Almost exactly a year after the failed launch of a European Super League, which would have included six top English clubs as founding members (Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham), Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s British government unveiled the unprecedented project on Monday announced plans to regulate island football in the future.
As a result, an independent supervisory authority (“independent regulator”) will soon be installed, whose powers will range from monitoring the clubs to sanctioning them. The communication states that further details will be published in the summer as well as a detailed timetable for the introduction of the new regulations. As usual, Johnson declared full-bodied that he and his cabinet would make sure that the fans were “at the center of the game” again.
The formal support of the British Parliament for the extensive implementation of the reforms, which Tracey Crouch, as a former Minister for Sport, had suggested in a groundbreaking report (“Fan-Led Review of Football Governance”) on the state of English football in November, is likely to meet with massive resistance from the bump Premier League.
Only recently, Helen MacNamara, a league emissary, told Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee that clubs would “rigorously” reject the proposed oversight body. Despite a series of alarming events, such as the October takeover of Newcastle United by the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund, club bosses had hoped to avert a redesign of the so-called owner and director test for current and prospective club owners.
Crouch, on the other hand, was “extremely pleased” with the government’s approval and saw it as a “huge step forward”, although the timeframe, which has not yet been specified, was “worrying”. The BBC described the events as a “major defeat for the country’s top clubs” – and even as a “significant moment in football history”.