Insights Government announces expert panel for fan-led review of football


In the aftermath of the failed European Super League bid, the Government announced its manifesto commitment to conduct the review and published its Terms of Reference last month. The Government says that the panel features fan representation at its heart and also includes former players and managers, current administrators, representatives of non-league and the women’s game as well as independent members. The Chair and panel will now begin a series of roundtable meetings that will reach out to fans and football organisations throughout the football pyramid, to hear their views on the future of the national game.

Representation will be from the whole football pyramid with Premier League, Championship, Women’s, League One and Two and Non-league, Community and Diversity based fan networks asked to participate.

The full panel is as follows:

  • Kevin Miles (Chief Executive, The Football Supporters’ Association);
  • Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale (Chief Executive, Everton FC);
  • Clarke Carlisle (former Burnley player and former Chair of Professional Footballers Association);
  • Dan Jones (Partner, Football Finance);
  • Dawn Airey (Chair, FA Women’s Super League);
  • David Mahoney (Chief Operating Officer, England and Wales Cricket Board);
  • James Tedford (Former Secretary, Southport FC);
  • Godric Smith (Director, Cambridge United);
  • Danny Finkelstein, independent member.

The Chair and panel will canvass fans’ views on ownership, governance and financial flows within the game. It will add to the recommendations of the English Football League’s Governance Review and the Government’s 2016 Expert Working Group on Football Supporter Ownership and Engagement.

In addition, they will assess if there is a need for an independent football regulator, charged with implementing regulation and compliance, and how that could work within the existing framework provided by the Football Association, Premier League and English Football League.

The Government says that the focal point of the review panel will be to engage with fan groups, to hear views on what they believe needs changing in football governance. The Chair will meet regularly with the panel and fan groups in order to move forward with its engagement and reform agenda and will feed into the final report expected in the Autumn 2021.

The Government will set out further plans around the initial fan engagement sessions in due course. To read the Government’s press release in full, click here.