LAST December, the Culture, Media and Sport Committee launched a new inquiry into the governance of professional football clubs.
They were responding not only to the high-profile coverage of Liverpool and Manchester United but also to broader concerns that current and future generations of football supporters of clubs across the country are ill-served by current football club regulations.
The Coalition agreement included an undertaking to encourage the reform of football governance rules to support the co-operative ownership of football clubs by supporters, and the Select Committee were to consider the case for strategic Government intervention in the administration of professional football clubs.
A broad range of soundings has been taken in the first months of the year and the committee are due to present their findings by the end of July.
In anticipation of that, Supporters Direct (as the umbrella organisation of Supporters Trusts, of which the Town Supporters Association are one) presented two briefing papers at a Parliamentary lobby, attended by local MP Jason McCartney along with two HTSA representatives.
Central to those papers was a call for the reform of the club licensing system, using the German Bundesliga as a benchmark. This should include the promotion of financial and social responsibility and work to bring costs and debt under control.
Our own club is fortunate to have a dedicated supporter as owner and Dean Hoyle has built a strong management team around him.
The Supporters Association hopes to continue working together with that team as we build for the future and it will be interesting to see how the Select Committee’s findings can be applied locally.