Labour and Greens back fan ownership of football clubs

Both political parties said they were keen to introduce measures to give fans more control of the clubs they support.

Labour and Greens back fan ownership of football clubs PA Media

Two of Scotland’s leading political parties have backed reforming the country’s national game to allow fans to own their football teams.

Fan takeovers have been finalised by some teams in Scotland already, including Premiership side Motherwell, but the Scottish Greens and Scottish Labour want to see more.

The announcements come as the fallout from the announcement of the European Super League continues, with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, whose team would be founding members of the venture, reiterating his opposition to the venture.

Politicians have also registered their disagreement, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying he would be able to “drop a legislative bomb” to prevent the new league, while Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross also voiced his opposition.

Scottish Labour MP and shadow Scottish Secretary, Ian Murray, said: “Football belongs to the fans – not to a cartel of billionaires at the top.

“Scottish Labour is determined to reinvigorate the game in Scotland from grassroots to national team by supporting fan ownership of clubs and reform of the game at all levels in Scotland.

“Clubs are at the heart of communities across Scotland, and many have been hit hard by the pandemic. That’s why Labour is committed to democratising and energising the game in Scotland.

“Labour is back on the pitch, but too many football fans feel stuck on the side lines.

“That’s why Labour is dedicated to supporting the future of the game in Scotland and putting fans in control, from the dugout to the directors’ box from grassroots to the governance of the game.”

Scottish Greens sports spokeswoman Alison Johnstone said the proposed league, which would see up to 20 of Europe’s most well known teams take part, “shows what happens when profits and greed are allowed to dominate football”, adding the amounts of money involved were “eye-watering”.

She added: “As the famous quote says, football is nothing without the fans, and it is no wonder that so many are opposed to this move.

“In Scotland we were successful in ensuring that fan ownership has been pushed up the agenda. It is a model that has worked around the world, and something that is badly needed to stop the sort of moves we are seeing now.

“Football clubs are community assets and should be in the hands of those who care most about them. With a greater use of fan ownership, and more fan representation, we can ensure that communities are at the heart of our teams and our national sport.”

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