On a historic day for English football, Blundell Park played host to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport Lucy Frazer as the Government confirmed their publication of a White Paper outlining new rules for the sport’s governance.
The plans follow the Government accepting recommendations from the Fan-Led Review of Football Governance, led by Tracey Crouch MP, and will give both fans and their clubs greater protection under the proposed radical transformation.
It will guarantee fans a greater say in the strategic running of their clubs and help protect their club’s heritage. With new tests for owners and directors set to be introduced alongside the regulator holding the power to prevent English clubs from joining new competitions that don’t meet predetermined criteria.
The cabinet minister visited Blundell Park as part of the announcement with Town fans also joined by player Shaun Pearson to discuss the White Paper’s introduction.
Our owners, Jason Stockwood and Andrew Pettit, along with CEO Debbie Cook, met with Frazer to show her and her team around Blundell Park on a huge day for English football.
On the White Paper, Culture Secretary Frazer said: “I know how much football means to this country, and I want to see the domestic league continue its incredible success at home and abroad.
“So today we are stepping in to secure the long-term future of the national game and put fans right back at the heart of how football is run.
“Our plans will ensure that clubs manage their finances in a responsible way, and prevent unscrupulous owners from treating clubs as expendable commodities rather than the beloved community assets that they are.
“This is about protecting the beautiful game, making sure we remain home to the strongest league in the world, and safeguarding clubs big and small across the country.”
Mariners Chair Jason Stockwood said: “This is a once in a generation regulatory change for the whole of the football pyramid that hasn’t been seen since the Premier League came into existence in the early nineties.
“Grimsby Town are one of the founder members of the Fair Game initiative that has been lobbying government for an independent regulator and a change to the financial flow of funds from the Premier League to create stability and greater governance for the whole sport. We’re delighted that we were selected today to be the place where the White Paper was announced.
“It’s both a recognition and acknowledgement that Grimsby Town have a voice on the national stage and we’re delighted to have been chosen to host the Secretary of State.
“The flow of funds from the Premier League only tells part of the story. While that is critical, it has to be aligned with increased governance so we’re not just propping up or subsidising unviable business models. There also needs to be an improvement in the Owner and Directors Test that has been recommended that means that people not only pass the test but that it has to be retaken every few years in case people’s circumstances have changed significantly.
“All of these things will make the football pyramid a lot healthier for the next hundred years.
“The Secretary of State mentioned that this was her number one priority and it’s unusual for initiatives to have cross-party, almost universal, consensus so hopefully these changes will start to come over the next twelve months or so.”
We are very proud as a Club to have been chosen as the venue where the government launched their historic White Paper.