Chartered Governance Institute responds to announcement of new Football Regulator and governance code for football clubs

London, 24 February 2023 – Commenting on the announcement of a new Football Regulator by Stuart Andrew, MP, Minister for Sport, The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland (CGIUKI) said:

“A well-designed independent regulator can help ensure a healthy future for the game for generations to come.

The white paper very sensibly highlights that the Regulator will establish a compulsory ‘Football Club Corporate Governance Code’ and that this code will draw on existing codes including the UK Corporate Governance Code, the Wates Principles and the Code for Sports Governance.  As the leading body for governance in the UK, we firmly believe that better governance drives better decision making in every sector, sport included.

A well drafted code will recognise the widely publicised issues affecting governance in football and offer constructive support to drive governance improvements while acknowledging that organisations are different. We support the proposed adoption of a tiered code to allow adjustments for a club’s individual circumstances. It is essential that the new code avoids overly rigid provisions. Without the right level of flexibility, the risk is that the new code will be unsustainable or achieve only boilerplate reporting which will neither address the fundamental intention of the regulator nor deliver the positive outcomes desired by football fans, the government or, indeed, by the football clubs themselves.

We will be watching the new regulator’s approach carefully, ready to offer our experience of sector specific codes of governance to ensure that football is served with a robust but proportionate regulatory framework to underpin its foundations and allow the nation’s favourite sport to flourish.”

Peter Swabey, Policy & Research Director, The Chartered Governance Institute, UK & Ireland.

“The Code for Sports Governance is a helpful example of how the proposed code for football might be structured. Implemented in 2016, it has already delivered strong benefits to grassroot sport organisations and national governing bodies. The Institute’s Sports Governance Academy, delivered in partnership with all the Sports Councils of the UK, has proven the appetite for raising the standards across sport.

We have been at the forefront of supporting the positive adoption of the Code, providing dedicated training, guidance and resources to upskill the sector. We are encouraged that the white paper notes the need for the regulator to provide similar support to football clubs.”  

Craig Beeston, Programme Manager, Sports Governance Academy.

For further information, please contact David Mortimer, Head of External Affairs
+44 (0)20 7612 7072
+44 (0)7376 198 649

Notes to Editors:

The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland is the professional body for governance and the qualifying and membership body for governance professionals across all sectors. Its purpose under Royal Charter is to lead ‘effective governance and efficient administration of commerce, industry and public affairs’ working with regulators and policy makers to champion high standards of governance and providing qualifications, training and guidance. As a lifelong learning partner, the Institute helps governance professionals to achieve their professional goals, providing recognition, community and the voice of its membership.

One of nine divisions of the global Chartered Governance Institute, which was established 130 years ago, The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland represents members working and studying in the UK and Ireland and in many other countries and regions including the Caribbean, parts of Africa and the Middle East. 


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