Northwich Victoria Supporters Trust chairman attends lobby of Parliament over reform of football governance

Trust supports call for change

Trust supports call for change

First published in Sport Northwich Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Sports Writer

FANS who have created their own football club favour proposals made by politicians to improve how the game is governed.

Northwich Victoria Supporters Trust, whose members voted in November to run their own team from next season, was at a lobby of Parliament by Supporters Direct on Tuesday.

The meeting, attended by close to 70 MPs, called for the reform of football in England to start straight away.

“It was a packed room and people talked with passion,” said trust chairman Paul Stockton, a guest of Fiona Bruce, MP for Congleton.

“Football fans in Northwich know only too well what can happen if clubs don’t follow good business practices.

“This seems to be particularly so when those supporters have little or no say in the way their club is run, and instead that responsibility lies in the hands of a sole owner who does not want to allow those people who contribute the most to have a voice.”

Last week Supporters Direct, a group that gives advice and assistance to trusts across the country, backed a report by members of the influential parliamentary Culture, Media and Sport select committee on the reform of football governance.

It said that the game’s authorities had not made enough progress in updating the structure of the Football Association or introducing a licensing system that could increase transparency and improve financial safeguards.

The paper included a number of recommendations to improve the influence of supporters, including the creation of a government expert group to look at ways of helping fans buy a stake in clubs they follow.

"There's no clearer message that we can deliver than: 'The time has come to stop talking and start delivering'," said Supporters Direct chief executive, David Lampitt.

Mr Stockton believes fans are part of a solution to football’s problems, pointing for proof to the progress made by Vics’ now former league rivals FC United of Manchester.

He added: “That is why we have decided to form our own fans-run team - 1874 Northwich – based on the ideal that supporters are the ones who have a club’s long term interests at heart.”

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