Morning, Thursday, 22nd February 2024
This conference will focus on next steps for football governance in England.
Discussion will explore priorities for ensuring the long-term financial sustainability of football, looking at key issues at all levels of the game following the announcement in the recent King’s Speech of a Football Governance Bill.
It is bringing together key stakeholders with policymakers to examine the way forward for implementing an independent football regulator in England and priorities for achieving a smooth transition into a regulatory landscape. It follows the consultation responses to the DCMS white paper A sustainable future - reforming club football governance.
Delegates will consider the development of the independent regulator, looking at interoperability with existing governing bodies, issues around independence and impartiality, and the way forward for fostering long-term financial sustainability across all five tiers of English football.
We also expect discussion on measures outlined by the Government following the King’s Speech including the introduction of a licensing system for clubs, creating a new owner’s and director’s test and an emphasis on fan engagement.
Attendees will assess priorities for the in-depth ‘State of Football’ study, being undertaken by the regulator to assess the financial health of the industry, as well as discussing the timescale and pathways for regulatory implementation, management and operation, including the possible introduction of a Shadow Regulator.
Further key areas for discussion include:
- driving the sustainable financial growth of the women’s game
- the state of grassroots football support and improving equality, diversity and inclusion throughout all levels
- measures to improve player and official welfare, and the way forward for tackling all forms of abuse.
We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with: Ben Dean, Director, Sport and Gambling, Department for Culture, Media and Sport; Tony Burnett, Chief Executive Officer, Kick It Out; and Dr Christina Philippou, Principal Lecturer, Accounting, Economics and Finance, University of Portsmouth.
Overall, areas for discussion include:
- independent regulator:
- next steps for implementation - key policy priorities following the fan-led review of football governance - ensuring long-term financial sustainability - informing best practice
- preparation for the operation phase and a smooth transition - next steps for major projects such as the proposed State of Football study
- the shape of the new licensing system for clubs - creating a new owner’s and director’s test - ensuring that fans have their say in the future of the game
- regulatory frameworks: proposed scope and practicalities - working alongside existing football governing bodies - managing overlap - ensuring independence and impartiality
- implementation measures: analysing the financial health of the industry on both a micro and macro level - putting in place the structures for full regulation across all five tiers of English football
- financial sustainability: distribution of revenue - parachute payments - wage bills, debt and commercial deals - priorities for sustainable financial growth of the women’s game
- duty of care: supporting football governing bodies in addressing concerns around player welfare, equality, diversity and inclusion at all levels