Jarrow MP behind efforts for '50+1' football club fan ownership model law change after Super League row

One of South Tyneside’s MPs is behind a cross-party effort urging legislation to facilitate greater fan ownership of football clubs in England.

Friday, 30th April 2021, 5:04 pm
Updated Sunday, 2nd May 2021, 4:58 pm

Kate Osborne the MP for Jarrow, has driven the campaign to reclaim ownership of professional football clubs.

Through a letter addressed to culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, she and other lawmakers are calling on Whitehall ministers to bring forward legislation that would allow season-ticket holders to gain a majority share in their clubs.

The letter is also signed by South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck, former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the ex-Green Party leader Caroline Lucas.

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Jarrow MP Kate Osborne (left) and the MP for South Shields, Emma Lewell-Buck (right).

The letter is calling for the Government to legislate in order to allow English clubs to follow the German football club ownership model – whereby a football club’s season ticket holders would own a 51% stake in any given club, with a ballot on any major changes needing a 51% majority for approval.

The 50+1 model means that supporters can vote club investors out, allowing supporters to control their club in a more democratic way, the campaign argues.

“We are writing to call on the Government to commit now to legislating to secure the future of our national game in the forthcoming Queen’s Speech,” the letter reads.

“This would involve legislating now to require all Premier League and English Football League clubs to secure a 51% majority of their registered season ticket holders on any major decision that fundamentally affects the club’s identity or future.”

The campaign effort follows a widespread backlash against plans for a breakaway ‘European Super League’, which has prompted the English clubs that had initially signed up to the scheme to withdraw from the proposed elite competition.

“We are calling for the government to put its money where its mouth is and legislate in the upcoming Queen’s Speech to ensure that supporters have the majority stake in their clubs,” Kate Osborne MP said of the joint letter.

“It is the only way to prevent something like the super league debacle ever happening again.

"And it is only by fans taking back control that we will see cheap ticket prices, sensible kick-off times, funding for the women’s game, free-to air games, lasting anti-racism initiatives and wealth distribution throughout the grassroots”.

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