE policy papers on football governance, papers #1 and #2 focused on the demand for further regulation of football from supporters and concluded that supporters have an acute understanding of the problems with current football governance, and are highly critical of the way the sport is governed at the top level. Various suggestions were made to address the problems highlighted including reform, government intervention and increased supporter involvement. Policy papers #3 and #4 explore the issue of increased supporter involvement in football governance further. Policy recommendations in the area strongly focus on the role of supporter trusts and the work of Supporters Direct. However, one of the findings in our conversations with supporters is that there is a variety of avenues through which they would like to be involved with football. Given that variety, it is necessary to disaggregate the analysis of this complex issue. Thus, the FREE policy paper series addresses forms of supporter engagement in two different papers. First, policy paper #3 focussed on wider fan activism via a variety of avenues, in an attempt to understand the perceived opportunities for and barriers to supporter engagement. Second, policy paper #4 focuses exclusively on club ownership and supporters’ trusts.