Polling Shows Half of Brits Want Government Action On Football Ahead Of Its Review Into The Game
Exclusive: Polling carried out for PoliticsHome suggests half of Brits think ministers should intervene to regulate the finance and governance of football clubs and almost as many want clubs to be majority fan-owned as they are in Germany.
After a week of turmoil in English football with six clubs dramatically joining, then swiftly withdrawing from the European Super League under fan pressure, the public mood shows backing for more government action in the future.
Respondents were asked if they would support or oppose the UK government more strictly regulating the finance and governance of football clubs.
The poll, commissioned exclusively for PoliticsHome by Redfield & Wilton Strategies this week comes as the government kick starts its review into football finance and regulation, led by former sports minister Tracey Crouch.
It also found that 50 per cent of Brits want the UK government to more strictly regulate football clubs when it comes to finance and governance.
Just 13 percent oppose it, and 27 percent said they neither supported more intervention, nor opposed it.
A breakdown of the statistics shows that those living in London were the most in favour of regulation with 63 percent supporting it, or strongly supporting, the move. Among those who consider themselves football fans, it was 64 percent in favour.
In terms of age groups, the strongest backing was found among the 35 to 44 year-olds, with 53 percent in favour of more involvement from the government when it comes to finance and governance.
The youngest cohort, those aged 18 to 24, were the least positive about intervention, with 40 percent in favour. Those living in the North East were also less enthused about it, with only 35 percent supporting stricter finance and governance rules.
Asked whether the government should have the right to regulate Premier League clubs following incidents like the European Super League break-away, 42 percent agreed that they did, 29 percent said no, and 30 percent said they did not know.
The youngest group age group were again most heavily against the state involving itself in the Premier League. Thirty-five percent said the government should regulate the Premier League to stop clubs them signing up to ventures like the ESL, compared to 39 percent who said they should not.
However the next age group up, those aged between 25 and 34, 46 percent said the government should have a role, compared to 30 percent who did not.
It is understood Crouch will also review fan ownership models like the one in the German Bundesliga where laws are in place to stop commercial investors having any more than a 49 per cent stake in a club, meaning 51 percent of a club’s ownership is in the hands of fans.
Our poll showed that 49 percent of respondents said they would support a government or English Football Association Rule that requires football clubs to be majority owned by fans. Ten percent said they would oppose that idea, and 29 percent say they would neither support nor oppose it.
Among those who consider themselves football supporters, 61 percent want a majority fan ownership model.
The questions were asked to 1500 people between April 18 and 21.