November 9 – Plans for a new independent regulator for English football have been confirmed in the annual King’s Speech which formally rubber-stamps government policy.
In February, the government announced plans to appoint a regulator following a fan-led review last year, potentially cracking down on unscrupulous club owners.
The regulator will oversee the finances of England’s professional clubs including an Owners’ and Directors’ Test that will conduct checks on wannabe buyers to ensure anyone with dodgy sources of wealth is blocked.
“Legislation will be brought forward to safeguard the future of football clubs for the benefit of communities and fans,” King Charles told Britain’s House of Lords.
Consultation on the future of English football was prompted partly by the European Super League breakaway attempt and the news was welcomed by those advocating for change in the game including MP Tracey Crouch, author of the fan-led review.
“I am pleased that the Prime Minister, a passionate football fan himself, recognises that fans throughout the pyramid want to see the long-term financial sustainability of their clubs and have a greater say in how they are run,” she said.
“On the pitch, English football is admired the world over, but it is important that measures are put in place to ensure our national game is fit for the future, which is exactly what an Independent Regulator will do.”
Niall Couper, chief executive of Fair Game, a campaign group for change in the running of the English game, called it “a historic moment for football”.
“Reckless spending, disconnect between clubs and their communities, and lip service to equality standards must be consigned to the rubbish bin of history,” he said. “This transformation can only be achieved if the regulator has the teeth and resources to deliver.”
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