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04th Apr 2022

English football to have independent regulator by next election

Callum Boyle

A regulator is expected to be in place by 2024

Culture secretary, Nadine Dorries, has confirmed that English football will have an independent regulator in place by the time of the next general election.

As reported by The Financial TimesDorries will also introduce a stricter “suitability test” for prospective buyers of Premier League clubs.

It comes after Conservative MP Tracey Crouch’s fan-led review of footballing governance, which was released in November.

Crouch highlighted 47 recommendations for improvement, which could be attended to with the help of an independent regulator.

English football election

Dorries said an independent regulator could be in place by the next general election

The regulator would have twin primary and corporate responsibilities and would be licensed by the government, but not run in the same way a television regulator such as Ofcom would be.

In her report, Crouch said it was “urgent” but it is reported that Dorries will push this back to the time of the 2024 general election.

Dorries insisted in a letter to the Prime Minister that the delay wasn’t a sign of the government pushing the problem aside, and that it will benefit football in the long run.

“Some will express their concern that this is the government kicking the issue of football regulation into the long grass,” she said.

“I believe that this is the opposite; it is the government committed to unprecedented regulation that protects fans, while preserving the economic value of our national game.”

English football election

Members of the FA remain opposed to the idea

Currently, the Football Association operate as the governors of domestic football in England and are said to be against any plans to implement an independent regulator – preferring if a supervisor was incorporated into their structure instead.

The Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS) meanwhile have shown signs that they will move forward with plans for the independent regulator, regardless of any potential conflict with members of the English footballing body.

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