The first Twohundredpercent article is an account2 of what David Bernstein and some other speakers said at the Supporters Summit on June 22nd. I was at the summit and think this article provides a great summary of the main points that were made and also the mood of the delegates.
The second article3 is about Coventry City, discussing how its supporters might react to the proposed ground-share deal with Northampton Town.
There’s one issue that’s mentioned in both articles. It’s the issue of how the Football Association and the Football League regulate, or rather fail to regulate the game.
David Bernstein’s speech at the opening plenary session of the Supporters Summit was followed by an impassioned speech from Andy Burnham, in which he said that the FA had given away its power when the Premier League was formed. Interestingly, David Bernstein didn’t deny it and agreed that the success of the Premier League had led to an imbalance in the game.
In the article on Coventry City, the author suggests that it is unlikely that the Football League and/or the Football Association will do anything to stop SISU moving Coventry City’s games to Northampton. After all the league didn’t do anything to stop the club being sold to a new owner that was part of the group that previously owned the club and had also put the club into administration.4
The fans at the Supporters Summit seemed to be in agreement that football needs a regulatory body that would exercise some control over the power of the clubs and that neither the FA, the Premier League or the Football League are doing that at present.
The present plight of Birmingham City FC can also be traced to ineffective regulation of the game. The fit and proper person test prevents someone owning more than 30% of a club’s shares if he has a criminal conviction or has run a football club into administration twice.5 Apparently, if someone has only run a club into administration once, he deserves another try. There is no requirement that owners should know anything about the business of running a football club. Carson Yeung didn’t conduct due diligence before he bought BCFC and only complained about financial irregularities after he had bought it.6 I don’t think that we have to wait for the verdict in his trial to decide if he is a suitable owner or not. Even if he is judged to be not guilty of money laundering, we already know that he is guilty of incompetence in running a football club.