English football faces a “decisive choice” between modernization and “the inevitable consequences of inaction”, according to Tracy Crouch MP, whose in-game review has called for stricter financial controls and the introduction of an independent regulator.
Former Sports Minister, who presided over Football Administration Fan LED Review, described the game as “at a crossroads” as it recommended a series of improvements in a 162-page report published on Wednesday.
A new independent regulator (IREF) will be set up Parliament and run the licensing system for all professional men’s clubs. The new organization would be able to demand clubs to show proof of financial stability and would have broader powers to intervene in poorly run organizations.
The IREF will additionally oversee new trials for both owners and directors, which would require anyone owning a club to prove their ‘good character’.
Crouch also called for more financial support from the Premier League for Pyramid, including a levy on top-flight transfers from overseas, and that the IREF may have the power to intervene if officials fail to agree a package. .
“The review has formed the firm belief that our national sport is at a crossroads with the proposed ESL, although the most recent and clear, depicting the deep-seated problems in the sport,” said Crouch.
“I believe there is a drastic choice to face football in this country. Build on its strength, modernize its governance, make it fair and strong at every level or do nothing and the country Towns and cities across the country suffer the inevitable consequences of inaction: more owners gamble on unchecking the future of football clubs; more fan groups are forced to mobilize and fight for the survival of the club they belong to. love and inevitably more clubs fail on those communities with all the pain it brings.”
As part of the 10 key recommendations, Crouch called for a new mandatory code of corporate governance for all professional clubs as well as a mandatory “Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Plan” – potentially for those who fail to comply. with punishment.
He continued: “As commented in the review, for all good owners in sports clubs there is only one bad boss away from disaster.
“To those who say that English football is the world leader at club level and there is no need to change, I would argue that it is simultaneously celebrating the current global success of the Premier League as well as about fragility. As deep concern as possible in the broad foundations of the game.
“It is both true that our sport is truly world leading and there is also a real risk of widespread failures and possible collapse of the pyramid as we know it. We ignore the warning signs at our own risk and I hope that This review protects the good and the special but also sets a clear course for a strong national sport with the interests of the fans.”
Crouch’s review panel – which included former England manager Roy Hodgson, former PFA chairman Clark Carlisle and FSA chief executive Kevin Miles – collected 100 hours over six months, with contributions from supporters from more than 130 football clubs. Hear more evidence.
Crouch said it was “heartbreaking” to hear testimony from fans who had been “betrayed” by the owners of their clubs and that his recommendation includes the introduction of a shadow board of fans to deal with the clubs.
Supporters would also have a veto or golden share to protect the club’s legacy, which could include owners changing the club’s name, selling the stadium, or engaging in breakaway competition.
Football is sport but it is also big business. As the game has evolved and evolved, its governance has failed to evolve and modernize with it.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck and Arsenal chief executive Vinay Venkatesham contributed to the review, who had conspired to join the ESL.
Crouch continued: “The commitment and passion of the fans who contributed to the review has truly been humbling to watch. Where this passion was betrayed by the owners, it was heartbreaking – and the testimony of those who made the special Rupp had lost his club in Buri.
“The sophistication of thought about the problems of the game and the solutions offered by those fans was also remarkable. It is often said that football is nothing without fans. The same can be said for this review and I am proud of every one of the contributors.” I want to thank the person.
“The review concluded that the fragility of English football is the result of three main factors: unfair incentives to ‘the pursuit of success’; club corporate structures that fail to examine governance, diversity or decision-making by adequate account of supporters.” and the inability of the existing regulatory structure to address the new and complex structural challenges created by the scale of modern professional men’s football.
“Football is sport but it’s also big business. As the sport has grown and evolved, its governance has failed to evolve and modernize with it.”
Other key recommendations include a separate review for women’s football and better protection and care for players leaving the professional sport.
The FA said it was “welcome” to review and promised to liaise with the government on its recommendations.
In a statement, the Premier League also welcomed the report and said it would work with Whitehall and relevant stakeholders in football, but added: “It is important to all whether any improvements to our sport, its competitive balance or existing investments Doesn’t harm the level.
An EFL statement read: “We hope that through constructive dialogue with the football industry, Fan Led Review is a catalyst for positive change that can make clubs sustainable while serving the English game for many decades to come and we will be together.” Look forward to working with government and sporting stakeholders in the coming weeks and months.
“While we cannot always agree on the best approach, we recognize that most clubs and supporters want the same outcome which is a sustainable and competitive pyramid in which any club can prosper.
“Being consistent in our view that professional football requires a fundamental financial reset to provide stability in the pyramid, we are pleased that this is an important recommendation in the Fan Led Review of Football Governance, published today.”