English football is changing, rapidly! Via a free panel debate of industry and academic experts this event will engage fans on their potential role in the future regulatory regime of the English game, discussing its governance, financial sustainability, and their rights as supporters.
This is a critical moment for English football. In April 2021, six of the wealthiest and most storied clubs in England announced their intention to join leading Italian and Spanish clubs in forming a new competition: the European Super League (ESL). Neglecting to consult supporters, the ESL demonstrated the absence of any democratic safeguards within the existing governance of English football. Despite collapsing within 48-hours, the UK government commissioned an immediate Independent Fan-Led Review (FLR) to explore ways of improving the governance, ownership, and sustainability of English football.
In response to the FLR, the government published a White Paper in February 2023, which included a commitment to establish a new independent regulator of football for the beginning of the 2024-25 season. Against this backdrop, the role of supporters in the governance of English football is in flux. A new focus on supporter engagement is emerging, aiming to embed the democratic voice of fans to safeguard the long-term sustainability of English football clubs and competitions. This event – entitled #FanDemocracy – showcases the latest research into fan rights and engagement and providing an opportunity to listen and gather the thoughts and insights of football supporters.
Dr Danny Fitzpatrick, Aston University
While the event is open to the public, it will specifically target football supporters in the West Midlands region. We will liaise with fan diversity groups to ensure the event is promoted to fans of all genders, ethnic groups, and backgrounds.
The event will also be suitable for fans of all ages, subject to the venue's licensing.
Football supporters in the West Midlands.