Swindon Town in bottom half of the table in football fairness index
By Jamie Hill - 13 August 2023
Clubs & Activities
Swindon Town were in the bottom half of the table for League Two in a new index of fairness in football.
Fair Game – a campaign group working to improve how football is governed – says the sport needs a "reboot", with many clubs in lower leagues struggling financially.
The organisation has put together a new index of fairness in football, using over 80 sources of data on the finances, commitment to equality, fan engagement and governance of clubs in England's top leagues.
Swindon Town scored 40 out of 100 on the index – putting it 13th of all clubs in League Two last season.
In League Two, AFC Wimbledon topped the rankings, with Carlisle United taking the second spot and Tranmere Rovers in third.
At the other end of the table, Hartlepool were bottom – followed by Mansfield Town and Stockport County.
Fair Game is calling for lower league clubs to receive a greater proportion of television revenue, particularly for better-run clubs – such as those with sustainable financial models, or good fan engagement.
Mark Middling, director of financial policy for Fair Game, said “Football is unsustainable. Since the start of the Premier League, there have been 64 incidents of clubs in the top four divisions going into administration.
"Companies House data reveals that 44 of the top 92 were technically insolvent in 2022, and 31% of clubs were spending more than they earn on players’ wages – that figure rises to 68% when you look at the Championship."
"The culture of penalties to control clubs has failed. Football needs a reboot,” he added.
Under their proposals, Premier League clubs would contribute 25% of their revenue to lower league clubs, alongside 10% of all transfer fees.
This would see Swindon Town receive an estimated £3.3 million – which would be £3 million more than they do under the current model of redistributing funds.
According to the index, the club ranked 15th in League Two for its financial sustainability.
The findings also show Swindon Town is not signed up to the Living Wage Scheme – which commits employers to pay all staff a minimum of £10.90, or £11.95 if they are based in London.
Niall Couper, CEO of Fair Game, added: "Premier League clubs have rejected calls to increase the financial flow through the pyramid because of risky financial behaviour by some clubs in the EFL.
"Distributing more money through the Index to the better-run clubs in the pyramid resolves those concerns."