By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
On 24 November 2021, a wide-ranging, comprehensive and lengthy Review of the regulation and financing of English football was published.
The complete text of the Review may be accessed by logging onto: ‘https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fan-led-review-of-football-governance-securing-the-games-future/fan-led-review-of-football-governance-securing-the-games-future.’
The Review was led by former UK Sports Minister, Tracy Crouch, and makes 10 strategic and 47 special recommendations.
The main recommendation is for the establishment, by an Act of Parliament, of an independent Regulator for English Football, which it appears the UK Government is ready to accept.
This Regulator would focus upon specialist business regulation adapted to the football industry to ensure financial sustainability of the game.
The Review also includes important recommendations on so-called parachute payments, alternative sources of revenue for other parts of the football pyramid and grassroots football, including a new solidarity transfer levy, women’s football and player welfare.
Moreover, the consent of football supporters on key decisions would be required. The Review states that football clubs should be “classed as heritage” and are “important cultural assets and must never be the playthings of owners who are simply their custodians.”
Fine sentiments indeed!