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Club News

Harrogate Town AFC – Response to Government Fan Led Review White Paper

23 February 2023

Club News

Harrogate Town AFC – Response to Government Fan Led Review White Paper

23 February 2023

In response to the release of the Government's White Paper, our Chief Executive Sarah Barry has issued the following statement:

"Harrogate Town AFC fully supports the review which is essential if we're to become a more sustainable and competitive football pyramid.

As current custodians of Harrogate Town AFC, firmly at the heart of our Community, we hope the review will positively shape and stabilise the industry for many years to come, with invaluable contribution from our supporters.

We'd like to see a fairer, more equitable revenue distribution across the board, together with enhanced regulation in order to sustain a thriving industry. In turn, this will support the many wider benefits every club brings to its community.

The club has been actively engaging in discussions with our local MPs since the initial Fan Led Review was released and we'll continue to do so. For now, we look forward to reviewing the report in more detail and will keep updating as things progress.

Thank you for your continued support.


Some of the key proposals of the White Paper include:
  • The long-awaited White Paper has now set out the Government's plans to legislate on football governance issues following the recommendations of the Fan Led Review chaired by Tracey Crouch MP.
  • This will include the creation of an independent statutory regulator for football and a number of other reforms.
  • The EFL has been engaged in discussions with the Government on these issues for many months, as have clubs who have had regular dialogue with their local MPs.
  • The EFL is the only one of the three football authorities to have supported the Fan Led Review's key recommendations and welcomed the Government's response published in April 2022.
  • The EFL's purpose is to achieve the financial sustainability of football clubs throughout a thriving and competitive pyramid that will enable clubs to live within their means and continue to serve their supporters and communities long into the future.
  • Currently, English football is nowhere near meeting this objective with EFL clubs forecast to lose £350m this season, with this shortfall having to be met by club owners. Therefore, clubs (and their supporters) are left deeply exposed if this funding does not materialise.
  • English professional football needs a major financial reset and the Government now has a once in a generation opportunity to protect our nation's football clubs, our national sport and our communities from a gathering existential crisis. In doing so, we need a long-term solution to the issue.
  • The EFL believes that the route to sustainability is to halve the financial gap between the bottom of the Premier League and this will require a fairer redistribution of the game's revenues throughout the football pyramid. There is enough money in English football to achieve this as demonstrated by the £800m plus spent by top-flight clubs in the recent transfer window, 79% of the total spending by Europe's big five leagues.
  • To achieve club sustainability across the pyramid, the EFL is proposing a 75/25 split of the pooled distributable revenues of the Premier League and EFL , along with the introduction of merit payments and the ending of parachute payments to relegated clubs.
  • The EFL is clear that any new approach to financial re-distribution will also need to be accompanied by suitable financial controls to ensure that any additional money does not simply fuel player wage and transfer inflation but instead helps clubs to live within their means.

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