Require professional and semi-professional football clubs in England to
disclose the identity of their owners; to give the Football Association powers
to block the ownership of a club by anyone whom they consider is not a fit and
proper person; to require all creditors of a football club to be compensated
equally should the club go into administration; to facilitate the raising by
supporters’ organisations of the finance required to acquire a controlling stake
in a football club; and for connected purposes.
Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—
A football club shall only be entitled to play in the top eight levels of English
professional and semi-professional football if it declares to the Football
Association and to its League, and publishes, the following information—
(a) the identity of the ultimate beneficial owner of the club;
where the ultimate beneficial owner of the club is a trust, the
ascertainable beneficiaries of the trust;
where the ultimate beneficial owner of the club is a discretionary trust,
the beneficiaries of the trust as and when any payment is made by the
where the ultimate beneficial owner of the club is a trust, the names of
the trustees; and
where the football club is owned by a community benefit society as
defined by the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014,
the identity of any shareholders in the club.
The Football Association shall not grant full or associate membership to any
clubs whose owners it does not consider to be fit and proper persons.
Football Governance BillPage 2
In reaching any decision under subsection (1), the Football Association shall
consider whether the owners of a club are able to comply, or are likely to be
able comply within a reasonable period of time, with the rules and with the
Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Football Association.
The Football Association shall have absolute discretion in reaching any
decision under subsection (1).
The football first creditors rule as applied in England is abolished so that there
shall be no preference amongst creditors except as set out in statute.
(2) In Schedule B1 of the Insolvency Act 1986, after paragraph 43(6A) insert—
Where the company owns a share in the Football Association
Premier League Ltd or the Football League Ltd—
no step or action may be taken by any person to withdraw or
suspend such share,
any contractual provision under which such share or any
rights exercisable in respect of such share is or may be
withdrawn or suspended or no longer exercisable shall be
void and of no effect,
(c) any contractual provision under which any sum either—
is no longer due or payable by the Football
Association Premier League or the Football League to
the company which but for insolvency would
otherwise have been payable to the company, or
may be paid direct to a particular class of creditors
instead of to the company,
shall be void and of no effect.”
The organisers of competitions in the top eight levels of English professional
and semi-professional football may not make any rule against community
benefit societies and member owned and controlled community interest
companies operating a football club.
(1) This Act may be cited as the Football Governance Act 2014.
(2) This Act comes into force six months after Royal Assent.
(3) This Act extends to England and Wales, and Scotland.