Statement on Fan Led Review Report

The Trust is pleased to finally read the Fan Led Review and welcome the findings and recommendations published in the report.

The Fan Led Review has the potential to be the most influential step taken in football governance for decades and could help protect the heritage of the English game, while giving more power and voice to football fans in this country.

It has taken numerous clubs to close down and a disgraceful cash grab via a European Super League for this report to be written, but now it is here, we as football fans have a duty to make sure that the recommendations in the Fan Led Review are put in place. You can read the report and the main recommendations here: https://thefsa.org.uk/news/fan-led-review-is-a-huge-step-forward

The report is very long and has some ideas and concepts that not everyone will be familiar with, so we have picked out some of the more relevant points that Leeds United fans should take note of…

What this means for Leeds United fans

A number of key recommendations in the report will be particularly interesting to Leeds United fans.

  • The Government should create a new independent regulator for English football (IREF) established by an Act of Parliament based upon specialist business regulation adapted to the football industry. IREF should operate a licensing system for professional men’s football.
  • To ensure financial sustainability of the professional game, IREF should oversee financial regulation in football which should be based upon prudential regulation in other industries recognising that football is obviously sport but also now big business.
  • New owners’ and directors’ tests for clubs should be established by IREF replacing the three existing tests to ensure that only good custodians and qualified directors can run these vitally important community and cultural assets.
  • As every club’s most important stakeholder, supporters should be properly consulted by their clubs in taking key decisions by means of a Shadow Board. Effective supporter engagement should be a licence condition and overseen by IREF.
  • There should be additional protection for key items of club heritage through a “Golden Share” requiring supporter consent and overseen by IREF.

The above recommendations, if implemented, would dramatically reduce the chances of Leeds United, or any other club, having to suffer the chaos and uncertainty that we have become accustomed to over the last couple of decades. We of course welcome any changes to the structure of the game that will help protect the future, and heritage and legacy of Leeds United.

What this means for the Trust

A Trust representative was invited to present a testimony directly to Tracey Crouch and her panel as part of this report process, and we were so pleased to see that the recommendations around meaningful and structured supporter engagement reflected the evidence that we presented during the session. There are specific references to Supporters’ Trusts in the report, with a focus on democratic fan organisations being the best way of clubs interacting with and being held accountable by their supporters.

We are pleased that the club have already acknowledged the need for a reformed shadow board and we welcome the club’s new SAB which will give them a diverse and expressive collection of fans to provide guidance and insight. We also look forward to working closely with the club on other projects around heritage, such as renewing the Asset of Community Value status of Elland Road.

Looking To The Future

The report has the potential to dramatically change the face of football in this country for the better, however this is just the start. We as a Supporters’ Trust, along with other fan groups around the country will continue to hold those in power to account and ensure that the recommendations proposed in the Fan Led Review are implemented to benefit all football fans in this country.

If you would like to add your voice to the Trust and help us shape the future of football, you can join the Trust for just £10 per year. Sign up here:

We would encourage all Leeds United fans to read through the report (you can download it here: https://thefsa.org.uk/news/fan-led-review-is-a-huge-step-forward ), and if you have any specific questions about the recommendations, please get in touch with us at info@leedsunitedtrust.com