Premier League clubs urged to pay transfer tax in fan-led review of English football

The UK government’s fan-led review of English football recommended a transfer tax on Premier League clubs as a way to redistribute money from the elite level of football to lower divisions and grassroots football.

A 10% levy on Premier League transfers could bring in £ 160million a year for lower league clubs, the review says, in one of many key recommendations in the 162-page report by MP Tracey Crouch.

The review also called for the creation of an independent regulator to manage game finances, club ownership and corporate governance, as well as a ‘golden share’ for fans, which would require consent. supporters on certain issues.

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The report was designed to examine the game’s problems following fan protests against the administration of lower league clubs and controversial plans by top clubs like the proposed European Super League breakaway.

In one of the 47 recommendations, the report states: ‘Had a 10% levy been applied over the past five seasons, around £ 160million per year could have been collected for redistribution.

“It would be a relatively modest cost for Premier League clubs, but every year could be a game-changer for the rest of the football pyramid. « 

In his preface to the report, Crouch said the panel’s “main recommendation” would be the formation of an Independent English Football Regulator (IREF).

“It would set up a licensing system for professional men’s football,” Crouch said. “License conditions should focus on measures to ensure financial sustainability through financial regulation and improved decision-making in clubs through such things as a new corporate governance code for clubs. professional football clubs, better diversity and better fan engagement. « 

The IREF, if approved by the UK parliament, would also introduce more stringent tests for owners and managers in an attempt to provide greater protection for clubs.

Crouch told The Times that the recent takeover of Newcastle United by a Saudi-backed consortium would have come under closer scrutiny had an independent regulator been in place.

Julian Knight, head of Parliament’s sports watchdog, the select committee of the Ministry of Culture, Media and Sports, said swift government action is now needed.

“The Secretary of State must seek to introduce a football regulator in the Queen’s next speech. Today must mark the beginning of building a stronger, fairer and more sustainable national game, ”said Knight.

The Premier League has been more cautious in their response.

« We recognize the vital importance of supporters and the need to restore and maintain their confidence in the governance of football, » he said in a statement.

“We also recognize the call for some form of independent regulation to protect the essential assets of English football,” the league added.

“It is important for everyone that no reform does not damage our game, its competitive balance or current investment levels. « 

Reuters information contributed to this report

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