English football independent regulator plan CONFIRMED that will block any European Super League breakaway clubs

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The UK government has confirmed it will launch an independent regulator of English football after it was recommended by a fan-led review last year.
  • Regulator confirmed by British government
  • Will have power to stop clubs going bust
  • Blocking ESL-style breakaways a key priority

WHAT HAPPENED? The move is designed to protect the culture of English football, with the regulator to give more power to fans and introduce more stringent tests on owners and club finances.

The controversial attempted European Super League breakaway of June 2021 was one of the driving forces behind the plan. Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool wanted to join a 'closed shop' competition with other top European clubs, leaving the Premier League behind. It prompted a fierce backlash from supporters – of those six clubs and others – and was quickly scrapped.

But the threat of the Super League remains, with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez leading a cabal that still includes Barcelona and Juventus, to try and reboot the plan. Earlier this month it was suggested a version that included up to 80 teams could get the green light.

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WHAT WAS SAID? The UK government said when confirming the new independent regulator plans on Wednesday: "The English game remains one of the UK's greatest cultural exports, with clubs and leagues around the world modelling themselves on its success. That is why the government is today taking the necessary and targeted steps to ensure that continues for generations."

The Premier League released a statement supporting the idea, saying it "recognised the case for change in football governance" and that it will "continue to implement stronger and more independent regulation".

The statement added: "We are strengthening our ownership rules and are already providing £1.6billion in financial support to the wider game in this current three-year cycle. It is vital that regulation does not damage the game fans love to watch in the deepest professional pyramid in the world, or its ability to attract investment and grow interest in our game."

The Premier League did outline its hope that the regulator wouldn't have "any unintended consequences" that could affect its reputation as the world's most watched and exciting top tier.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak added: "Since its inception over 165 years ago, English football has been bringing people together, providing a source of pride for communities and inspiration to millions of fans across the country. Yet despite the success of the sport both at home and abroad, we know that there are real challenges which threaten the stability of clubs both big and small. The new plans will protect the rich heritage and traditions of our much-loved clubs and safeguard the beautiful game for future generations."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The new regulator has also been designed to prevent historic smaller clubs going out of business. Macclesfield and Bury are recent examples of clubs that were run into financial ruin by uncaring owners, with no independent body to rescue them.

The government says this is a significant move that will level the playing field in English football, with another power of the regulator being the ability to share Premier League broadcast money out more evenly throughout the football pyramid.


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