Yesterday, MP for Birmingham Ladywood, Shabana Mahmood led a debate in the House of Commons Chamber, and called on the Government to finally implement an independent regulator of football.
During the debate Shabana highlighted the plight of Birmingham City FC, based in her constituency. With a crumbling stadium and far removed, invisible ownership, points deductions, and crippling debts worth over £120 million – the club continues to swing from crisis to crisis.
Birmingham City is a perfect example of the current system allowing irresponsible spending as unaccountable foreign owners buy up local clubs.
Shabana pressed the Minister to re-commit to establishing an independent football regulator, as recommended by Tracey Crouch’s Fan Led Review. But he failed to do so, only stating that the need for reform is not in doubt but that as a government of new ministers they were keen to do their due diligence and consider the policy carefully.
Shabana Mahmood MP for Birmingham Ladywood, said:
“I am desperate to make sure that Birmingham City Football Club can be rescued from their current predicament and put on a sustainable footing.
“It is one of the oldest football clubs in the country. It was founded in 1875 in Small Heath; it acted as a rifle range for training soldiers in WW1 and like much of Small Heath was bombed during WW2.
“It is steeped in history and with a heritage that Brummies across the city are proud of, but for years now, Blues fans have watched with devastation as financial and professional mismanagement has driven their beloved club to the brink.
“But the issues at Blues are not unique – they are happening in stadiums and club houses across the country.
“Fantastic clubs face destruction unless we see decisive action and regulatory overhaul from the government – exactly as we were promised earlier this year.
“The long-term future of English football can only be secured if the Government implements the recommendations of the FLR in full; they have long promised a White Paper which would pave the way for legislation to create the Independent Regulator of English Football.”
You can read the debate in full here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2022-11-07/debates/FD3CF422-EACF-4934-A051-1CAE75B3F94D/FootballClubsInEnglandFinancialSustainability