The government has been accused of ‘parking the bus’ rather than going on the attack when it comes to reforming English football.
Julian KnightChairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, welcomed the government’s endorsement of policy recommendations from the fan-led review, including the creation of an independent regulator with statutory powers.
However, he criticized the lack of a firm timetable for the legislation, with the government due to publish a more detailed response in a white paper to be published this summer.
“The commitment to introduce an independent regulator is a welcome step, but the government must now continue to put it in place for the sake of the health of our national game,” he said.
“Developments such as the absurd European Super League proposal and the struggles for survival faced by clubs in our communities have exposed the governance of football in this country for the joke that it is.
“With no firm timetable to tackle the deep-rooted issues plaguing the game and no action to establish the regulator in shadow form ahead of legislation, it feels like the government has parked the bus, so that he should go full offensive to deliver in the best interests of the fans.
The Fair Game group, which campaigns for independent regulation of football and to reward financially viable clubs, also warned that there could be “no more delay or hesitation” in implementing the recommendations of the fan-led review, which was released last November.
Fair Game Managing Director Niall Couper said: “What we need now is a firm timetable for change.
“There can be no more delay or procrastination. If reform is allowed to be launched into the long grass, it will represent the death knell for the hardworking clubs at the center of our cities and communities.
“The financial situation of most clubs is perilous. For too long the challenges to our national game have been dismissed by football authorities and successive governments, bringing our clubs to the brink of ruin.
“Let’s end the culture of the game that has seen clubs spend more than they earn, a culture that discounts fan opinions, only upholds standards of equality and is devoid of financial scrutiny.
“Legislation has the power to change football and protect our community clubs for generations to come.”
The review was commissioned a year ago, presented by the government following the Super League scandal. The government endorses the review’s recommendations on the creation of a regulatory body to ensure financial viability, minimum standards for supporter engagement and mechanisms to protect club assets.
The government also supports the review’s call for a fairer distribution of premier league spread revenue to the rest of the pyramid, but still wants the football authorities to offer a solution rather than imposing one if possible.
The Premier League and THE F have shown no signs of reaching an agreement and the government is open to the idea of giving the regulator backstop powers to enforce a solution.
Couper added: “Football authorities now need to grow up and create a financial system that rewards hard-working community clubs and stops giving money to failing Premier League clubs through parachute payments.
“We need a sustainability index. A system that ranks clubs based on their score on four criteria: financial viability, good governance, equality standards and fan and community engagement. The higher they score, the more money they earn.
Couper said it was “disappointing” that the government’s initial statement did not mention the international transfer tax discussed in the review as a method of generating additional revenue for the pyramid.
Government have ‘parked the bus’ on football reforms, claims Julian Knight
Source link Government have ‘parked the bus’ on football reforms, claims Julian Knight