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Prime minister: “We should have an independent regulator for football”

Boris Johnson has given his backing to an independent regulator for football, ahead of his own Government’s official response to the Fan-led Review of Football Governance.

Last November’s review was welcomed by sports minister Nigel Huddleston and a formal response from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is expected in the next few weeks.

“I do agree with my honourable friend the Member for Chatham and Aylesford (Tracey Crouch), who has just conducted a review on the matter, that we should indeed have an independent regulator for football,” said Johnson in response to a question from Graham Stringer MP at yesterday’s PMQs.

Legislation required

A key finding of Fan-led Review chair Tracey Crouch’s report was that “to ensure the long-term sustainability of football, the Government should create a new independent regulator for English football (IREF)”.

The review said this must be underpinned by legislation as IREF should have a “statutory objective of ensuring English football is sustainable and competitive for the benefit of existing and future fans and the local communities football clubs serve.”

The Fan-led Review came in the aftermath of the failed bid by billionaire club owners to create closed shop European Super League – and the prime minister threatened a “legislative bomb” back in April 2021.

A host of recommendations followed with a focus on finance, reigning in the powers of out of control elite club owners and reform of the FA. The review also suggested innovative ways to redirect money towards the grassroots, non-league and women’s football.

The proposals would embed supporter engagement within all clubs and give fans a golden share on important “heritage” issues such as football stadium locality, club badges, location, colours and competition entry – giving an effective veto on future European Super Leagues.

How can fans help? Do your bit…

Supporters should contact their MP and ask their MP to show their backing for the Fan-led Review by writing to Nadine Dorries, the secretary of state for DCMS. MPs should ask the minister for a firm commitment that legislation supporting the full implementation of the Fan-led Review will definitely be in the Queen’s Speech. Everyone can make a difference by showing their support for the review.

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