English football 'needs independent regulator to stop lurching from crisis to crisis'

Independent regulators will strengthen English football.

The chair of the fan-led review into the sport says that English football needs an independent regulator to stop it from "lurching from crisis to crisis".

The government should create a new regulator for English football, according to a former sports minister.

The long-term financial stability of the men's professional game is something the review says is necessary.

"This is a huge opportunity for football," he said.

Football has lurched from crisis to crisis over the past decade and we haven't had the right levels of regulation in place to stop that.

She said that the recommendations were to remove vested interests from football to make it sustainable for the long-term future.

The government commissioned a review that recommends that the premier league clubs pay a solidarity transfer levy.

It suggests that clubs should have a'shadow board' of fans so that they are properly consulted on key decisions and that supporters hold a 'golden share' to protect their clubs' heritage.

The review suggests that the new owners' and directors' tests should be carried out by IREF, instead of the English Football League and the FA.

She said she was confident that the measures would stop any revival of the failed European Super League and prevent a club going bust like the one that happened in 2019.

She said that legislation won't be in place by the start of next season, but that she is optimistic that the government will support the idea of an independent regulator.

She said that a'shadow regulator' could be set up immediately to establish the guiding principles for IREF.

The league said it will study the recommendations before working with the government, fans, FA and the EFL on the issues.

The review is hoped to be a catalyst for positive change that can make clubs sustainable.

Many positive changes have already been made, some of which were directly as a result of the review, according to the FA.

The review lays the basis for a prosperous and sustainable future for English football, according to the Football Supporters' Association.

What is being recommended?

The report has 47 recommendations, which are summarized in 10 major points.

The government should create a new regulatory body.
Financial regulation in football should be overseen by IREF.
New owners' and directors' tests should be established by IREF.
A new corporate governance code is needed.
All clubs should have plans for equality, diversity and inclusion.
The supporters should be consulted on key decisions.
Key items of club heritage should be protected by fans.
The solidarity transfer levy should be paid by the clubs in the top flight to support the pyramid.
Women's football should be treated the same as men's football.
Stakeholders should work to increase protection of players leaving the game.

The owners' and directors' test of the premier league has come under scrutiny recently.

The Saudi state is accused of human rights abuses, so the league should change the test to address them.

The Saudi state has no direct control over the club despite the Public Investment Fund, chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, owning 80% of the club. The crown prince denies approving the murder of the journalist.

The review didn't say whether human rights issues would be considered in the new proposed tests, but it did say that owners and directors must be good character to pass.

She said that the new tests would have ensured greater transparency, but she didn't know if the new tests would have stopped the takeover.

The top flight made another £25m available to Leagues One and Two and the National League last week, after agreeing a £250m rescue package for the English Football League.

The proposed transfer levy will add to that and work in a similar way to stamp duty in order to "distribute revenues across the pyramid and into grassroots" according to the review.

The league has a duty to pass on more of its wealth, but it needs to make a decision on the percentage of the levy.

I will make the decision if they can't agree.

Why did the review happen?

The announcement of the European Super League caused fans to protest outside stadiums.

More than 100 hours of evidence were heard from fans of more than 130 clubs.

The government promised a fan-led review in its general election manifesto after the expulsion of Bury from League One.

The failed attempt to launch a 12-team European Super League in April was one of the reasons why the review was brought forward.

The review wants to address concerns over the financial disparity between the Championship and the Premier League, with clubs in the second tier breaching profitability andsustainability rules in attempts to gain promotion.

Reading and Derby County have been deducted points for breaking financial rules this season, taking their total deductions to 21 points.

The European Super League, which involved six Premier League clubs, collapsed due to widespread condemnation from other clubs and players as well as governing bodies, politicians and fans.

The golden share proposal seeks to prevent this being attempted again as it gives fans a say over a club's heritage, including team colors and their stadium, as well as preventing them from playing in competitions not affiliated to the FA.

What has been said?

The chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee said he was in favor of the proposal of an independent football regulator.

He said Nadine Dorries should introduce a football regulator in the next Queen's Speech.

The league acknowledged the call for some form of independent regulation to protect English football's essential strengths and has already undertaken their own governance and strategic reviews.

The fan-led review will continue to progress.

The review concluded that additional distributions from the top flight are required.

Financial stability is the number one priority.

The bedrock of reforms can be found in reducing volatility and fostering balance.

The review is a huge step forward for football governance and it is up to the government to deliver, said Kevin Miles, the chief executive of the FSA.