Grimsby Town has joined AFC Wimbledon, Cambridge United, Exeter City, Luton Town and Newport County as a founder member of a brand new initiative called Fair Game, with a further 20 clubs expected to join in the next few weeks.
Fair Game is different. This is the first time football clubs have come together to call for a change in how our national game works.
Time is of the essence, the Government has announced a fan-led review into football governance with a draft report due to be published at the end of July. The first evidence is expected to be gathered next week.
Fair Game’s vision is simple. It wants the game to be governed with fairness, openness and transparency at its core. A sport that helps and nourishes the football pyramid, and honours the mantra that football can be a force for good and is at the heart of the community it serves.
But never forgetting that it is also a business and that a competitive element must remain.
Fair Game has developed four Principles – sustainability, transparency, integrity and community - full details of which can be viewed at fairgameuk.org.
Kristine Green our Fan Elected Director explained:
”The clock is ticking. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change football for the good.
“The last year has been tough on football and has seen an unprecedented amount of financial pressure put on clubs like ours.
“And we have joined forces with several other ‘like-minded’ clubs through Fair Game to put pressure on the government and the football authorities to deliver real change.
“I am acutely aware of how much our club means to our fans. Long-term security rests with working with our communities.
“As clubs, we need to work together to make that happen and that is why we are endorsing Fair Game.”
Ex-England international John Scales is an ambassador for Fair Game. The former Liverpool, Tottenham, Wimbledon, Ipswich and Bristol Rovers defender, said:
“Unlike the European Super League, this is not a breakaway - but it could absolutely be a breakthrough. Fair Game can create an appropriate framework for a sustainable pathway for years to come.
“It’s about fairness and about respect of the fabric of the game that serves communities at every level. If we allow those values to be trampled all over, as we’re seeing ever more regularly, then we’ll lose the game we love.”
Gavin Foxall, chair of Newport County and the interim chair of Fair Game, added:
“Football is in crisis in the UK. Covid has devastated the finances of so many lower league clubs, and left dozens on the brink of survival.
“Now is the moment to shape the future of the game we love and set a new path.
“Fair Game is backed by an impressive pool of experts and advisors. We have the people who can write the rules, craft the legislation. We can make it happen.”
Niall Couper, board member of Dons Trust, the owners of AFC Wimbledon, and the Director of Fair Game, said:
“Every avalanche starts with a single snowball. The number of clubs backing us is rising every day. The momentum is growing. The more clubs that come on board the stronger we will become.
“But we need to move fast. And that’s where fans can make a difference. We are calling on fans to sign our petition on www.fairgameuk.org and call on their club to join us.”