Football Governance Inquiry

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Football Governance Inquiry
Date 8 February 2011 (2011-02-08)
Location London, England
Burnley, England

The Football Governance Inquiry was a British public inquiry into the governance of football in the United Kingdom. The inquiry was announced on 7 December 2010.[1]

John Whittingdale, the Committee Chair said: "The Government has said that it will encourage the reform of football governance rules to support the co-operative ownership of football clubs by supporters, and there is widespread concern that the current governance arrangements are not fit-for-purpose."[1]

Committee members[edit]

The committee of inquiry, the members comprises:

Member Party Constituency
John Whittingdale MP (Chair) Conservative Maldon
Louise Bagshawe MP Conservative Corby
David Cairns MP Labour Inverclyde
Therese Coffey MP Conservative Suffolk Coastal
Damian Collins MP Conservative Folkestone and Hythe
Philip Davies MP Conservative Shipley
Paul Farrelly MP Labour Newcastle-under-Lyme
Alan Keen MP Labour Co-op Feltham and Heston
Adrian Sanders MP Liberal Democrat Torbay
Jim Sheridan MP Labour Paisley and Renfrewshire North
Tom Watson MP Labour West Bromwich East


After several high-profile controversial events in football including but not limited to Thaksin Shinawatra's ownership of Manchester City F.C., leveraged buyouts by Tom Hicks and George Gillett at Liverpool F.C. and Malcolm Glazer at Manchester United, Portsmouth F.C.'s administration and four successive ownerships within the space of 12 months, public in-fighting within The Football Association, England's unsuccessful multi-million pound bid for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, record high amount of money being paid to sports agents and record numbers of clubs entering administration, there was scope to see what could be done to improve Governance of football in United Kingdom.


BBC's Sports Editor David Bond criticised the scope of the inquiry as being "too broad to deliver anything worthwhile".[2]

The inquiry[edit]

Members of the public were asked to submit written evidence for the inquiry, the following questions were asked:

  • Should football clubs in the UK be treated differently from other commercial organisations?
  • Are football governance rules in England and Wales, and the governing bodies which set and apply them, fit for purpose?
  • Is there too much debt in the professional game?
  • What are the pros and cons of the Supporter Trust share-holding model?
  • Is Government intervention justified and, if so, what form should it take?
  • Are there lessons to be learned from football governance models across the UK and abroad, and from governance models in other sports?

The Government published a 447-page document containing written information from members of the public, football supporters' trusts, universities and football clubs notably Chester F.C. and Scarborough Athletic F.C.[3]

On 8 February 2011, the Committee held the first evidence session for its inquiry into football governance took place at Portcullis House.[4]


Date Witness(es) Location Available online
8 February 2011 Portcullis House Video stream
15 February 2011 Portcullis House Video stream
8 March 2011 Palace of Westminster Video stream
15 March 2011 Turf Moor Stadium
22 March 2011 Portcullis House Video stream
29 March 2011 Wembley Stadium Video stream
5 April 2011 Palace of Westminster Video stream
26 April 2011
  • William Gaillard, adviser to the President, UEFA
  • Hugh Robertson MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport and the Olympics, Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Palace of Westminster Video stream
10 May 2011 Palace of Westminster Video stream


  1. ^ a b "Committee launches inquiry on Football Governance". 7 December 2010. Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  2. ^ Bond, David (8 March 2011). "Is football governance inquiry too broad to hit target?". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  3. ^ "Written Evidence – at 8 February 2011" (PDF). Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  4. ^ "Committee to hear from former FA insiders". 8 February 2011. Retrieved 17 March 2011. 

External links[edit]