New regulator has proper powers to intervene in football finances
Sports Minister Stuart Andrew says a new independent regulator will step in if football cannot agree a way forward on its finances.
On a landmark day for the sport in England, the government published a White Paper on football governance, including a new independent regulator designed to ensure the game’s financial sustainability and clubs’ accountability to fans are at its core.
If no agreement is reached, the government is considering affording the regulator the power to have the final say on the matter.
Crucially the government agreed with the 2021 fan-led review the regulator should have backstop powers to resolve the row over how the Premier League’s vast riches are distributed down the leagues.
Andrew said he felt the Premier League should be doing more to help the wider pyramid and shared the frustration of some fans but added: ‘In fairness the Premier League have expressed the view that more money has to be redistributed. That’s why we are saying to them, “Well, if you agree that, get round the table and get that deal done as quickly as possible”.’
He said he did not have a timescale for how long the football authorities would be given to reach a settlement before intervention but added: ‘We recognise the urgency of it. I’m acutely aware this is the No.1 issue I get regularly from colleagues in parliament and from fans groups.
‘They could do it now – I hope we have shown we are serious about this regulator. We are doing this. The ball’s in their court – otherwise the regulator will look at that criteria and step in. I would say the clock started ticking before we published this.’
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