AN MP has said he is ‘extremely disappointed’ with the Government's response to his concerns about the ownership and leadership of Blackburn Rovers.
In a House of Commons debate recently Hyndburn MP Graham Jones said Rovers was a club whose fans ‘have lost faith in their clubs’ owners’ amid deep concerns about the future direction of the team, who are in the Championship relegation zone with five games left to play.
MORE TOP STORIES:
He wrote to sports minister Tracey Crouch about the stewardship of Venky’s Group, who bought the club in 2010.
Mrs Crouch, in a letter to Mr Jones, said: “The FA has previously provided assurances that the process by which the prospective owners of Blackburn Rovers were required to pass the ‘Owners and Directors Test’ was completed successfully.
“It is for the football authorities collectively to ensure due diligence is carried out on the ownership of clubs not only when they acquire clubs, but through their tenure.
“Football clubs are valuable parts of the community and every care should be taken by their owners to protect their long-term future.
“The Government is aware of a number of clubs where there has been a breakdown in the communication between club and supporter base.
“This is one of the reasons we set up an expert working group on supporter ownership and engagement.
“Measures in the report around encouraging engagement and dialogue between club and fans have been codified in the football authority’s rulebooks and these meetings are happening from this season.”
Mr Jones said: “This Government has been promising to reform football governance for seven years and nothing has happened.
“I’m very disappointed in the responses.
“Blackburn Rovers have been going backwards since the takeover and nobody seems to be able to take them to account on behalf of the fans.
“They’ve made terrible decisions, year in, year out.
“Labour’s position is that 25 per cent of board members at football clubs should be drawn from fan’s groups and 10 per cent of shares should be offered to the clubs’ official supporters’ trust
“The time has come for the government to make good on their promises and introduce legislation to improve the rules."