Premier League

UK Government announce plans for reform of men's football

Tom Gott
The Government plan to shake-up English football
The Government plan to shake-up English football / Pool/GettyImages

The UK Government have drawn up plans for a major reform of men's football, including the appointment of an independent regulator, to try and create a sustainable future for the sport.

A fan-led review was published in November 2021 detailing the need for more control over the actions of clubs, with financial stability and lack of involvement of supporters in decision-making central to their concerns.

The review was inspired by the increasing number of teams finding themselves in financial turmoil, including the likes of Bolton Wanderers, Derby County, Macclesfield Town and Wigan Athletic. The attempted creation of a European Super League by the UK's elite teams only compounded calls for somebody to be put in control of the actions of every club.

As a result, an independent regulator will be introduced to oversee club spending and decision-making, while any prospective new owner will have to pass a stricter Owners and Directors Test as well as an all-new 'integrity test', designed to ensure those controlling clubs have acceptable morals and intentions for their teams.

This regulator will also be in control of sanctions for clubs who break the rules.

As well as controlling who can own teams, the Government have also pledged to give fans a voice in the running of their clubs, in an attempt to avoid a repeat of the mass revolt that followed the Super League plans one year ago.

Supporters will get a greater say on significant changes at the club, including stadia, logo, name and kits, and they could even get their own boards at the clubs, giving them a formal place to discuss supporter opinions and provide insight to those in charge.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: "Football is nothing without its fans and for too long the football authorities have collectively been unable to tackle some of the biggest issues in the game.

"The Government took decisive action to conduct the fan-led review and today we have endorsed every one of its 10 strategic recommendations and the approach set out by Tracey Crouch.

"We are now committed to fundamental reform, putting football on a more sustainable financial path, strengthening corporate governance of clubs and increasing the influence fans have in the running of the national game."

A review of women's football in the UK will be led this summer.