sport news New football regulator to have 50 staff and cost £5M to set up, says Tracey ...

sport news New football regulator to have 50 staff and cost £5M to set up, says Tracey ...
sport news New football regulator to have 50 staff and cost £5M to set up, says Tracey ...

Tracey Crouch, the author of Government’s fan-led review of football, has dismissed the hostile response to her report and suggested some outspoken top-flight chief executives have not actually read it.

The former Sports Minister was giving evidence to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee and was asked about the reaction of the Premier League to her far-reaching proposals to reform the game, including the creation of an independent regulator.

While rebuffing some of the more extreme comments likening the reforms to the policies of Maoist China and North Korea, Crouch warned football it has missed any opportunity to maintain self-regulation by failing to take action over many years.

The Premier League are pushing back hard against Tracey Crouch's proposals for reform

The Premier League are pushing back hard against Tracey Crouch's proposals for reform

And she suggested a new regulatory body would be a serious organisation of up to 50 staff set up with initial investment of around £5 million from the Treasury, which may be repayable by clubs.

Central to the Crouch Review’s recommendations, is a regulator backed by legislation, to oversee the financial and governance arrangements of clubs.

In addition, the review supported the removal of parachute payments for clubs relegated from the top flight, the introduction of a transfer levy and distribution of more funds from the Premier League throughout the football pyramid.

It has put forward proposals for a tougher owners’ and directors’ tests, the creation of shadow supporters’ boards and a ‘golden share’ for fans to veto key decisions around the heritage of clubs and the competitions they play in.

Angus Kinnear made a comparison between football regulation and Maoist China in his programme notes ahead of Leeds' match with Crystal Palace

China's former communist leader Mao Zedong was responsible for the Great Chinese Famine which is estimated to have claimed the lives of tens of millions of people

Leeds chief executive Angus Kinnear (left) has compared the review into football governance's recommendations to the regime under Mao Zedong (right) in China

While broadly supported by EFL clubs and fans, the review, which was led by Crouch but included an expert panel, has drawn a very hostile reaction from some Premier League club executives.

Leeds United chief executive Angus Kinnear has compared the review’s recommendations to the Maoist regime in China that was responsible for a famine killing millions of people. And West Ham chief Karren Brady compared regulation to living in North Korea or Russia

Crouch took her appearance before the DCMS committee as an opportunity to put her critics straight.

Premier League clubs could soon face regulation if the recommendations of the Crouch Report are acted upon by Government

Premier League clubs could soon face regulation if the recommendations of the Crouch Report are acted upon by Government

‘I thought it was a tad extreme of a comparison,’ said Crouch. ‘All I am trying to do is get some money down the football pyramid.'

And she added: ‘Some of the criticism by chief execs post publication of the report made it very clear… they hadn’t read the report. We make it very clear this is not about football matters… It is not about government. It is not a government regulator; it is an independent regulator.’

One of the more controversial proposals, which has attracted the ire of top flight clubs, is a levy on transfers at Premier League clubs to be used to support the grassroots game.

Crouch revealed to MPs that the initiative was in fact suggested by a Premier League club.

Fans support for reform of football has increased after the European Super League fiasco

Fans support for reform of football has increased after the European Super League fiasco

‘It is really important to stress there are differing views within the Premier League clubs,’ she said.

‘It is part of the challenge. The Premier League has 20 shareholders. I know for sure that some of those clubs are in favour of an independent regulator underpinned by legislation, some are not in favour of an independent regulator full stop, and there are some clubs in favour of an independent regulator but not underpinned by statutory legislation.’

Crouch said the only reaction from government had been to express support for the key principle in the report – the creation of an independent regulator – which she expects to be included in the Queen’s Speech in the spring.

Reportedly, the Premier League would prefer a regulator to be in an independent unit within the FA. Crouch was having none of it.

Tracey Crouch's  fan-led review is set to be supported by the Government

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has wasted no time in endorsing the key recommendation for a football regulator

Tracey Crouch's (left) fan-led review is set to be supported by the Government. Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has wasted no time in endorsing the key recommendation for a football regulator

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