Gordon is today backing a Bill in the House of Commons calling for the creation of a tough and Independent Regulator for Football.
He is sponsoring Chris Matheson’s (Labour MP for Chester) Bill which will mandate clubs, which are being mismanaged, to face scrutiny from an independent regulator. Gordon previously backed a bill in 2016 put forward by fellow Labour MP Clive Efford calling for a number of places on the football club boards to be set aside for supporters (of an accredited supporters group such as the Blackpool Supporters Trust) – a commitment Labour made in its 2015 General Election manifesto.
Gordon, who’s regularly met with the BST over the last few years, agrees with Chris and the Football Supporters Association (FSA) who’ve expressed their desire to see the Football Association take on this regulatory role. Currently the Independent Football Ombudsman (IFO) only has powers on ticketing policies, accessibility of matches, merchandise and some supporter and other stakeholder involvement.
Under Chris’ Bill, the new regulator would have powers to undertake an independent and forensic audits of clubs’ directors and financial activities when sufficient concerns have been expressed about a club misconduct in management.
Gordon said: “Blackpool FC fans have been very much let down over the last five years – by the Oystons and with the EFL being slow off the mark to remedy some of these problems – although after a lot of lobbying they made the right decision on the points deduction issue. I am very hopeful with the new ownership and appointment of several BST members taking up important and strategic roles within the club, this can be the start of a new chapter for everyone concerned at Bloomfield Road.
“What happened at Blackpool and is still going on at other clubs such as Bolton and Coventry, mustn’t be allowed to happen again. Fans up to now have felt powerless but this bill which I am very pleased to support will mean mismanaged clubs facing proper scrutiny and having to undergo an independent audit of their financial activities. When I’ve spoken to Christine Seddon and Andy Higgins from the BST, they have said it was often a case of “marking their own homework” with the EFL and the owners of football clubs.
“An independent body will benefit fans in Blackpool and across the country, ensuring owners act in the best interests of the club and the wider communities they serve, instead of acting in self-interest to the club’s detriment.”