Liverpool and Manchester mayors Steve Rotheram and Andy Burnham are backing the Fair Game campaign, which is seeking to find solutions to long-term issues affecting the game in England and Wales.
The club-led initiative is being driven by 20 EFL and non-league clubs who want to safeguard the heritage of teams, are demanding a fairer distribution of TV revenues, want to resolve issues surrounding the European Super League proposals, and are committed to tackling discrimination.
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.
As part of the policies, the clubs also want to introduce a Sustainability Index, where every team will be assessed and scored on the following 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 wants fans to have the final say on matters like their club’s name, nickname, colours, badge and the geographical location of where their team plays.
Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Manchester, said: “I’m happy to support Fair Game. Their proposals are exactly what football needs.
“I’m only too aware of the dangers that exist. We’ve seen the collapse of Bury and the spectre of the ESL. Football is integral to our communities. The game needs a reboot.
“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.”
Steve Rotheram, the Mayor of Liverpool City Region, added: “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.
“Football is a vital part of the Liverpool City Region, of our local economy but of our communities too. We need to safeguard the integrity of the pyramid and put community back at the heart of football again.
“The Fair Game campaign helps to provide the blueprint for that.”
There were widespread concerns raised over football’s financial sustainability in the UK after six Premier League clubs attempted to join the proposed breakaway European Super League back in April.
Earlier this month, Tracey Crouch and a number of other MPs revealed their interim thoughts on the government’s fan-led review of football governance, which she chairs.
Niall Couper, director of Fair Game, added: “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.”
Fair Game will be launching its full manifesto on September 9 at AFC Wimbledon’s ground, Plough Lane.