British government to introduce independent football regulator

March 19, 2024 4:27 pm

[Source: Reuters]

The British government is planning to establish an independent football regulator to oversee the sport and encourage financial stability via a bill introduced in parliament on Tuesday.

The regulator will be independent of government and football authorities with the power to fine clubs up to 10% of their turnover for non-compliance with financial regulations, the government said in a press release, opens new tab.

The legislation will strengthen tests of the suitability for those running clubs and would also block “closed-shop competitions” such as the frequently proposed European Super League.

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Clubs will also be obliged to consult fans over matters such as strategic direction and anything that impacts their heritage.

“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,” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said.

“This bill is a historic moment for football fans – it will make sure their voices are front and centre, prevent a breakaway league, protect the financial sustainability of clubs, and protect the heritage of our clubs big and small.”

The government announcement comes after the Premier League last week failed to agree a new financial settlement with the English Football League (EFL), which runs the professional game in lower tiers.

The government had warned the Premier League in February that it needed to reach an agreement for a new deal or have one imposed on it.