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English Football: Independent Regulator

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw

The proposal for an Independent Regulator for English football, which was made last year by a fan-led review of the English game, following a number of crises and chaired by the former Sports Minister, Tracy Crouch, has now been accepted by the UK Government in a ‘White Paper’ on football governance published on 23 February 2023.

The main tasks of the new Regulator will be as follows:

  • To stop English clubs from joining closed-shop competitions, such as the proposed breakaway European Super League, which are judged to harm the domestic game.
  • To prevent a repeat of financial failings seen at numerous clubs, notably the collapses of Bury and Macclesfield.
  • To introduce a more stringent owners' and directors' test to protect clubs and fans.
  • To give fans power to stop owners changing a club's name, badge and traditional kit colours.
  • To ensure a fair distribution of the money that filters down the English football pyramid from the Premier League.

The UK Government has stated that:

"The English game remains one of the UK's greatest cultural exports, with clubs and leagues around the world modelling themselves on its success."

And added:

"That is why the government is today taking the necessary and targeted steps to ensure that continues for generations."

A bold plan, indeed, for the future of the ‘beautiful game’ in England!

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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