Tracey Crouch Review: Allowing Fans To Drink In Stands Could Be A ���game Changer���, Says Leyton Orient Owner

Tracey Crouch MP says she expects the Premier League to “push back very, very hard” on her recommendation of an independent regulator for English football (IREF).

Crouch’s fan-led review of the game, published last month, recommended IREF's establishment through an Act of Parliament and has earned the Government's backing.

The body would have sweeping powers to license clubs and intervene at poorly-run outfits.

Crouch hopes IREF will be included in the next Queen’s speech, expected in the spring, and could be in place for the start of the 2023/24 season.

In the meantime, she has called for the immediate introduction of a taxpayer-funded shadow independent regulator, which would cost roughly £5million to establish and could begin work ahead of future legislation.

Leading figures from a number of top-flight clubs have publicly expressed concerns about the plans, with Leeds chief executive Angus Kinnear likening Crouch’s recommendations to Maoism. Others are in favour of establishing a new department within the Football Association to regulate the game.

“It’s an extreme comparison, all I’m trying to do is get some money down the pyramid,” Crouch said of Kinnear’s comments in a hearing before fellow MPs on Tuesday.

“It’s really important to stress there are differing views among Premier League clubs. It’s part of the challenge, the Premier League has 20 shareholders. I know for sure some of those clubs are in favour of an independent regulator underpinned by regulation.

"But I also know there are clubs who are not in favour of a independent regulator full stop, and there are clubs in favour of an independent regulator, not underpinned by regulation.

“My understanding is that the Premier League, from their meeting on Friday, is going to argue very strongly for the independent regulator to not be set up via legislation,” Crouch, the former sports minister, added in comments to the DCMS select committee.

“I think they will push back very, very hard on the statutory aspect of the independent regulator, and would rather it was a unit in the Football Association.”

Crouch also expects opposition to her proposed levy on transfers but encouraged football to implement the measure immediately, suggesting regulation could be more extreme under a future Labour government.

“The other part we’ve seen some commentary on is around the transfer levy, which is interesting because it was actually proposed by a Premier League club,” she said.

“But again, they could change the rules tomorrow and have the transfer levy.

“The transfer levy is a really important part of the report. Football could make this decision tomorrow. They could decided to put a three percent, for example, levy starting in January and it could go to grassroots and player welfare.

Tracey Crouch MP (GETTY)
Tracey Crouch MP (GETTY)

“That would, to use a football analogy, effectively put them one-nil up and park the team bus in front of the goal. I would encourage them to do that. I think I’ve been very reasonable in what I’ve recommended in this football review.

“But if there were to be an election and if, God forbid, the Conservative Party wasn’t to be re-elected, if you want to see Communism or Maoism introduced in terms of a transfer levy, wait and see," she joked.

"I’m thinking you could, as the Premier League, introduce it now, say you’ve done it – and it’s done.”

Crouch said IREF could be compromised of 30 to 50 staff and that she is “not qualified” to run the new body herself.

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Premier League will ‘push back very hard’ on fan-led review plan for independent regulator, says Tracey Crouch

Source:Yahoo UK & Ireland

Premier League will ‘push back very hard’ on fan-led review plan for independent regulator, says Tracey Crouch