Today sees a historic moment as King Charles III confirms a new much needed independent regulator for English football in his speech.
This is welcome news, as it will see a crackdown on dodgy owners who are running clubs to the ground, killing them off, leading to protests from fans in and around stadiums, on pitches, marching around towns, outside owners’ properties.
It will also ban clubs from joining any kind of breakaway competitions like the failed European Super League, while also consult supporters on all major changes, with the King’s Speech outlining the PM’s hopes to have it in place by the next election.
King Charles said: “Legislation will be brought forward to safeguard the future of football clubs for the benefit of communities and fans.”
EFL Chair Rick Parry has 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.
“This is an opportunity to create a regulator that can help football to address the systemic issues that are facing the game, so that we can avoid Clubs getting into financial trouble and the threat of supporters losing their Club altogether.
“The football pyramid matters. It is a unique strength of the English game and something that must be protected and nurtured. Therefore, creating an independent regulator that is given that specific mandate is essential, so that clubs throughout the country can be sustainable, competitive and serve their communities long into the future.”
Fair Game said in their press release: There’s no doubt that today is an historic day for football we’ve been calling for an independent regulator for months if not years so to finally have that in a firm timeline is brilliant brilliant news let’s not have any doubt about that.
“Let’s think why we need the independent regulator for example we can think back to those instances where fans have been ignored who can forget when Cardiff City ‘the Bluebirds’ were potentially going to be asked to play in Red by their owners or Hull City having their name renamed without any real consultation with the fans and of course there’s the story of Wimbledon being moved 60 miles north to a town in Buckinghamshire without really taking any kind of interest in the supporters who were so seriously affected.
“But it isn’t just about the fans there’s also huge issue about financial sustainability within the game unfortunately right now we’re in a situation where it is common practice for clubs to spend more on players wages than they actually earn, simply that is financially unsustainable, and it needs to change and that’s why we really need this regulator.
“Let’s look at it right now the futures of Sheffield Wednesday, of Reading, of Scunthorpe and Southend United are all in the balance for reasons that if a regulator been in place would never have been allowed to happen, that’s how important the regulator is to the game right now.
“Now for us the reality is that this regulator needs to have the tee that’s the next step it needs to have the teeth to make sure all of these things can happen and that football will have a fairer future and that’s what everybody wants and that’s what fair game will continue to campaign for throughout the next few months and years.”
— Fair Game (@FairGameUK) November 7, 2023
“There will be intense pressure to weaken the regulator’s remit at a time when proper protection and scrutiny of our National Game is needed more than ever.
“Those tasked with setting up the regulator must resist that pressure and remain laser-focused to deliver a fairer future for football and the culture change the sport desperately needs.
“Reckless spending, disconnect between clubs and their communities, and lip service to equality standards must be consigned to the rubbish bin of history. This transformation can only be achieved if the regulator has the teeth and resources to deliver.”
“Football clubs are unique businesses. They are community assets, steeped in history and tradition, and act as role models for society.
“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.
“While it will be a drop in the ocean to clubs like Manchester City, who have almost unlimited resources, for clubs like Accrington Stanley, AFC Wimbledon and Dorking Wanderers, who have only a handful of full-time staff, it could be the difference between survival or not.
“A new license fee based on a percentage of revenue should be introduced and used in part to provide staffing support across the top seven divisions.”
In 1992 Northampton Town FC was run into the ground and had to be saved by what was the 1st supporters’ trust.
The simple message from the late Brian Lomax and friends on fans being partners in the running of clubs and the power of supporter ownership has been marginalised.
— Tom Reed (@tomreedwriting) November 7, 2023
Today isn’t a day for backslapping, It’s a time to think about Maidstone, Bury, Hereford, Blackpool, Southend etc and to ask why it took so long to make things better.
I’ll think of Brian and his friends at Northampton today.
There’s a long way to go. pic.twitter.com/N5LUj7cLYY
— Tom Reed (@tomreedwriting) November 7, 2023
Tracey Crouch tweeted: “There are obviously many things in the King’s Speech but as the former Chair of the Fan-Led Review, here is my response to the specific announcement on football legislation.
“I am delighted to see legislation to establish a new Independent Regulator of Football included in the King’s Speech.
“I am pleased that the Prime Minister, a passionate football fan himself, recognises that fans throughout the pyramid want to see the long-term financial sustainability of their clubs and have a greater say in how they are run.
“On the pitch, English football is admired the world over, but it is important that measures are put in place to ensure our national game is fit for the future, which is exactly what an Independent Regulator will do.
“Despite today being another important step in English football’s history, I want to take this opportunity to encourage the Premier League and the EFL to resolve the long-standing issue of improved financial distribution – the ongoing impasse serves no-one well, and while the Regulator will have backstop powers to step in, it is still the overwhelming view that football should be able to sort this out for themselves.
“I look forward to supporting the legislation on its passage through Parliament.”
Twitter users reacted to the historic moment as King Charles confirms a new independent regulator for English football…
@lewisjordan98: Brilliant news. Legislation hopefully to be put in place as well
@_owlornothing_: King’s Speech: legislation to safeguard the future of football clubs for the benefit of communities and fans. Watch out you corrupt bastards 👊
@SJ_Barrick: Excellent news, this is so badly needed to protect fans from shyster owners.
@timjinx: We need owners who are fit to own. We have been badly let down. If I still have a club to support next season, that is the best I can hope for.
@Handbags82: Difficult to quantify what how, but the action by @SellBeforeWeDai has proven massive at getting football regulation into the King’s Speech. Would it have happened eventually? Probably, but pushing for it to be expedited has worked. Slowly we’re winning football’s battle.
Kings speech today.
New football regulator needs to be in it.
A major milestone in the security and stability of football, or a major lost opportunity if it’s delayed.
— Andyh (@AndyhHolt) November 7, 2023