Government control: UK politicos pass new laws to set up English football regulator

March 19 – Legislation to establish an independent regulator to oversee English professional football was being introduced today in an effort to ensure financial sustainability as well as stopping teams from joining breakaway competitions like the European Super League.

The British government wants to encourage stability and the regulator will be independent of football authorities with the power to fine clubs up to 10% of their turnover for non-compliance of financial regulations

It will oversee clubs in England’s top five men’s tiers following a fan-led review in 2022 in response to two lower-league clubs going bust.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described the move as a “a historic moment for football fans”.

“It will make sure their voices are front and centre,” said Sunak (pictured centre). “Football has long been one of our greatest sources of national pride. But for too long some clubs have been abused by unscrupulous owners who get away with financial mismanagement, which at worst can lead to complete collapse.”

After the so-called Football Governance Bill is introduced, it must go through parliamentary process before it is made law.

The government said the regulator will be a standalone body that is “equipped with robust powers revolving around three core objectives: To improve financial sustainability of clubs, ensure financial resilience across the leagues, and to safeguard the heritage of English football.”

Under the bill, new owners and directors will face more stringent tests to stop clubs falling into the wrong hands, and face the possibility of being removed from owning clubs if they are found to be unsuitable.

Clubs from the Premier League down to the fifth-tier National League will, for the first time, need a license to compete in elite competitions. That license will require all clubs to meet certain mandatory conditions, such as basic requirements on fan engagement, corporate governance and financial reporting.

Clubs will be required to consult their fans on key off-field decisions. There will also be protection against breakaway competitions and stadium relocations.

“Football is nothing without its fans,” Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said. “We are determined to put them back at the heart of the game, and ensure clubs as vital community assets continue to thrive.

“The new independent regulator of football will set the game on a sustainable footing, strengthening clubs and the entire football pyramid for generations.”

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