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Jeremy Corbyn’s plan for football

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Oct 7, 2019 James Ashford

Labour wants to give fans more power as leader attacks ‘bad owner’ Mike Ashley

Keeper Corbyn in goal during the 2017 election campaign

Football fans are to be given more power and influence over the way their clubs are run under new proposals put forward by Jeremy Corbyn.

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The opposition leader said that a Labour government would make new laws that allow supporters the right to appoint – and sack – a minimum of two directors to their club’s board, says The Guardian.

And the party would legislate to ensure fans had the option to buy shares in their club when it changed hands.

“A football club is more than just a club, it is an institution at the heart of our communities,” said Corbyn.

“Clubs are part of the social fabric that binds us together. They are too important to be left in the hands of bad owners who put their business interests ahead of everything else, marginalise supporters and even put the financial security of clubs at risk,” he added.

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Corbyn, an Arsenal fan, said Labour’s measures would “empower fans” and improve football governance.

He added that a Labour government would ensure that 5% of television income was invested in grassroots football and crack down on exploitative ticket-touting.

And he said that staff at football clubs would benefit from Labour’s plan to introduce a living wage of at least £10 an hour.

Despite Premier League clubs making a combined £4.2bn last year, only four top clubs – Everton, Liverpool, Chelsea and West Ham – were found to be accredited by the Living Wage Foundation, says Sky News.

Corbyn said football clubs should be run in the interests of fans, not “bad owners” like Newcastle’s billionaire owner Mike Ashley, reports talkSPORT.

“Sport must be run in the interests of those who participate in it, follow it and love it, not just for the privileged and wealthy few.

“We will ensure that supporters have a say over how their club is run and review how fans can have more of a say about how all of our sporting bodies are run,” he said.

Other proposals from the Labour leader include adding events such as the women’s football World Cup to the list of those that must be broadcast on free-to-air TV.

He also pledged to improve access for disabled fans by taking action to force clubs’ compliance with the 2010 Equality Act.

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