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Men’s Football Andy Burnham endorses Fair Game's vision for football

ANDY BURNHAM delivered a ringing endorsement of Fair Game’s vision for the future last week at the launch of its manifesto at Plough Lane, the home of AFC Wimbledon.

The mayor of Manchester ran through several key elements of the 48-page document, Putting Pride Back In The Shirt, and gave particular praise to the proposed Sustainability Index.

Fair Game is a group of 27 clubs from England and Wales, backed by a team of over 40 experts, working on issues around governance, sustainability, and community within the game.

The index looks at redistributing the parachute payments down the pyramid based on how clubs perform against four criteria: equality standards, fan engagement, financial sustainability and good governance.

Currently clubs relegated from the Premier League are given £55m in a parachute payment — that’s more than is given to all 48 clubs in League One and League Two combined.

Burnham said: “I feel that there is a groundswell of feeling that change is needed. We have to get back to protecting the best interest of our game, to protecting the great institutions of ours for future generations.

“That notion of a sustainability index seems to me to be unanswerable, who could argue against that?”

He went on to praise Fair Game’s proposals and added: “I fully support independent regulation backed by government. I think the time has come. And the time has come for clubs themselves to step forward and say this is what is needed and that’s why Fair Game is so important.

“If the Fair Game manifesto was implemented in full, I believe it would have the support of 90 per cent-plus of football supporters in this country.

“It secures it for future generations. It deserves our support. And I’m here to give my support. We need to make this a moment of unstoppable momentum for change in English football.”

Dion Dublin, finalist of Masterchef and host of Homes Under The Hammer, became an ambassador for Fair Game, it was announced today.

Dublin had an illustrious playing career with the likes of Norwich City, Manchester United, Coventry City, Aston Villa, Leicester City and Celtic, was capped four times by England and is now on the board of another one of his former clubs Cambridge United.

He said: “I was very fortunate to have a 22-year football career. I have experience in all the professional leagues and non-league football as well.

“Football is becoming increasingly unsustainable with clubs across the leagues spending more than they can afford. We need to change it and protect our unique football pyramid for our future generations. That’s why I am supporting Fair Game.”

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