Premier League boss Masters warns against new regulator becoming a tool for politicians

February 24 – Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has warned that a new independent regulator for English football cannot be used as a “sledgehammer” to the game.

Plans have been confirmed by the UK government for a massive overhaul of the sport’s governance at professional level that will include preventing clubs going out of business, giving fans greater input and far more stringent owners’ and directors’ tests.

Unlike most stakeholders who have welcomed the move with open arms, the Premier League’s response has been somewhat more lukewarm.

“Regulation brings with it many challenges,” Masters told the BBC. “This needs to be a very precise regulatory tool and not a sledgehammer. Otherwise, it might take football sidewards, or even backwards, rather than forwards.

“We need to be able to ensure the things which have made English football so successful over the last 150 years, and during the Premier League period, are not damaged, and the sport is fundamentally supported.

“We don’t want that to be choked off, [or] chilled, to the point where actually it’s starting to affect the quality of our competition.

“This regulator reports into the government – it needs to remain as independent as possible. We don’t want football to become the ultimate political football.”

However, Masters conceded that English football authorities needed to rebuild trust.

“We accept some of the things which have happened in the recent past should not have happened, whether that be insolvencies in the Football League or the European Super League as a concept.”

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