Fan-led review: Wholesale reform recommended

The chair of the Fan-led Review - Tracey Crouch MP - has today written to the Government with her initial findings which recommend wholesale reform to the rules governing football throughout the pyramid.

“In order to protect the future key aspects of our national game a new independent regulator for English football (IREF) is needed,” she told secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden MP.

“Football clubs are not ordinary businesses. They play a critical social, civic, and cultural role in their local communities. They need to be protected.”

In her interim report, Crouch is recommending the establishment of an independent regulator which will oversee a new club licensing system to improve the standard of ownership across the game.

Additionally, the report recommends legislation to make supporter engagement mandatory, wide-ranging reform of existing football authorities, improving equality and diversity in the game, and providing democratic supporter groups with a ‘golden share’ in their clubs. This share would provide fans the power of veto over certain issues.

Tracey Crouch pays tribute to the role that fans played in helping her compile this report:

"It has been an incredible experience to hear from so many different football stakeholders. But it is
the voice of fans that has been the loudest and clearest. Although I have been involved with football
all my life, as have many members of the Panel, it was truly eye opening and educational to hear the
experience of fans first-hand. I have huge respect for their passion, talent and commitment to their
clubs. It is often said that football without fans is nothing. It is no exaggeration to say that a number
of clubs would not exist today had it not been for the activism of their fans in driving positive
change. Its fans are a strength of our national game that should be both cherished and nurtured."

The CAST board are delighted by the content of this interim report. The recommendations reflect many of the aspirations we have held and been campaigning for since CAST was set up nearly ten years ago. We have been working closely alongside the Football Supporters Association whose chief executive Kevin Miles said today:

“It’s clear from the preliminary report that not only has the evidence been led by fans but also that those fan voices have been heeded. FSA members have played a vital role in this process and we’d like to thank them for their continued effort and support. Supporter groups at more than 130 clubs have given evidence and many of the recurring themes are reflected in the preliminary recommendations. The commitment to the establishment of a new independent regulator for English football is especially welcome. Additional proposals linked to the sustainability of the game, golden shares for fan groups, grassroots investment, mandatory supporter engagement and a strong voice for fans in governance at all levels, are hugely encouraging.”

In the coming months, the Fan-led Review will build upon Crouch’s recommendations and produce detailed plans for reform ahead of the final report. The Review’s final recommendations will be published in October.

The interim report (which we thoroughly recommend you to read in full) can be accessed here:


If you are not yet a member of CAST it is simple to join. It costs only £5 per year and you will be joining nearly 3000 other supporters who have the future of Charlton Athletic close to their hearts.