City are well-placed to implement proposals from the Fan-Led Review, with a working group involving supporters meeting regularly to prepare and plan for key changes as part of football reform.
The working group is made up of members of the Red Imps Community Trust, the club’s Supporters Board, other fans groups, director David Lowes and an independent consultant Jim Lord.
They have been meeting regularly to assess how ready the club is to meet the mandatory requirements expected to be passed into law following the Government’s imminent release of a white paper on the strategic recommendations from the Fan-Led Review.
David said: “We’ve had two meetings of the working group and have one scheduled for before the Cambridge game, so we’ll continue to work through preparations and once the white paper comes out we’ll move into implementation mode along with providing further communications on how we are going to change.
“There has been some good work done by the group to understand what we think a Shadow Board will look like, assessing where we’re compliant now as a Supporters Board and where we need to make changes to transition to a Shadow Board. We’re using the same process to establish who meets the criteria of holding the golden share where we’re looking at the Red Imps Community Trust (a Community Benefit Society) to identify the operational and governance changes required."
The Government have accepted the proposals contained in the Fan-Led Review, with a White Paper due to be put forward shortly to outline what they wish to put into law.
This includes an independent regulator for football, changes to distribute revenue more evenly throughout the pyramid, fan engagement through Shadow Boards and a “golden share” held by a fans representative group to influence decisions on heritage matters such as stadium ownership and location, club colours, the badge and their name.
David added: “This is a very important piece of work about how we reform football, with the key focus on modernising football’s governance to make it fairer and stronger at every level.
“There is broad support for the changes and we support the strategic recommendations which we believe are all sensible, implementable and will make real change.
“For instance we support the appointment of an independent regulator and believe in the need for stronger financial regulation. Football is a unique business model, people make big bets to try and rise up the pyramid but that leaves clubs open to bad actors or overstretching themselves.”
While all clubs are waiting on clarity from the Government through their upcoming White Paper, David believes City are very well placed in preparing for the changes.
He added “One of the reasons we support the recommendations is because we’re aligned to them and are already practicing many of them. We see this as an opportunity to further build on our fan engagement, good governance and financial sustainability focus so we can all be part of a club to be proud of."