Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Club News

FAIR GAME INDEX: Carlisle rank second in the country

Ground-breaking assessment of England’s best-run clubs

17 July 2023

Club News

FAIR GAME INDEX: Carlisle rank second in the country

Ground-breaking assessment of England’s best-run clubs

17 July 2023

Carlisle would be nearly £21 million better off under new model for football’s financial flow.


IN MEMORIAM: Remembering those we have lost

10 July 2023

Carlisle United are delighted to be among England’s best-run clubs, according to the Fair Game Index, a first-of-its-kind comprehensive survey of football governance. 

The Fair Game Index rates each club for financial sustainability, good governance, equality standards and fan engagement – all measures set to come under the remit of football’s new Independent Regulator in 2025.

Carlisle achieved an overall score of 71.92, one of only two clubs to receive the prestigious Gold standard in the Index. 

The club performed well across the board, but scored particularly highly for Good Governance where we placed third. 

It’s a great result which shows us as ready for the introduction of the independent regulator, which could transform football for the better.

Crucially, Fair Game wants the new Independent Regulator to use the Index to put an end to football’s unfair financial flow. 

Clubs would receive a greater portion of the vast pie of television revenue the better they performed in the Index. 

Well-run clubs would be rewarded for upholding the values fans demand of their clubs - values which, as a Fair Game club, we hold close to our hearts.

Based on our placement in the Index, Carlisle would receive nearly £21 million more annually which would be transformative for our club. 


AQUA PURA: Short sponsorship deal continues

7 July 2023

Not only that, but 92% of clubs throughout the Football League would be better off under the Fair Game model.

Chief executive Nigel Clibbens said: "This report shows we are well placed for what a new regulator may bring in the four key areas of focus.

"Independent expert assessments like the Fair Game index are important indicators of how we are operating and how we compare with other clubs. By looking at a number of areas, it’s a wide assessment.

"We consistently rank very highly in terms of 'Fan Engagement' and it’s good to see that confirmed once again by another review. 'Governance' goes hand-in-hand with that, and that's an area I also think is critical.

"To be third in both categories is good news and should provide assurance to fans about how the club is run. I am honest and very transparent with fans about the difficult issues we face in terms of 'Financial Sustainability'. 

"This comes from our funding model combined with the finances in the wider game, plus external factors, which is frustrating. This is the biggest issue the club faces.

"We have taken steps in the area of 'Equality', but we need to do more. We have plans in place and we will get better.

"Looking at the wider game, it is clear and obvious that football must change revenue distributions though the pyramid, and the way in which money is allocated between EFL divisions, and teams within each division. It needs a new approach.

"The current arrangements undermine competitiveness on-the-field and the persisting revenue disparities encourage clubs to take bigger and bigger financial gambles off-the-field in an attempt to achieve promotion or avoid relegation. 

"This is made worse by parachute payments, which distort competition in the Championship and encourage more financial risk-taking by clubs that are not in receipt of them. The consequences of this distortion ripple through the rest of the pyramid and are hugely destabilising. 

"We are seeing the consequences with more and more clubs overstretching financially and pushing regulations to the very limit, and beyond, in the quest to keep up or catch up. This is why see the number of clubs in financial and regulatory trouble growing. 

"The game has had decades to address these issues, but it's getting worse. There is too much self interest in retaining the status-quo. A new distribution model is desperately needed and cannot come quickly enough."

Niall Couper, CEO of Fair Game, added: “There will be a new regulator. There will be a new state of play survey for football. There will be new financial flow.

“The Fair Game Index paints a realistic picture of what our game could look like, a future where football chooses to reward well-run clubs.

“Fair Game are working hard with communities, experts, football interest groups, fans, clubs and politicians to transform this picture into reality.

“For the first time, the building blocks are in place.”

Fans can view the full results of the Index and see how the Fair Game Index could transform football in 2025 by clicking here.

Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account