Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

English football is ready for a radical change that will include powers to block club ownership changes, a veto for supporters over key decisions and a redistribution levy on Premier League player transfers, following proposals by a government-backed review of the sport .

The report, which was published on Wednesday evening, also called for a new independent regulator for English football that would replace the authority of existing bodies such as the Football Association, the national governing body and the Premier League, the top tier of English club football.

If the proposals received ministerial support, it would lead to the most important change in the way sport is run since the establishment of the Premier League in 1992.

Tracey Crouch, the Tory MP and former sports minister who led the review, said the “full package of controls” needed to be implemented. “This is something that is required for a considerable amount of time. Football went from crisis to crisis. “We set out a holistic package of reform for the future to make it financially sustainable,” she told the Financial Times.

The Premier League earlier this year rejected the need for a new soccer watchdog, but on Wednesday, in an apparent mitigation of that position, acknowledged “the call for some form of independent regulation”.

Tracey Crouch, Tory MP and former Sports Minister, led the review © Nigel Roddis / The FA / Getty Images

The FA said it acknowledged the review’s “importance to English football”, adding that it “will continue to liaise with the government on possible solutions to the issues and recommendations made”.

The “fan-led” review was fueled by a series of crises that rocked the sport: the invasion of Bury Soccer Club in 2019; six top Premier League clubs’ plans to join a breakaway European Super League earlier this year halted; and the impact of coronavirus, which led to a £ 2 billion revenue shortfall over sport in England.

Recommendations include steps to tighten control over ownership, with stricter testing of those bidding for clubs and the allocation of new regulatory powers to prevent a takeover.

The report recommended that new owners be required to show that they have the cash flow and capital to withstand financial shocks that have led clubs, including Derby County and Wigan Athletic, to apply for administration in recent years. .

The recent £ 305 million acquisition of Newcastle United by a Saudi-led investment group has angered human rights activists and angered rival clubs.

In April, supporters of supporters helped force the six biggest Premier League clubs to strike down plans to join a breakaway European Super League, which would have done away with traditional structures of promotion and regulation.

Under the review, fans’ trusts will be able to veto some of the club’s proposals, such as joining a new competition, selling the stadium or changing team colors by giving them a “golden share”.

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The review also suggested that Premier League funds be redistributed through a levy on local and international player transfers involving the top-tier clubs. A 10 per cent levy over the past five seasons is estimated to have raised £ 160 million to return to lower league teams and support grassroots football.

Other measures in the report include plans for a review of women’s football, measures to support equality, diversity and inclusion and a small-scale pilot who will remove the ban on alcohol consumption inside a stadium within sight of the field.

Kevin Miles, chief executive of the Football Supporters’ Association, said the proposals would help protect football’s legacy. The department of culture, media and sport will give a written ministerial statement on the report to parliament on Wednesday.

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