A football regulator?

It is fashionable amongst the political parties and some football fans to demand a Statutory “independent” football regulator. Some fans support such a change as they are critical of some club owners or managements   and think a Regulator  might be able to sort things out for them .

I fear the prospect of an all wise Regulator who would just happen to bring about change in each club that fans would like  is a good dream, but difficult for any appointed Regulator to achieve.A Regulator faces very difficult pressures when Team A claims rival Team B has broken rules and then Team B responds with a counter claim. The more rules there are, the more disputes. Where two or more teams are in dispute any verdict will upset a lot of fans.

Football is a popular sport. It is entertainment. It attracts a large number of rich individuals and some companies that like the game and want to spend their money on trying to build a winning team. Some do make more money out of it by succeeding in getting their team promoted and so generating more revenues. Some make money out of associated property development and retail opportunities using the club assets and brand. Many just spend their money on the costly hunt to transfer talent and then pay mega salaries to retain good people which can  end in financial losses.

The FA is the regulator. They believe there needs to be rules over how much money a club can spend and borrow and rules over how clubs attract and retain talent. There obviously have to be game rules all accept, and rules over how you win or lose in league and cup competitions. It is difficult to see how an independent regulator could usefully change FA rules over most of these matters. The FA itself is discovering that its efforts to regulate club finances using penalties that include reducing a teams points in the league can upset fans and make rivalries more bitter. What is best settled on the pitch ends up being settled by lawyers.

If we do set up an independent Regulator under Statute law there will then be a wish to drag Ministers into decisions. When too many fans become critical of the Regulator the cry will go up for Ministerial interference or for some change of the law.

There is a good case for an element of fan ownership or for clubs  to be established as trusts owned by fans. This would need to be arrived at with agreement or from buy out of the existing owners.  All the time the football model is based on bidding ever higher sums for a small pool of well known players and managers clubs will turn instead to billionaires to help fund their expensive habits.Fans will not have sufficient collective money to pay the sky high prices of the famous.  They then have to live with  that relationship.The   rich shareholder  is well advised to keep on the right side of the fans. The fans offer the team support, pay  high prices for tickets and buy the merchandise.   I do not think politicians should tell football clubs and the FA how to finance themselves. There must be no question of taxpayers bailing out clubs.



  1. Mark B
    April 18, 2024

    Good morning.

    If we do set up an independent Regulator under Statute law there will then be a wish to drag Ministers into decisions.

    Keep politics out of sport !! Everywhere where politics casts its shadow a real mess insumes. Politicians who are ambitious will use any such high profile position to promote their careers and will make decisions that will more likely be of benefit to them and their party than the game itself.

    Football in this country over the last 25 years has seen much change. It has grown and developed where its has become very big business with a evermore growing media profile. This is good for advertisers and business who want to be associated with success. Hence why I believe there is a desire for the political class to get on the bandwagon.

    I do not think politicians should tell football clubs and the FA how to finance themselves.

    Given the fact that those within the political and administrative spheres here in the UK and elsewhere have made a right mess of things they should be doing (ie not fixing the potholes etc) I do not think they are the best people to be involved.

    Alas I believe our kind host seems to be in a minority as so many MP’s are over ambitious and need free and good media exposure to promote themselves.

    As a football fan who regularly supports his local club and follows them up and down the country (I will be travelling away this weekend), who has volunteered in the past and has made financial loans to it as we do not have an owner, I object to someone who has no knowledge of the game telling us how to run things. What songs we should sing and so on. We are far more removed from those who in the 70’s and 80’s gave football fans in this country a very bad reputation. Football as an industry has changed itself and required little government intervention other than certain reports post Hillsborough and Bradford. All these were for the good. But that is where it should both begin and end and no further.

    1. Hope
      April 18, 2024

      No more govt. interference, get out of our lives . Let us have the bonfire of quangos, we have read over the past few weeks how OBR,ONS and BOE make a mess of our finances because gutless politicians will not make decisions or like a fire wall to hide their stupidity. More taxes for more stupid regulators, no, no, no.

      1. David Andrews
        April 18, 2024

        It is said that, via an amendment to a Bill to counter fraud, the government is proposing that the DWP has the power to inspect the bank accounts of anyone in receipt of payments from the DWP. It is claimed this is to counter fraud. But it would enable the DWP to snoop around the bank accounts of every OAP in the land! This would be an outrage. I hope this amendment or proposed amendment gets the short shift it deserves and that you, Sir John, lead the charge.

      2. Lifelogic
        April 18, 2024


        I am however far more worried about evil (we know best) regulators like OFCOM who pushed bogus science (who behaved appallingly especially in forcing the media to push for lockdowns and net harm Covid Vaccines which have done such massive harms) or the ECHR who think they should decided Switzerland’s Net Zero policy forcing a mad policy on to them. Under “the right to a family life”.

        See Allister Heath “The international Left-wing elites are well on their way to crushing democracy
        The ECHR’s net zero judgment shows why the UK must now leave the court without delay”

        This is far more worrying. “The world is on the brink of a nuclear holocaust and Biden is blind to the risk. The West prefers to lecture Israel than face reality: Iran is an existential menace that must be contained”


        1. BOF
          April 18, 2024

          Iran was contained under the Trump administration until the Biden crime syndicate took electoral advantage under cover of Covid and co-operated with the EU to give Iran everything they wanted.

      3. Everhopeful
        April 18, 2024

        Hear Hear Hope!
        To the power of several million…or infinity maybe?

      4. Peter
        April 18, 2024

        Unfortunately football, along with other popular sports, has now become a racket.

        Unsuitable owners take over clubs. Sometimes in the hope ‘sport washing’ will improve their standing and image within the country. At other times, a leveraged buyout enables the greedier owners to take out vast sums from the club while boosting its price in preparation for future sale.

        I remember when you used to be able to pay on the gate for most matches and – apart from the Cup Final – there was no difficulty getting in. No season ticket required. I gave up football to take a Saturday job at Woolworths.

        We had tickets for the World Cup in 1966. Semi final v Portugual and 3rd 4th place final. We also bought tickets from a tout for the quarter final against Argentina, where their captain Rattin was sent off. Cost was half a crown extra on a ten bob ticket. Very good value. Now premier league tickets exchange hands for hundreds of pounds for run of the mill games. Football tourism is big business.

        I don’t particularly want more regulators. VAR and financial rules policing are bad enough.

        I would like to keep the wide boys out of football ownership – but that is easier said than done.

        I would also like to see the FA cup restored to its importance in former days along with the Home internationals. Fat chance of that though.

        Money talks. Football is pricing itself out of the reach of many of its traditional supporters.

      5. Jim+Whitehead
        April 18, 2024

        Hope, +++++
        We try to keep the faith, living in Hope, only to be spurned again and again by an insensitive and over-intrusive government.
        It would appear that most politicians of whichever stripe are basically of the same type, meddlers and incompetent.
        I recall Sir John, commenting on a new requirement for increased numbers of councillors, saying, “If the answer is more politicians then it must be a stupid question.”
        Read same for quangos.

    2. Ian wragg
      April 18, 2024

      Just keep the governments nose out of affairs that don’t concern them.
      We saw un Brussels what happens when the government gets above itself. Banning right wing discussion, it will be banning teams that don’t follow the latest government line.
      I see Fishys boat plan is working, no doubt the French Navy will be escorting more of our agreed quota across the channel.
      You can’t get the basics right so keep your noses out of sport. Diversionary tactics.

    3. formula57
      April 18, 2024

      @ Mark B “I object to someone who has no knowledge of the game telling us how to run things” – not a fan of the FA then, I assume.

  2. Mike Wilson
    April 18, 2024

    Just when you thought the state couldn’t possibly poke its nose into more areas of life where is has no business, someone comes up with a football regulator! No doubt, cricket, rugby, tennis etc. regulators will follow – all on super salaries and pensions. The mind boggles.

    1. PeteB
      April 18, 2024

      Spot on Mike. Where will it end? A beach usage regulator? A play-park regulator? An a**e wiping regulator?

      “Government is best that governs least” Henery Thoreau.

      1. Mike Wilson
        April 18, 2024

        We’ve already had, if memory serves, ‘football encouragers’ employed by Liverpool council some years ago – in the New Labour glory days. They were employed to get kids playing football. As always, the mind boggles.

    2. Hope
      April 18, 2024

      All players to be women or from ethnic minorities perhaps a statutory percentage of LGBT as well. Let us have quota teams! No white men can apply. What could go wrong? We all see how it helped public services and the not so Conservative Party!! Let us have all female managers as well. That worked at the Post Office and NHS!

      1. Timaction
        April 18, 2024

        And it appears all our emergency services! How’s that working out? M&S anyone. Only meritocracy works. That’s why we’re at critical mass, with nothing or no one working.

    3. Michelle
      April 18, 2024

      Big salaries for some indeed. The main event though will be political, and the pushing of a certain ideology.
      In Gorbachev’s memoirs he notes that in the USSR, even something as innocent as a simple fishing magazine had to ensure it pumped out the state message.

    4. Lifelogic
      April 18, 2024

      Indeed, there is no area of human or other life that the government will not regulate, tax and usually make far worse and more expensive if they are allowed to. Air, water, food, drink, tobacco, transport, sport, theatre, shows, news, newspapers, TV, movies, CO2, heat, light, education, housing, healthcare…

    5. glen cullen
      April 18, 2024


    6. BOF
      April 18, 2024

      And then each pointless regulator will build their own fiefdom.

  3. Wanderer
    April 18, 2024

    Well, quite. We need less regulation, not more.
    Wasn’t that once a Conservative viewpoint?

    1. Lifelogic
      April 18, 2024

      Once yes & far, far less is needed.

    2. Peter Wood
      April 18, 2024

      Yes, for a while I thought our host has cast an allegory, I was trying to decide as to which issue he is referring. But as you point out, government intrusion into areas it doesn’t need to be is now so widespread; one might say virus like…. We are being manipulated.

    3. glen cullen
      April 18, 2024

      Like Labour, I no longer know what this conservative party stand for ?

  4. Donna
    April 18, 2024

    Football is now Big Business. Of course the WEF, and their political puppets, want to control it. They want to control everything else, so why not football.

    As for taxpayers not bailing clubs out …. if a mega club failed and looked likely to threaten the entire Premier League, I don’t doubt for one minute that a puppet-PM-of-the-future would declare that taxpayers must bear the cost. Just like they’ve recently declared we must pay Shell £hundreds of millions to dismantle some redundant oil rigs in the north sea.

    Do we need a Football Regulator? No.

    Will we get one. Yes, another taxpayer-funded Quango which will inevitably fail …. and never be held to account.

    1. Hope
      April 18, 2024

      I want the regulator to ban fast foods at football stadiums, no scarves for children they could be dangerous, no shouting or cheering on a team it is unfair to the losing side. The officials should not wear black it could be deemed offensive to some, how about rainbow colours for officials? With pink hats, I like pink. The ball is too white, it demonstrates colonialism we need a different colour, how about green to blend in with the grass? There should be prayer breaks as well.

      1. formula57
        April 18, 2024

        @ Hope – Why, without knowing it, Hope, you’ve inadvertently shown us that you can do the job of official Football regulator.

    2. Mark
      April 18, 2024

      Back in the 1970s when Tony Benn was Energy Minister he adopted the position that he didn’t trust oil companies to put aside and use funds for clearing up after oil fields ended their useful lives. So the deal he struck was that he would collect extra taxes that would mean the state had the funds to do the job, which the oil companies could reclaim if they did as they were supposed to do at the same rate that they paid, but inly to the extent of actual cost. The state had the benefit if effectively an interest free loan, which it then partially defaulted on by reducing the rate at which PRT could be reclaimed by oil companies for clearing up. With a lower tax the oil companies could have invested the money and earned a return that would have met the whole bill.

  5. DOM
    April 18, 2024

    More ideological and political control of our national life, in this case our national sport. No doubt the head of this regulator will be progressive, racist and misandrist

    What a tiresome, shitty, rancid dump this country has become

    1. glen cullen
      April 18, 2024

      Wholeheartedly Agree ….the comptempt for democracy & freedom is unbelieveable, we are living in socialist times

  6. Sir Joe Soap
    April 18, 2024

    This is a bit muddled and naive.
    Think of the basic problem as being similar to the Thames Water debacle with bells on. Assets stripped out by new financially aggressive owner with no local or football links, with the football ground, training facilities etc hived off to another company, inter-company loans etc. etc. The supply of the service, which is the core reason of existence for the business, is then run into the ground. Government backed Help to Buy schemes, affordable housing etc. etc. all tilt the playing field toward Mr Owner putting 2 fingers up to the football, because he’ll get more cash for the land for housing. So the government is already intimately involved.
    Over a hundred years of football watched by thousands in the local community basically sacrificed on the altar of housing migrants. If you can intervene to provide housing, benefits and hotels for folk with no previous links to the community, you can damn well intevene to stop our traditions and history being plundered and put into the melting pot. If it means sequestrating de facto community assets then so be it. A regulator with fewer teeth would indeed be a waste of time.

    Reply Local Government has strong planning powers to stop building on football grounds!

    1. Everhopeful
      April 18, 2024

      Reply to reply
      Local govt. is TERRIBLE!
      It has no care whatsoever for the local people.
      But then …backhanders ( I believe) are now legal and councillor is a paid job?
      Makes a big difference!

    2. glen cullen
      April 18, 2024

      Net-zero can stop a national trust site playing field from being used

    3. Mark
      April 18, 2024

      They sold off the school playing fields instead.

  7. Berkshire Alan
    April 18, 2024

    Years ago we used to have a Minister for Sport, what happened to that position, and what did they do other than attend sporting events ?
    Good grief has the Government not got something better to do that look at regulators for football.
    The Country is going down the drain, with the sewerage, Bank Fraud is growing at an alarming rate, and is this morning reported as a being a direct threat to the economy and stability of the Country, the roads are falling apart along with the NHS and Doctors appointment systems, out armed forces are being reduced during a European and Middle East War, and at the same time thousands of illegals are helped to invade our country by the RNLI.
    What a bloody laughing stock our Government has become !

  8. BOF
    April 18, 2024

    Now the politicization of sport! Who will pay for it, why, the tax payer of course.

    All sports have their own regulatory bodies so just keep it that way.

    I never could understand the popularity of this unwatchable passtime.

  9. James1
    April 18, 2024

    More overreaching. The government is already too big, expensive and intrusive. They should be going in the other direction. They should be confining themselves to legitimate tasks, such as defence, the courts and the police, all of which it would be fair to say have been steered into somewhat less than robust health.

  10. Everhopeful
    April 18, 2024

    Local teams, jumpers for goalposts!
    The way football has been hijacked and used as a vector for wokery and big business is beyond horrible.
    It used to be a game…now it resembles a Roman circus.
    No doubt the desire to regulate is more a desire to impose even more madness.

  11. Narrow Shoulders
    April 18, 2024

    who will rid us of those who believe more government control is ever an answer.

  12. Richard II
    April 18, 2024

    I’ve looked at the government’s football regulator bill. There is page after page of what the government wants a regulator to do to solve the problem, but no clear statement of what the problem is. The ongoing disputes are actually at the level of money allocation between the Premier Lge and the EFL. Not surprising, because money has always been what the Premier Lge is about. It was a coup put together by the then First Division teams and the commercial broadcasters. Over 30 years later, the politicians are finally realising that something has to be done to arbitrate fairly between the PL and the EFL, so that the EFL is not starved of funds and withers away. I’d say this bill is more worthy of support than depriving adults of choice as regards smoking.

    1. Mark
      April 18, 2024

      Perhaps a good case for a reference to the Competition and Markets Authority? But no more.

  13. The Prangwizard
    April 18, 2024

    Far too many individuals and groups, especially those who like to be on the media and have nothing better to do, like to come up with ideas like this, ruining our country and our freedoms, to make themselves seem important. The trouble and tragic thing is there are far too many people who are prepared to listen, and large elements of the broadcast media like to promote it; that helps fill their often vacant air time. They claim it is unbiased discussion which it rarely is. Almost no-one dare defy such nonsense and controls.

    We need more people and MPs to voice objections, but most of them are pretty vacant too and think they become important by tagging on with it.

    If anything really serious and urgent happened our leaders would not know how to deal with it, having had no true life experience.

  14. JayGee
    April 18, 2024

    Politicians should seek help with their addiction so that they may all learn to stop interfering in our lives. What is the point of MPs? We’d do better without their constant inept meddling. Now, that would be a useful piece of legislation.

  15. Geoffrey Berg
    April 18, 2024

    I agree with John Redwood’s blog. Football is ‘entertainment’ and entertainment is not an absolutely essential activity that government needs to keep abreast of and potentially intervene in. Entertainment is best left to the free market.

  16. Cliff.. Wokingham.
    April 18, 2024

    I suppose the gangster government has realised that there is a lot of money slopping about in football so they want their piece of the action. I suppose the first thing a regulator would do is to impose record fines. Kerching.
    The ONLY department that works within government is the Department for Stupid Ideas.
    Let’s be Conservative and have less government.

  17. Roy Grainger
    April 18, 2024

    The English Premier League has been one of the countries few massive business successes generating more revenue than any league anywhere in the world. The problems, such as they are, are mostly only to do with how that revenue is distributed. Whether a regulator could remedy that given they could be opposed and delayed by Middle East nation states with limitless funds and access to the legal system both here and internationally (in the court of arbitration in sport) is doubtful. They would also run into the vested interests of FIFA and UEFA who are entirely outside their control and who could restrict access to competitions for English club sides and the national team if they don’t like the regulator’s actions. It will turn out to be just another “independent” body which results in the government being blamed for everything – just like the FCA and the BoE.

    I assume we have reinvented the wheel on this regulator idea and have not bothered to look at how football is regulated in other countries (eg. Germany, Spain) and chosen a successful model that actually works ?

  18. Ian B
    April 18, 2024

    Sir John
    “football regulator” At first glance is appears like a well-meaning dream. Then reality sets in who appoints and who would a regulator be accountable to – the fans or the clubs?
    The only regulator needed anywhere is the consumer and competition. Like all thing attracting a customer, a consumer there should be 100% transparency. Then let the money follow the best available service.

    1. Ian B
      April 18, 2024

      We have seen a similar disaster set up in Formula 1, the 2 teams with the most money get to dictate the rules, regulations. Then what happens for the most part everyone else is the junior, the fodder just to ensure those with the most clout get to maintain their status-quo. The sport has been driven out; the entertainment has been driven out – big money takes over.

      The British F1 GP just 20 cars racing general admission £403, seats extra. The Indianapolis 500 33 cars racing general admission $45 dollars Grandstand seats £70-140 dollars. One is for the money the other the sport.

  19. majorfrustration
    April 18, 2024

    Not another Quango surely. Given the performance of most Regulators in the UK they seldom cover themselves with glory – its seems they usually go native.

  20. Ian B
    April 18, 2024

    Sir John
    Liz Truss was right: without growth, Britain is doomed – Patrick Miniford in the Telegraph.
    If only we had a government that spent as much time on the economy, controlling their own expenditure, as they do trying to find new ways to tax the life out of the country we would be in a better place.

  21. David+L
    April 18, 2024

    As Formula 1, once so competitive and exciting, became a rich man’s plaything and degenerated into what I think is simply boring, so has top class football where a few wealthy clubs dominate the whole sport. Where so much money is slurping around corruption and dodgy-dealing will inevitably follow. Rather than government regulation the ideal is for everyone to walk away from it. (As if….)
    Thank heavens for non-league football and those motor sport competitions where people participate for the love of it. The atmosphere and the enjoyment factor are so much better and you don’t feel you’ve been ripped off at the end of the day.

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      April 18, 2024

      Unfortunately the customer tends to be more attracted to the successful clubs rather than their local one.

      Doesn’t need regulation but it would be great if supporters followed their local team rather than whoever was in the ascendancy when they were growing up

  22. Original Richard
    April 18, 2024

    I thought regulation ws the job of the FA?

    Any regulator will be run by the Marxist and WEF Feudalist saboteurs. Firstly to provide more state (taxpayer) funded jobs to further impoverish the country and then to destroy the industry they are regulating.

    To quote Robert Conquest’s 2nd and 3rd laws of politics :

    – “Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.”

    – “The simplest way to explain the behaviour of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it led by a cabal of its enemies.”

    1. Original Richard
      April 18, 2024

      PS : A good example is Ofgem. Although originally set up to protect the consumer its function now is to deliver the Net Zero Strategy, which although may be claimed, completely falsely, to save the planet, is definitely no longer to protect the consumer. In fact quite the reverse as a result of the appointment of a CEO who was tasked to set up the Office of Climate Change in the Blair Government

  23. glen cullen
    April 18, 2024

    H&SE looks after the maintenance of sports stadiums and the FCA looks after any financial issues of sports clubs, and there own Associations looks after there rules & competition …..why do we need government intervention; why do we need a sports minister ? Maybe you do in a Marxist state

  24. peter
    April 18, 2024

    The idea of a regulator is pie in the sky, but some form of proper overview is required.
    You are wrong to say the FA adjudicate or levy point deductions, as this is a matter for the Premier League or the EFL. It is these rules which are causing many of the current troubles with the very rich clubs appealing the most basic decisions (Manchester City currently have appeals over 100 plus charges with big lawyers that are delaying everything. This could lead to them being stripped of their titles for quite a few of the last years if found guilty). The Manchester City thing only affects the top of the Premier League, with other decisions affecting relegation which has knock on effects. Even this year’s relegation battle could be decided in the courts with Everton and Notts Forest involved with appeals and potential new fines which are being rushed through to try and decide before the final games which will still be attempts at further appeals. These are Premier League problems and should be left to them . (Leicester City are lodging an appeal against penalties for next season before they are even promoted!).
    The main problem that supporters/constituents have is when their clubs very survival is threatened, and you have Reading FC locally very much a question in point. Again this should really be sorted out by the EFL and their fit and proper tests for ownership. My own club Watford (who were saved by Lord Ashcroft of all people) were allowed into the ownership of Laurence Bazzini (etc ed)
    These clubs carry a lot more interest from constituents than most political issues and are therefore ripe for political interference when under threat. Traditionally a working class game this is what has piqued your Government’s interest as a last gasp vote winner. Nothing good will come of this but a bit of noise that something is being done may garner a few expensive votes!

  25. Peter Parsons
    April 18, 2024

    Any discussion about football (or, indeed other sports) first needs to understand and accept that they are not like other businesses. Football clubs are part of the identity of a town or city or area. On the whole, people don’t change their allegiances to a football club in the way they may choose to shop at a different supermarket. Each time I’ve moved to a new town or city, I haven’t switched to following the club where I was now living, I’m still a supporter of the same club I started following in my school days. That is normal for football, but unusual generally.

    Furthermore, the FA is the not actually the regulating body. The Premier League and the EFL are members associations whose members get to set their own rules. There are 21 shareholders in the Premier League, 20 of which are the member clubs (and the FA holding a golden share).

    What is in the interests of the Premier League isn’t necessarily in the interests of the EFL. Even within both competitions, what is in the interests of one group of clubs is not in the interests of others. For example, there is no current agreement on the distribution of TV income between the Premier League and the EFL, and the distortions caused by TV income is one of the reasons why football is in the situation it now is. Furthermore, the days of football clubs being owned by a benevolent local business person made good are long gone. The majority of clubs in the Premier League are owned by either American or Middle Eastern concerns, most of whom seem to have little concern for history and heritage (supporters who’ve been going for 40-50 years are referred to as “legacy fans” and the game is currently seeing changes such as the abolition of pensioners pricing (see Tottenham Hotspur) and a move away from season tickets to selling indiviual tickets to football tourists (as the per-match revenue can be increased that way – higher ticket price, more merchandise sales etc.).

    This is our national game, but our national game is no longer being run in the interests of anyone other than overseas billionaires.

    There is a podcast called “The Price of Football” which is worth listening to. It focusses on reporting and investigating the financial and regulatory side of the game. It is very eye-opening as to what is happening to a sport that means so much to so many, and not in a good way.

  26. Bert+Young
    April 18, 2024

    I have no interest in football ; rugby is my focus and has been ever since I played it at the Grammar School I attended – many long years ago ; apart from this I do not believe any Government should be involved in Sports administration .
    By the way Lifelogic , I appreciate your advice yesterday .

  27. formula57
    April 18, 2024

    The present regulators struggles are daunting enough to suggest government would do well to stay well clear.

    Having encouraged the billionaire’s plaything model of ownership football is in ever-increasing difficulty in its attempts to introduce an element of fairness in the competitiveness between clubs.

    A brief article on news sky. com explains the present state of financial sustainability rules efforts titled “Everything you need to know about Financial Fair Play in football – and how it works”.

  28. Paula
    April 18, 2024

    Football is a major part of the panem et circenses – it has kept the masses looking the other way.

    I loathe it.

  29. Bryan Harris
    April 18, 2024

    A grand summary of why we don’t want any more nanny state decisions.

    Nothing to add

  30. Mark
    April 18, 2024

    I see no role for a football regulator. The clubs are businesses subject to company law. They might occasionally find themselves caught in the web of international sanctions if they are playing abroad, but should be no more exempt or used as political footballs than any other company. Their stadia have to adhere to building regulations and planning permission. Arrangements for dealing with large crowds and rowdy elements are for the police and local authorities. The rules of the game and of the various competitions are for the organisers. It is for players to compete for club contracts. It is for fans to decide what they will pay to watch.

    The only thing that might need regulating is the desire of commentators to use their platform for politics.

  31. a-tracy
    April 18, 2024

    How much does the FA get from the government in 2024? Around £40-50m perhaps?

  32. Derek
    April 18, 2024

    Please, no. Not another profligate Quango to cost us poor taxpayers even more each year? When will this empire building practice, stop?

  33. Paul cuthbertson
    April 18, 2024

    Football is a corrupt indusrty and has been for decades.

  34. forthurst
    April 18, 2024

    If soccer is only entertainment then there is no justification in allowing foreign owners to import third worlders here to play. These are not remotely essential workers and therefore should be deported and excluded in future together with their foreign owners.

  35. Mike Wilson
    April 18, 2024

    One of the regulator’s jobs must surely be to enforce non gender specific pronouns. Like ‘they took a good penalty’ or ‘they made a great save’ or ‘they’re being sent off for arguing with the referee. They, the referee, is not taking any backchat from them.’

  36. Peter Parsons
    April 22, 2024

    Coming back to this piece in light of the recent decision relating to changes to the FA Cup which, from what I see and hear, were made without involving any of the participating teams apart from 20, and were made for the benefit of just 6 or 7 teams out of the over 800 who participate in the competition.

    One only has to look at the reaction to this of many clubs in League 1 and League 2 and further down the football pyramid to see why an independent regulator may be a positive thing for football.

    Apparently any connection between a decision made by the FA which really only benefits 20 clubs maximum (and, in reality, about 6 or 7 clubs) and the Premier League giving the FA £33 million is entirely a coincidence.

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