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Truss to ditch the Fan-Led-Review??!?

All kicked off with this report in today's Mirror. The Mirro declines to name the "advisors" pushing her  in this  direction, however, I, not a betting man, would put a pretty penny on the IEA being in there. They have form and recently, as the Dossier blogpost in late May revealed. The IEA is a lobbying group which dresses itself up as a "think-tank". AS Peter Geoghan explains very clearly in Democracy for Sale they are backed by funding from American right wing billionaires, but have been largely driven by one Shankar Singham. As it happens this morning, no sooner had I read the CAST tweet of the Mirror story, when I turned on the BBC Today radio prog., just in time to hear them discussing the merits of Truss's proposed economic policies. And who was the economist they got in to put the case for that? None other than Shankhar Singham...

I hope we can all join to resist this by setting aside tribal political differences. I did for example hear that when Dorries took over the Culture Ministry somebody from CAST had an audience with her on the FLR, and was pleasantly surprised both by her grasp of the issues and apparent commitment to resolving them. The IEA is a dfferent matter. As the blogpost suggests, they are probably doing the dirty work of FAPL club ownerships, after some of them made prats of themselves trying to do it themselves.  They have their claws into Truss and there are people I follow who predicted exactly that. But as the blogpost shows, (and an interview with Victoria Hewson on a different topic confirmed), they are lightweights, and nobody should be afraid to take them on.


  • Thanks, excellent article.
  • CAST board member Heather Alderson was part of an FSA delegation which had an encouraging meeting with new Sports Minister Stuart Andrew today.

    The full story:

  • No trust in the truss 
  • This is a topic that needs to be kept as an upfront issue. FLR definitely needed. Football is a pastime not a "normal" business or a political football. 
  • edited September 2022
    Interesting report from CAST.

    On the back of several recent newspaper suggestions that Truss was planning to kick the FLR into the long grass, I again wrote to my (Labour) MP last weekend, explaining briefly why I regard this issue as important and requesting that he apply any pressure he could to the DCMS.  My guess is that he will forward my email to the DCMS.

    I further suggested, since the Report appeared to have received cross-party support when it was published, that if the Tories reneged on their 2019 manifesto promise and the Johnson government's undertaking to (at least) implement the recommendation for an IREF, perhaps he could suggest to the Labour leadership that this was a cause which they might take up.

    It seems to me that it will do no harm for others to apply similar pressure to the DCMS via their MPs - as ever, it is the number of communications from voters, rather than their precise content which can bump a topic up a minister's list of priorities!

    Edit:  If you do write to your MP, remember to include your name and address so they can verify you are one of their constituents...
  • I agree with @N01R4M, it is well worth writing to your MP, especially if you are in the Eltham or Greenwich constituencies, or even if you are down in Chatham, where the actual FLR author, Tracey Crouch is your MP, probably feeling bruised and betrayed right now; or Damian Collins in Folkestone who did a lot of the groundwork for Tracey Crouch to build on when he was at DCMS, and interestingly has been reappointed at DCMS albeit to focus on digital issues rather than sport. Sadly if you live in Orpington where you have a Bojo/Truss lapdog, claiming to be a Man U supporter, as MP, you might as well send a wishlist up the chimney to Father Christmas.

    But all the above shows that while inevitably this is "political" it need not be tribal. The fact is that there are two Conservatives in that list above who totally "get it" and have been more successful than Clive Efford was in achieving a broad consensus. Unfortunately the new Cabinet is all about trashing stuff, and trashing people who don't give them the advice they want to hear. Yheir advice comes from nutters, including when it comes to football. Read all about the Institute of Economic Affairs and how they trashed the FLR here on the Dossier website; from then on you won't find it hard to discover authoritative commentaries that finger the IEA's malign role in the wider shit-show that hit us all this week. 
  • edited September 2022
    I wrote to our local MP in Twickenham after CAST circulated a very helpful specimen draft letter and received a reply, stating that she supported all the measures, adding that Brentford - like Charlton - do a lot of excellent community work.

    I wonder if it’s worth the CAST updating that draft and circulating another link to encourage supporters to contact their MP if they haven’t done so previously. It is very important to keep the firmly issue on the table - as CAST and the FSA are doing - in order to counter the insidious and very well funded lobbying by the vested interests of the Premier League.

    We also now have to contend with the crusade of Truss et al against regulation, always assuming that she remains in post. She, Special K and some other extreme, right wing neo-liberal nutcases like Raab and Pritti Patel wrote ‘Britannia Unchained’ back in 2012, setting out their vision for the United Kingdom's future as a leading player in the global economy, arguing that Britain needs to adopt a far-reaching form of free market economics, with fewer employment laws etc. The book asserts that the UK has a "bloated state, high taxes and excessive regulation". Music to the ears of many Premier League owners, including the growing number of US owners. How long will it be until they own 14 of the 20 Premiership clubs and are able to push through whatever changes they want to our national game?

    Going back to ‘Britannia Unchained’, this extract is also rather telling:

    The British are among the worst idlers in the world. We work among the lowest hours, we retire early and our productivity is poor. Whereas Indian children aspire to be doctors or businessmen, the British are more interested in football and pop music.”
  • @Blucher
    I filched a few ideas from these specimen letters, to help me compose mine.  Might help you? 

    Probably best not to copy templates wholesale, since MPs tend to notice when they are getting a series of identical letters and then disregard them, but always useful to get some extra ideas to express in your own words and add to your own views!
  • Thanks @N01R4M - very helpful. As you say, it’s always good to tailor them and introduce a bit of your own text.
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  • Of course they’ll scrap it. They hate any sort of regulation. 
  • Not the first time Baroness Brady has given her self-interested view on the FLR in The Sun.
    This was the Charlton Dossier's response in December 2021 to a previous piece by Brady about the FLR. 
  • Nothing, from what effectively was her first week in the job, gives me any confidence at that Liz Truss will do anything which benefits fans. I’m just hoping she ignores the game completely.

    Still all those underpaid premiership players will have been given a hard earned boost to their meagre income………..

    If only we made cheese 🧀!
  • edited October 2022
    I've had a reply to my email from my Labour MP (East Reading, so not local to Charlton).  It reads:

    Thank you for contacting me about the Fan-led Review of Football Governance.
    I have long supported taking action to fix football.
    Football governance in England is broken and this is unfortunately not a new thing. We urgently need the changes recommended in the fan-led review.
    In particular, I very much support the recommendation of an independent regulator to fix the problems in football. I am delighted that this is the report’s key recommendation, although I would like to see a bit more fan involvement in this regulator. Just as the Football Association is recommended to have observer status on the board of the independent regulator, I believe the Football Supporters’ Association should too.
    I also support an independent review of women’s football. The terms of reference for this were published on 2 September.
    I believe the hedge fund owners and billionaires who treat football clubs like any other commodity have no care for the history of football, for the role it plays in villages, towns and cities up and down the country, and especially for the fans at the beating heart of it. I am therefore disappointed that the Government did not act swiftly in undertaking the fan-led review.
    In April 2022, the Government pledged a White Paper setting out its proposals on football reform, which it says would be published in the summer. This further delay will undoubtedly have come as a disappointment to fans.
    The Government previously accepted all ten strategic recommendations in the review, but I would have liked to see it accept all 47 detailed recommendations of this very thorough review. I am therefore troubled by media reports that the new Prime Minister is setting aside plans for an independent football regulator. I want to see an independent football regulator introduced and legislation brought forward sooner rather than later.
    Thank you once again for contacting me about this issue. I can assure you I will follow developments on this closely and continue to call for action to fix football governance.
    Yours sincerely
    Matt Rodda MP

    Whether Rodda's interest in football governance has anything to do with Angela Rayner speaking in favour of the FLR at the recent Labour Party Conference, or whether he has had his own "road to Damascus" moment, I am unsure, but at least someone in his office appears to understand the issues.

    We have also seen recently that the new government is not totally inflexible in the face of public opinion, so whatever party represents your constituency, it has to be worthwhile registering with your MP your support for the recommendations of the FLR and your dismay at media reports that it is set to be shelved.  After all, whenever TS does decide to sell, this will swiftly become a very live issue for all of us Addicks.
  • Bury: The town where football fans are shaping politics
  • Have we seen or heard anything from Sunak or his new cabinet on where they stand on this and when it will be implemented. 
  • redman said:
    Have we seen or heard anything from Sunak or his new cabinet on where they stand on this and when it will be implemented. 
    Nothing concrete. During the Tory leadership contest (which he lost) Sunak said he would implement the recommendations from Tracey Crouch’s review in full. 
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  • A white paper is being prepared. The Sports Minister (Stuart Andrew) is still saying he supports the recommendations but he has been cagey on detail and seemed to be cooling on the idea of the Independent Regulator.
    Tracy Crouch presented an update at the House of Commons last week:
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