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MPs urge Government to bring forward football’s independent regulator

MPs are urging the Government to bring forward its plans for an independent regulator to impose a financial deal on the EFL and Premier League – as the two leagues remain unable to reach a settlement.

The EFL and Premier League have yet to reach an agreement over distribution of revenue through the pyramid and as a result MPs on the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee are calling for intervention from a new independent regulator.

The Select Committee’s report on football governance, to which the FSA gave evidence alongside chair of the Fan-led Review Tracey Crouch MP, warns that if there is no solution soon to the deadlock between the Premier League and EFL, more clubs will be put at risk of collapse.

It also recommends that the deal should not include an increase in the current level of parachute payments from the Premier League.

Dame Caroline Dinenage MP, chair of the CMS Committee, said: “Unless the football authorities get their act together soon on agreeing a fairer share of revenue down the pyramid, we risk more clubs collapsing, with the devastating impact that can have on local communities.

“It’s in the best interests of all involved to get this sorted quickly. If the stalemate continues, the Government should step in to ensure the planned independent regulator is in place with the legal powers to impose a deal to safeguard clubs for the future and ensure the long-term financial stability of the national game.”

The Select Committee’s report identified significant failure of self-regulation in football and endorses the need for an independent regulator – which should, they say, be set up in shadow form by the end of the year.

An independent regulator should also impose mandatory standards for fan engagement as part of its licensing conditions, the report states, as well as the power to mandate action plans on equality and diversity.

Last week at the European Football Fans Congress, sports minister Stuart Andrew repeated the Government’s commitment to delivering the recommendations of the Fan-led Review and the White Paper that would create an independent regulator for football.

FSA chief executive Kevin Miles said: “We’d like to thank the Select Committee for their work on this report and taking the time to listen to supporters.

“We’re particularly pleased to see the Committee endorse the importance of fan engagement and recommend high standards that go above and beyond what clubs and leagues have offered up so far.

“If you look across the pyramid today there are a number of football clubs that are lurching towards crisis and urgently need the reforms contained in the White Paper. This report will keep up the pressure to ensure those changes are delivered by Government as soon as possible.”

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