Milton Keynes MP welcomes plans to give football fans a greater say in the running of their clubs

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Milton Keynes MP welcomes plans to give football fans a greater say in the running of their clubs

City MP Iain Stewart has welcome a government plan to put fans at the heart of football.

A new independent regulator for the men’s elite game will be established in law to implement a new licensing system from the Premier League to the National League.

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The system will require clubs to demonstrate sound financial business models and good corporate governance as part of an application process before being allowed to compete.

MP Iain Stewart at MK Dons' stadiumMP Iain Stewart at MK Dons' stadium
MP Iain Stewart at MK Dons' stadium

Fans will also have a greater say in the strategic running of their clubs, says the MP.

The regulator will require clubs to comply with the FA on their new rules for heritage, which will give fans a veto over changes to the badge and home shirt colours in addition to the strong existing protections for club names.

Football clubs will also have to seek the approval of the regulator for any sale or relocation of the stadium, with fan engagement a major part of that process.

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There will be new tests for owners and directors, ensuring good custodians of clubs, stronger due diligence on sources of wealth and a requirement for robust financial planning.

The regulator will have the power to prevent English clubs from joining new competitions which do not meet the predetermined criteria, in consultation with the FA. This will stop any future attempts at closed shop breakaway competitions like the European Super League.

Mr Stewart said: “Milton Keynes Dons are at the heart of our community and do many wonderful things at Stadium MK and across the city, but across the country fans have not always been put first and we have seen unscrupulous owners fail to properly protect other clubs.

“That is why I welcome the announcement from the Conservative government which will see the current system transformed thanks to new regulations. This will give a voice to the fans who have been ignored for far too long.

“I know fans across Milton Keynes will feel comfort in the knowledge that our beloved club will be protected by the government’s new regulator and can focus on cheering the team at every game.”