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FAIR GAME: Disaster at Derby reinforces needs for urgent reform of football

Response to news the Rams are now in admin

19 September 2021

‘It should never have come to this. Football needs to change and it needs to change now’ – Niall Couper, CEO, Fair Game

Responding to tonight's news that Derby County are going to administration, Niall Couper, the CEO of Fair Game, said: “The heartache felt by Derby fans must be immense right now. It should never have come to this. Football fans deserve so much better. Football needs to change and it needs to change now.

“We need proper scrutiny. We need proper regulation. We need to protect the history and traditions of our clubs, not gamble with their very existence.

“The financial stresses within our game have not been taken seriously. Parachute payments have passed their sell-by date. They need to go. Overnight it would end the Siren Call that exists in the Championship as clubs try to compete with those bankrolled by the Premier League to the tune of £55m.

“That cash should be used to reward our well-run clubs. Give it to those that are financially sustainable, those that have good governance, those that respect equality standards and proper fan engagement. That’s what Fair Game believes in. That is what our Sustainability Index spells out. That would be transformational.

“We need to have a sport where fans can put on their shirt proud in everything it stands for, safe in the knowledge their club will be there for the long haul.”

Fair Game is a group of 30 value-driven football clubs, supported by 40 world-renowned experts hoping to change our national game for the better. Last week Fair Game outlined its final proposals in the 48-page document Putting Pride Back In The Shirt.

Central to the proposals is a Sustainability Index which looks at reallocating the parachute payments to clubs throughout the football pyramid that can prove they are run well, respect equality standards and properly engage with their fans and their community.

The 30 Fair Game clubs are: Accrington Stanley, AFC Wimbledon, Altrincham, Ashford United, Basingstoke Town, Bath City, Bury AFC, Bristol Rovers, Cambridge United, Carlisle United, Chester, Chesterfield, City of Liverpool, Curzon Ashton, Darlington FC, Doncaster Rovers, Dorking Wanderers, Ebbsfleet United, Gateshead, Grimsby Town, Leyton Orient, Lincoln City, Luton Town, Maidstone United, Newport County AFC, Rochdale AFC, Shrewsbury Town, Tonbridge Angels, Tranmere Rovers and Worcester City.

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