July 12, 2024

Andy Cullen, the chief executive of Portsmouth Football Club, has expressed his approval for the Football Governance Bill outlined in the King’s Speech during the State Opening of Parliament. The bill, a response to a fan-led review into football governance chaired by former Sports Minister Tracey Crouch, aims to establish an independent regulator in English football. Cullen emphasized that the Blues fully endorse the government’s plans, seeing the regulator as essential to ‘safeguard the future of football clubs for the benefit of communities and fans.’

The legislation, informed by the fan-led review, recommends the appointment of an independent regulator to prevent clubs from going out of business, with a focus on giving fans greater input and strengthening owners’ and directors’ tests. Portsmouth, having faced challenges in the past, particularly financial difficulties and the threat of liquidation in 2013, currently operates under a self-sustainable and debt-free financial model, thanks to fan ownership.

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Cullen believes that the proposed regulator should enhance financial integrity, preventing reckless and unsustainable actions that have negatively impacted several clubs in recent seasons. He mentioned that the regulator’s primary focus, as indicated by the football white paper, will be financial, using a licensing mechanism to safeguard clubs within their communities. Cullen highlighted the potential positive impact of the bill, anticipating that it could lead to a more sustainable and competitive environment for clubs throughout the pyramid.

In closing, Cullen acknowledged the commitment of Portsmouth’s ownership to the club’s long-term development, emphasizing that investments in stadium infrastructure and a debt-free financial approach create a strong foundation for continued growth. The legislative process for the bill is expected to take between six and nine months, with Portsmouth Football Club expressing support for its smooth progress alongside the English Football League (EFL).

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