Blog: Grimsby Town co-owner Jason Stockwood stresses need for financial regulation in football – Grimsby Live

Grimsby Town co-owner Jason Stockwood spoke about the need for financial regulation in football during a webinar about Fair Game and the Sustainability Index last week. The Mariners themselves are a founder member of the Fair Game initiative, striving to make the game more sustainable and level out the distribution of funds across the football pyramid.

Stockwood was a panellist on a webinar on Thursday, discussing the newly-proposed Sustainability Index led by Fair Game, which proposes a new way to decide on the distribution of the revenue generated in football. The Sustainability Index is designed to work as a league table with clubs earning points based on four criteria: financial sustainability, good governance, equality standards, and fan and community engagement.

Stockwood said that the love for Grimsby and its community pushed him to take over a club heading down the wrong path but believes that clubs should not be reliant on “benefactors” to get them out of challenging situations.

READ MORE: Harry Clifton offered new Grimsby Town deal highlighting his importance in a new era

“It is such an abhorrent idea that we should have to wait for benefactors to come and save what are cultural institutions,” he said. “In the end, we had no choice [to take over Grimsby] because I wanted to do it for the town that I love.

“People may say that clubs never entirely go extinct, as evidenced by what is happening at Macclesfield now, but there will be a generation of fans who may never see their club in the Football League and not because of footballing reasons. Investors shouldn’t be allowed to gamble with a generation’s opportunity to engage and connect with something that is part of our identities as football fans in the game that we love.

“What the Super League teams can’t seem to accept is that they are there because of 140 years of history built by teams that have been left behind. If the music had stopped 30 years ago, the likes of Chelsea wouldn’t be in that group of teams. There is a real issue with the timing of it all in the sense that there is a real entitlement to the present, which makes them believe they are entitled to the future as well, and that is the part that bothers me.

“We don’t want to be beholden to the past, but we can’t completely neglect it either. Football clubs are unique in what they represent in our communities and the country as a whole, but they are just seen as vehicles to profit off of by those at the very top of the pyramid when it belongs to all of us.”

Stockwood went on to show admiration for the growth of the Premier League but said that the unsustainable model for success has shaped the game in a way that does not serve all the clubs appropriately.

“Particularly at the top of the game,” continued Stockwood. “There is clearly a correlation between how much a team spends and the success that comes their way, so the game is built in a way that doesn’t serve all its constituents. That is why the game needs regulation. I am not a fan of over-regulation, but in this case, the market is simply not being run correctly.

“The government should not be a backstop for what is a highly-profitable market. The Premier League have done a brilliant job in becoming what it is, but the profiteering at the top of the game has made it unsustainable for the rest. That is why we need the regulation that Fair Game are proposing with the Sustainability Index because if this doesn’t happen, chaos will be created, and we will lose clubs. Benefactors are not the answer in a free market.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s