Fylde coast councils leading the way for football reform

The Fylde coast continues to be at the forefront of a campaign to change the way football clubs are run after a second council body lended its support to a motion that seeks to change government legislation.

Tuesday, 5th December 2017, 1:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 10:46 am
Richard Redcliffe spoke in favour of the proposals

Fylde Borough Council has become the latest local authority to back the formation of an independent body which would intervene in disputes between fans and club owners.

The notice to formally support the ‘FansNotNumbers’ campaign was put before councillors on Monday, with elected members voting overwhelmingly in favour of the motion.

They will now write to Prime Minister Theresa May and the Secretary of State for Sport Karen Bradley.

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Christine Seddon from the Blackpool Supporters' Trust has welcomed the council's support

It comes after Blackpool Council were the first to officially back the campaign earlier this year.

Wyre Council could become the third local authority to back the proposals on Thursday.

Richard Redcliffe, councillor for the Ansdell ward, gave a rousing speech outlining his support for the proposals.

He told The Gazette: “As a Blackpool supporter for 43 years I am only too aware of the need for change.

Christine Seddon from the Blackpool Supporters' Trust has welcomed the council's support

“The FA and EFL are very effective at dealing with on-the-field issues but I don’t think they are particularly effective at dealing with off-the-field matters.

“Millions watch football in this country and those supporters have to be involved with the running of their clubs. But right now they have little or no control.

“I do feel if we had a new system then we would see a better relationship between fans and owners.”

The first meeting of the FansNotNumbers campaign was held in the resort due to the ongoing dispute between supporters of Blackpool FC and owners the Oystons.

Christine Seddon, from the Blackpool Supporters’ Trust, welcomed Fylde Borough Council’s decision to back the motion.

She said: “There are too many rogue owners within our game and we believe that an independent regulatory body is needed to bring the changes which our game so desperately needs.

“This campaign is in its infancy but the fact that two of our local councils have agreed to support it is significant.

“We sincerely hope that Wyre Council will follow their fellow councils by also supporting the motion.

“The Fylde coast can be proud to be at the forefront of this campaign for change.”