The football regulator will always make mistakes, just like the referees
YES, of course there is good and bad in football. Whether many are cured by a regulator is subject to many doubts.
After all, it is possible to give him a different name – a referee.
This, as you know, has already been pinched but our referees make a lot of mistakes, even with help from multiple midfielders.
Nor would there be anything foolproof about this new bureaucrat, and he won’t come cheap.
The judgment that football should have a regulator was made by a fan-led review led by Tory MP Tracey Crouch.
It contains ten key points and includes an improved test for owners and administrators – and more voices for supporters.
Indeed, the cost of regular checks on club books, investigations into alleged injustices, limiting player costs to 70% of a club’s revenue, etc., will be enormous.
And the problem is that 70% of Manchester United’s income from Champions League football has given them a decent amount to spend.
Yet 70% of Brentford’s income does not allow them to be competitive. . .
Most of that I suspect will be piled on the Premier League, plus just a bit on the FA.
FA? It is a shocking commentary on the effectiveness of the governing body that the report virtually ignores them.
The government is now planning rapid implementation, but much of it should be greeted as a giant hole in the Wembley pitch. It’s playing with an industry that works better than most and it’s hard to see what football has in common with banks or other financial institutions that also have regulators.
There is, in my view, only one way for a regulator to prevent mismanaged or impoverished clubs from going bankrupt.
And that’s milking the Premier League huge sums of money – also known as chewing the hand that feeds them.
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The case of the Premier League must be made. It has grown from the threadbare top division to one of the biggest domestic competitions in the world.
It has a global following and generates enough revenue to attract football fans and business people to club ownership.
In doing so, he also funnels money to countless good causes, as well as lower level clubs, making him a significant benefactor.
I would not suggest that we allow suspect characters free entry into clubs – owners and agents among them.
But it is also true for many companies for which regulators would be a poison.
Football, however, is both glamorous and successful, with plenty of television and celebrity.
Politicians are bound to find interference irresistible. Some even know the difference between Aston Villa and West Ham.
Now we have to assume that there will be a cost to implement the ten key points.
Control and bureaucracy don’t come cheap, so much so that it could all be in the league of HS2 wasted money.
But we have to remember that the Premier League is the envy of world sport, so why break it up because Bury went bankrupt?
It is staggering that there are 92 full-time professional clubs in England and only Bury has gone out of business.
More would have done if the Prem hadn’t been doling out heaps of cash during Covid.
And for those who think the Prem should do more, we are already giving £1.6bn to other leagues, grassroots and charity over the next three seasons.
How many more donations can we make without hurting the elite themselves?
The logic is flawed – why should Norwich, for example, give more money to Stoke, whose owners are worth £7billion?
And one of the big problems with the proposed test for admins and owners is that the ones you might want to exclude are already there.
How to eradicate them? More work for the regulator, I presume?