Observations from the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (Oliver Dowden):
Football clubs form an integral part of local communities up and down the country. Throughout the pandemic football clubs have been playing their part and providing vital support to their local area.
It is crucial that fans’ views and perspectives are listened to. The Government’s Expert Working Group on football supporter ownership and engagement in 2016 set out a number of recommendations to encourage greater engagement between supporters and those that run their club, while also helping to remove barriers to supporter ownership. The Premier League and English Football League now require clubs to meet with supporters at least twice a year to discuss strategic issues, giving fans the opportunity to shape the direction of the club.
The Premier League is responsible for the Owners’ and Directors’ Test which was used to assess the proposed takeover of Newcastle United. The Government have no role in this. The sale of the club has always been a matter for the parties concerned, and for the Premier League to assess under its Owners’ and Directors’ Test.
The Government will undertake a fan-led review of football governance, which will include consideration of the Owners’ and Directors’ test. Fans should be at the heart of future plans to reshape football governance. We will announce the scope and structure of the review in due course.