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Review the call to radically change English football

English football is set for a radical makeover that includes powers to prevent changes in ownership of clubs, veto power over supporters over key decisions and distribution taxes. against the transfer of Premier League players, as suggested by a government-backed sports review.

The report, published on Wednesday evening, also calls for a new independent governing body for English football that would replace the powers of existing bodies such as the Football Association, national governing body and Premier League, the top level of English club football.

If the proposals receive the support of the ministries, they will lead to the most significant change to the way the sport is run since the English Premier League was founded in 1992.

Tracey Crouch, Tory MP and former sports minister who led the review, said a “full package of controls” needed to be implemented. “It was something that was needed for a considerable amount of time. Football has lurched from one crisis to another. “We are laying out a comprehensive package of reforms for the future to make it financially sustainable,” she told the Financial Times.

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

Tracey Crouch plays football on the grass
Tracey Crouch, Tory MP and former sports minister, leads the review © Nigel Roddis / The FA / Getty Images

The FA said it recognized the “importance to English football” of the review, adding that it would “continue to liaise with the government regarding potential solutions to the topics and recommendations raised”. given”.

The “fan-led” review fueled by the crises that have rocked the sport: collapse of Bury football club in 2019; the top six Premier League clubs canceled their plans to participate in the breakaway European Super League earlier this year; and the impact of the coronavirus, causing a £2 billion shortfall in revenue for the sport.

The recommendations include steps to tighten controls over ownership, with tighter checks on bidding practices for clubs and granting the regulator new powers to block takeover.

The report recommends new owners need to show they have the cash flow and capital to withstand the financial shocks that have led clubs, including Derby County and Wigan Athletic, to apply for management in the coming months. recent years.

The recent £305m acquisition of Newcastle United by an investment group led by Saudi Arabia has sparked outrage from human rights activists and angered rival clubs.

In April, fan protests helped force the Premier League’s six biggest clubs to cancel plans to participate in a breakaway European Super League, which would have eliminated promotional structures. traditional rules and regulations.

According to the review, supporters’ confidence will be able to veto some of the club’s proposals, such as entering a new competition, selling the stadium, or changing the team’s colors by dividing give them a ‘golden share’.

The review also recommends redistributing funds from the Premier League through taxing domestic and international player transfers involving top clubs. A 10% tax over the past five seasons would raise around £160m to return to the lower tiers and support grass-court football.

Other measures in the report include a women’s football assessment plan, measures to support equality, diversity and inclusion and a small-scale pilot that will lift the drinking ban in the stadiums in sight. into the field.

Kevin Miles, executive director of the Football Supporters Association, said the proposals would help preserve football’s legacy. The Ministry of Culture, Media and Sport will issue a written ministerial statement to parliament on the report on Thursday.

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