New Independent Regulator For Men’s Elite Football To Be Set Up By UK Government

Image of two players kicking a ball.

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A new independent regulator for men’s elite football will be set up by the UK Government.

As explained in a statement on Thursday, September 7, a standalone body will be incorporated to make sure it is operationally independent of the game and can adequately protect clubs’ and fans’ interests.

Following a consultation process with clubs and the football authorities, the Government confirmed that it is ‘minded’ to set up the new regulator independent of any existing body, but that all options remain under review. It will continue to work with and engage industry and fan groups as these proposals develop.

More than 60 clubs have gone into administration since 1992

Despite the global success of English football, there have been more than 60 instances of clubs being put into administration since 1992, and the Government is stepping in to protect football clubs as vital community assets.

The UK Government will make sure that the regulator has a tightly defined scope focused on four major areas: financial resources, suitable owners, fan interests and approved competitions.

To minimise the risk of regulatory overlap and burden, and reflect the vital existing roles of the FA and the leagues in the growth of English football, the regulator will adopt a cooperative approach. It will collaborate and share information with existing football bodies.

This will include identifying areas of responsibility and coordinating rules and processes with industry bodies. This should minimise gaps, duplication or conflicts while also helping to avoid confusion and burden for clubs.

The Government urged clubs to come to a swift agreement

The Government’s preferred option for financial redistribution between the leagues continues to be a football-led solution. As it pointed out, the financial health of clubs and their role as community assets is of paramount importance and the government urged the football authorities to come to a swift agreement in the interests of clubs and fans.

A majority of respondents to the consultation supported the introduction of new backstop powers for the regulator, to be used if a solution is not found in future financial redistribution agreements.

Work is reportedly ongoing on a backstop system that involves targeted powers to intervene and facilitate an agreement on financial redistribution as and when necessary.

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer commented

Lucy Frazer, the Culture Secretary, said: ‘Our football clubs are the lifeblood of communities and the envy of leagues around the world. We want to see them protected for fans now and in the future’.

‘Today we outline our plans to make sure the new regulator for football is independent and remains true to its central mission to safeguard these community assets and help the beautiful game continue to grow in England’, she added.

Following the publication in February of its football governance white paper, the Government carried out a series of detailed consultations with the football industry.

It gathered further views from fans, clubs and the football authorities on how the measures in the white paper should be implemented.

A Technical Consultation Group is planned

The Government’s consultation response has now been published. Legislation to support the introduction of an independent regulator of football governance will be introduced as soon as parliamentary time allows.

Thursday’s publication follows a letter from the Government encouraging The FA, Premier League, EFL and PFA to formalise a Technical Consultation Group.

This could see them meet on a formal basis every year before the summer transfer window opens to agree on immigration criteria for clubs to gain easier access to players across the globe.

The proposed group would help ensure English clubs have access to the very best talent from a wider pool of international players.

It would also protect the prospects of homegrown players by ensuring a significant number of playing minutes are given to English players.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at