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Biggest ever shake up to football ownership leaked – what it means for your club

The biggest ever shake up to football ownership has been leaked – so it’s time to find out what it means for your club in the near future.

It’s no secret how many dodgy owners have become untrustworthy, lost a relationship with fans and let clubs die over the years, however that might be about to be prevented under new plans.

The Sun has seen a leaked Government document which will see multi-millionaires who can’t prove their wealth being unable to take over.

This would mean that sanctioned Russian Roman Abramovich wouldn’t be allowed to join the Premier League ever again under new rules.

Fans will have a voice in the running of clubs, and bosses won’t be able to drastically change logos or kits, one of the most controversially you could say being Cardiff City in recent times. Remember when they went from blue to red. Even one of the stands at the Bluebirds’ stadium is red.

The club will pay for a regulator who will be able to ban them from breaking away leagues.

Also, the major shake-up will:

– A ban on greedy clubs from joining a breakaway competition such as the European Super League — which triggered massive protests by fans.

– A tax on teams who pay an annual fee to finance the regulator and expose them for violating sanctions.


– The charter aims to stop murky moneymen from getting their hands onto our clubs and protect them against financial and cultural ruin.

To obtain a legal license, clubs will need to comply with four conditions.

Only approved tournaments can be played by teams — this includes bans on “breakaway” competitions like the European Super League.

Potential owners will be subject to rigorous checks regarding their “source of wealth”, while multi-millionaires who can’t prove their legitimate wealth will be denied takeovers.

The legal regulator will make sure that only “fit and proper custodians”, are allowed to own clubs.

The leaked Government document rules out grifters and oligarchs who may be interested in Premier League teams, as well as grifters who might have put smaller teams at greater risk.

Michelle Donelan, Culture Secretary, wants the regulator to be in place for the 2024/25 season and is expected to announce legislation shortly.

Cabinet is expected to approve the proposals shortly with Premier League, Championship, League One, League Two and National League clubs needing a new licence from the regulator.

They would be subject to a yearly tax, with the richer clubs paying more while smaller sides paying less.

But getting a permit depends on meeting strict criteria. This includes vetting prospective directors and owners, and in a bid to prevent unqualified investors from taking over, the regulator will conduct due diligence checks.

After Russian leader Vladimir Putin sent his troops into Ukraine, Abramovich sanctioned him for links to the Kremlin, and Chelsea were subsequently in danger of collapse.

The club was prohibited from making any profit and allowed to only run very limited activities in order to continue playing.

Other smaller clubs, such as Bury FC, have also suffered with Steve Dale, the owner, failed to provide proof of funds, they were kicked out of the English Football League and an attempt to takeover was unsuccessful. Bury AFC was formed, and plans are for Bury FC to return, you can see more on that HERE.

Since 1992, it’s noted that over 60 sides have gone bust since the formation of the Premier League in 1992.

Ministers and clubs that resist more regulation could be caught in the crossfire by ministers who are implementing reforms.

The regulator would require clubs have sufficient funds to prevent them from going bankrupt and create a new code to ensure financial stability. Ministers believe the regulator will reduce the likelihood of clubs going bust.

However, Michelle Donelan, Culture Secretary, clarifies that it does not guarantee that any club will be dissolved.

The regulator will prioritise preserving the cultural heritage of its community in such a “worst-case scenario”.

The Sun also found that the regulator will be able to use the money from the Premier League’s super-rich to help distribute funds to lower leagues.

English Football League clubs receive a fraction the money gleaned by top-flight competitors.

Huddersfield Town finished bottom in the Premier League in 2019 and were relegated to the second tier, but were given £97million in funding — dwarfing the £8.5million given to promoted Championship winners Norwich.

The cash boost will be available to struggling teams in the lower leagues so that they don’t have to rely upon Hollywood A-listers like Ryan Reynolds, Wrexham-backer, to raise much-needed funds.

The Government would like to see an FA-led resolution, but it intends to give the authority of last resort to the regulator to distribute money if there is no agreement.

To prevent any new management from changing its roots like changing the logo and kit colours, supporters are to be given rights to run their club.

So that supporters can be consulted about all legacy decisions affecting their club, minimum standards will be in place.

This won’t be able the deal with the soaring prices of tickets or interfere with fixtures and rules.

The Football White Paper, expected to be published as early as next week, follows a Government-commissioned report into the game in November 2021.

Tory MP Tracey Crouch wanted an independent regulator during her fan-led review. This was approved by Boris Johnson, then-Prime Minister, but put into doubt when Liz Truss briefly entered Number10 in 2022 — speculation being that she found it too intrusive.

Rishi Sunak, however, promised to continue with the watchdog plans after he was elected Prime Minister.

Ministers say that some of the recommendations in the review ‘fall outside the scope of the regulator’ and are still deciding whether alcohol should be allowed in lower leagues. This will disappoint fans who were hoping to enjoy a pint in the stands at a match.

The Government will likely address the issue in the long term. While acknowledging the need for alcohol pilots, the Government says that it is still complex and should be discussed further.

This year, a separate review of women’s football will be done.

This is what fans are saying as the biggest ever shake up to football ownership is leaked…

@b68baggie: To little to late for @wba

@Jaycen_solo: I am surprised it was not brought in sooner for bad owners when you look at what happened at Blackpool and their owner. He nearly ruined that club and set them back years.

@sussexbythesea4: Fantastic news for fans. Hope it’s true. Make it happen

@Jasonsnell17: It’s great that football is finally going to get a regulator with more fan involvement and making it harder for dodgy club owners like Ron Martin getting hands on clubs. But shouldn’t it be a chance to get it out there about the days existence of @SUFCRootsHall? #Martinout

@pw1evans: A fan owned club like #AFCW will already be doing a lot of the recommendations in the #FootballCharter. While a lot of clubs in the #PL will be beyond the realms of giving their fans a say. In fact they’ll probably be against the whole idea full stop! #TheSun #TomorrowsFrontPages

@tenkmhag: Amazing news for the pending sale of Manchester United.

@j_coatsworth: Shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, won the Grand National, retired and demolished the stable

@bsmithgreens: It’s long overdue, not even close to the level of fan Involvement there should be but it’s a start.

@mickytrublu: They can’t run the country, the nhs, the schools, transport & public services properly. What on earth makes you think they can run football.

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