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Football Governance


Football League proposes new structure

Concern about fixture congestion has led the Football League to propose a new structure below the Premier League, also opening up the possibility of a winter break.   The number of clubs would increase from 72 to 80.  

Italian football needs overhaul

This blog post suggests that Italian football requires a major overhaul if it is to regain its former stature. Doubtless so, but some of the five suggestions put forward would prove controversial, not least merging clubs.   The personal identity of fans is tied up with clubs and successful mergers are few and far between.

Football worries over Brexit

Peter Coates, the chairman of Stoke City, has told The Times that the Premier League, the Football League and the FA have 'all sorts of worries' about the effects of a vote to leave the EU in the June 23rd referendum on the UK's membership.

Coates said, 'The research that has been done on this shows that there are a number of players already in England who would not have met the requirements to be granted an automatic work permit, had they needed to go through that process, even some of them in our squad.'

Glass ceiling for fan owned clubs

Portsmouth chairman Ian McInnes has admitted in an interview with The Times that there is a glass ceiling to the fan ownership model used at Pompey.  If success breeds ambition there may come a day when Portsmouth's fans have to cede ownership to an outside investor.

The Pompey Supporters Trust owns 47.6 per cent of the club with the next biggest shareholder owning 10.75 per cent.    Three PST members sit on the board of seven.

When Wimbledon almost moved to Dublin

The two unfortunates blog present an interesting in depth look at the proposal that Wimbledon should move to Dublin.   Milton Keynes was bad enough, but this would have taken franchising to new levels. Fortunately, it was blocked.

Dyke wants to cut size of Premier League

FA chairman Greg Dyke wants to cut the size of the Premier League to eighteen clubs to boost the fortunes of the national team.

Any such plan would require a vote of 75 per cent of clubs in favour and it might be questioned why they would vote for it.   However, Dyke has suggested that the number of clubs relegated could be reduced to two.  Also, if there were fewer clubs, the pot going to each club would be bigger.

The path to political power through football

Argentina's new centre-right president Maurico Marci is the former chairman of leading club Boca Juniors. This is not a coincidence: he consciously used it as a route to political power.

In the Financial Times weekend magazine Simon Kuper revealed how Marci addressed a meeting in Oxford 14 years ago to explain how he planned to parlay his success with Boca Juniors into a political career.   He applied business principles, took a risk by getting rid of some popular players, and brought success.

Scarves as symbols of protest

Paul Breen discusses how scarves have been adopted as symbols of protest by football fans.   This was started with the green and gold protest at Manchester United.   It didn't dislodge the Glazers, but it did give a boost to the supporters' trust.    The tactic was also adopted by Arsenal fans over the issue of high ticket prices.

Can the FC United model survive?

FC United is a genuine fans' club.   But can the model survive as the club becomes more successful? Recently the club was upset by the FA's decision to move their cup game to a Monday night so that it could be televised.   Part of their argument for traditional football is that it should be played on a Saturday.

Are Uefa targeting Manchester City?

Manchester City face with being charged by Uefa after their fans booed the Champions League anthem before their match against Seville on Wednesday.  Uefa's control, ethics and disciplinary body are to consider 'the disruption of the competition anthem' at their meeting on 19 November.

Uefa sources are discounting the prospect of a formal charge, but City intend to robustly defend their supporters' right to peaceful protest and are instructing lawyers.