Carlisle United are among 20 clubs who are leading a Fair Game campaign working to find long-term solutions to issues around football.
Protecting the heritage of clubs, a fairer distribution of TV revenues, opposing the European Super League, and tackling discrimination are among the aims.
Today the mayors of the two biggest cities in the North West have come out with strong vocal support for the Fair Game campaign.
“We need to safeguard the integrity of the pyramid and put community back at the heart of football again,” said Steve Rotheram, the Liverpool Mayor.
Andy Burnham, Manchester Mayor, added: “Fair Game’s proposals are exactly what football needs. Football is integral to our communities. The game needs a reboot.”
The 20 clubs are: Accrington Stanley, Basingstoke Town, Bury AFC, Bristol Rovers, Cambridge United, Carlisle United, Chester FC, City of Liverpool, Curzon Ashton, Dorking Wanderers, Ebbsfleet United, Grimsby Town, Leyton Orient, Lincoln City, Luton Town, Maidstone United, Newport County AFC, Tonbridge Angels, Tranmere Rovers and AFC Wimbledon.
Fair Game are working with a team of over 30 world-renowned experts, including academics from universities in Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Brighton, London, Northumbria and Portsmouth to develop the solutions.
Mr Burnham added: “I back the need for an independent regulator, for an Owners and Directors Test that is fit for purpose, and most importantly the protection of the heritage and traditions of our clubs.”
Mr Rotheram said: “The European Super League farce showed how the future of the game we love hangs in the balance – especially as so many lower league clubs stare down the barrel of financial ruin.”
Niall Couper, director of Fair Game, said: “I am delighted that Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram have given their support to us.
“Football urgently needs a reboot and we are delighted that the Conservative MP Tracey Crouch’s fan-led review has opened that door.
“Fair Game has been working hard with our clubs and our experts to develop realistic solutions to the problems our national game faces, and we are keen to work closely with the government.
“We want fans to be able to walk down the street wearing their team shirt proud in everything it stands for and safe in the knowledge that their club will be there for the long term.”
Among the solutions proposed from Fair Game are the creation of an independent regulator, fairer distribution of TV revenues, the introduction of a Sustainability Index and the protection of a club’s ‘crown jewels’.
The Sustainability Index would grade all professional clubs on four criteria – equality standards, Fan engagement, financial sustainability and good governance. This score would then be used to determine how much of the TV revenues each club receives.
Fair Game also believes fans should be given the final say on any proposed change to a club’s ‘crown jewels’, which includes the club’s name, nickname, colours, badge and the geographical location of where the club plays.
Fair Game will be launching its full manifesto on September 9 at Plough Lane, the home of AFC Wimbledon.