As the football white paper is published today, Labour is calling on the Government to bring in a regulator as quickly as possible.
Labour has welcomed the white paper’s publication, but it is already long overdue. In the 15 months it’s taken the Government to re-word the fan-led review, Derby County nearly went under, Oldham Athletic was relegated, Chelsea changed hands and Manchester United, Newcastle, Liverpool and Bournemouth were all put up for sale. The Premier League and EFL still haven’t reached a deal on finances. And now a European Super League 2.0 is back on the table.
Labour is warning that there are clubs already on the brink, that can’t wait until the 2024/25 season to get a fair settlement. Fair financial distribution must be sorted before a regulator comes into force. The failure of the Premier League and EFL to reach an agreement on football finances means lower league clubs will miss out on £365m this season, and clubs in the North and Midlands have already lost out on £200m. This includes Luton Town Football Club which will miss out on £21.8 million. Labour has long called for football to be put on a stable footing, with an independent regulator and proper say for fans.
The fan-led review of football governance was published over a year ago. It made a suite of recommendations for better governance in football, including stronger owner and director tests, fairer distribution of funding down the football pyramid, and a seat at the table for fans, through a shadow board and ‘golden share’ in significant club decisions. Labour called for the recommendations to be implemented in full.
Rachel Hopkins MP, Member of Parliament for Luton South, said:
“Luton Town is at the heart of our community and a great source of pride in our town.
I welcome the publication of the long overdue football white paper, but delays have already cost clubs like Luton Town millions of pounds. Too many clubs are on the brink and can’t wait another two years for a fair deal.
Football clubs cannot afford any more dithering – the Government must bring in the legislation needed to establish a proper regulator urgently.”
I asked the Government about it in Parliament today, watch it here: