Department for Culture Media and Sport
We provide significant funding for sports provision, improving the quantity and quality of sporting opportunities at every level.
DCMS statement in response to "Action to Save the Game We Love" correspondence – 23 March 2010
We understand why fans are becoming increasingly concerned at the level of debt accumulated at some clubs from takeovers and recognise that there are some tough challenges facing the game.
We raised the issue of financial governance and regulation with the football authorities 18 months ago and as a result the game has undertaken some important rule changes including submitting their accounts and spending plans to independent auditors, backed up with sanction for those that don’t comply. But they need to go further and we will continue to challenge them on financial regulation.
The level of debt that football clubs carry has to be sustainable and not result in fans incurring unaffordable hikes in ticket prices. The recent example of Portsmouth has also shown that more due diligence needs to be done to scrutinise new owners, who should be able to show a clear financial business plan for the club and proof of funds.
However it is not for the Government to run the game – that is down to the football authorities. FIFA has in the past imposed strong football sanctions on countries whose Governments have intervened in football governance.
But as we continue to support football’s interests in the European Union it is right for us to continue to challenge them on issues such as leveraged debt that are of concern to supporters. We will continue to push for the Burns recommendations to be fully implemented by the FA as the appointment of non-executives to the FA board which we believe would help the governance of our national game. We also support the principles of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules.
Football must not lose sight of the fact that owners come and go but clubs were built on the loyalty of fans and a local allegiance that lasts a lifetime.
The Government helped set up Supporters Direct back in 1999 and will continue to support their vital work in improving the financial governance of clubs through the establishment of supporters’ trusts and through securing democratically elected supporters having a say in the running of their club.
We aim to:
- improve the country’s sporting system
- encourage wider participation in sport by children and people
- enable the most talented to reach their potential at the highest level
What we do
We provide significant funding for sport, mainly through our three key sporting non-departmental public bodies:
- Sport England, who invest money in grassroots projects to increase and sustain participation in sport
- UK Sport, who are responsible for developing high performance sport in the UK and also for bringing major events to the UK through World Class Events
- UK Anti-Doping, which is responsible for the UK’s anti-doping programme