During the Kings Speech plans for legislation which would introduce an independent football regulator were detailed.
In February this year the government announced plans to introduce an independent football regulator but so far no legislation had been put forward until during the King’s Speech when King Charles said the Football Governance Bill, which will introduce a regulator, will “safeguard the future of football clubs for the benefit of communities and fans.”
Calls for an independent regulator gathered pace after the fan led review, chaired by former Sports Minister Tracey Crouch, advised that one must be introduced as a matter of urgency to avoid the European Super League debacle of April 2021.
The regulator will hope to avoid further clubs going out of business, as was the case with Bury FC in 2019, give greater input to fans and introduce a more stringent owners and directors test. The regulator will also control a licensing regime under which football clubs in England and Wales will be expected to operate, and will “have powers to monitor and enforce compliance with requirements in financial regulation and corporate governance."
EFL Chair Rick Parry said “We welcome the landmark commitment to the Football Governance Bill in the King's Speech and look forward to it being considered by Parliament in the period ahead. We have had many months of detailed engagement with DCMS and will continue to play our part in delivering legislation that is both fair and effective. The football pyramid matters. It is a unique strength of the English game and something that must be protected and nurtured.”
Niall Couper, chief executive of football governance campaign group Fair Game said “Today's announcement is a historic moment for football and represents a real chance to end the cycle of overspending and mismanagement that has plagued our National Game and threatened the very existence of our clubs. We believe the regulator has a huge responsibility and must have the powers to impose the new rules, create a fairer financial flow, and, crucially, help clubs introduce the changes required.”