Former players call for independent regulator for football in England

A number of notable former England footballers, including Gary Neville and Gary Linekar, launched a campaign to bring an independent regulator for the sport.

File image of the Premier League trophy. (Image: Twitter)

A number of notable former England footballers, including Gary Neville and Gary Linekar, launched a campaign to bring an independent regulator for the sport. The campaign includes 22 signatories, including Neville, Linekar, Rio Ferdinand, Micah Richards and Jamie Carragher. It also includes signatures from the Football Supporters Association and fan groups from a number of Premier League clubs. This action comes ahead of Tracey Crouch’s fan-led review of the game. It also continues the fall-out from the short-lived European Super League. Crouch’s review was launched in the aftermath of that, but there remains a belief among fans and experts that more can be done.

“As football fans, we were appalled by the attempt to set up a European Super League,” the signatories said in an open letter.

“It was a direct threat to the integrity of the game; destroying the concept of sporting merit and open competition.

“Now we must make sure this never happens again. Without swift and direct intervention, the return of a European Super League will be a constant threat.

“It is time to act. We support: Government legislation to block any Premier League clubs attempting to abandon the country’s football pyramid. The appointment of an Independent Football Regulator.”

Do football powers-that-be support this?

As things stand, the Premier League and the whole football pyramid is looked after by the Football Association (FA). As such, they are tasked with ensuring no trouble of the sort crops up.

But the FA have been criticised for years for letting the PL off too easy. There’s also the fact that the league is a private entity and as such, cannot be entirely brought under the FA’s watch.

However, this explains why fans and experts want someone else to look after the football league pyramid that is there in the country. The ESL is seen as a threat to the way the game works, not just in England but Europe too.

Indeed, PL CEO Richard Masters says he sees no need for a regulator, stating the league has done well to oversee their clubs.

“I think given what’s happened I don’t think we should be averse to change in the regulatory environment around football. But I don’t think that the independent regulator is the answer to the question”, he said.

“I would defend the Premier League’s role as regulator of its clubs over the past 30 years. Clearly we’ve had some problems over the last 18 months, but so has every industry.”

The petition was launched at 9 AM GMT on Monday (May 17). As of this writing, over 30,000 people have signed it.




WRITTEN BY
Sportslumo Desk

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