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Labour Party confirm their commitment to Independent Football Regulator

The instillation of an Independent Football Regulator in English football has been on the agenda for many years now but the push for one was accelerated significantly after the Super League controversy in 2021.

In the midst of the Covid pandemic, several of England's top clubs agreed to join the controversial European Super League only for all of them to back-track after widespread fan anger.

The incident prompted a fan-led review of football governance by Conservative MP, Tracey Crouch. After speaking to countless fan groups, she published her findings in November 2021. Crouch provided ten recommendations including the need for a new independent regulator for English football.

Independent Football Regulator
English football will soon get an Independent Regulator – Photo by Icon Sport

The implementation of a new Independent Football Regulator was included in the subsequent Football Governance Bill, but before that bill could be passed through the House of Commons, the Government called a General Election which halted its progress.

This has sparked fears that the bill may never be made into law, however, the Conservatives confirmed early on in their election campaign that the Bill will still be on the agenda should they win. And now, after their manifesto was published today, Labour have followed suit.

Labour includes Independent Football Regulator in their Manifesto

Labour including an Independent Football Regulator is significant because they have a large lead in the polls leading up to the election. As a result, it would be a shock if they don't form the next government after the election at the beginning of July.

Therefore, an Independent Football Regulator in English football could well be a reality by the end of the current year.

In their manifesto, Labour have pledged:

“Labour is committed to making Britain the best place in the world to be a football fan. We will reform football governance to protect football clubs across our communities and to give fans a greater say in the way they are run.

“We will introduce a Football Governance Bill, which will establish an independent regular to ensure financial sustainability of football clubs in England. We will never allow a closed league of select clubs to be siphoned off from the English football pyramid.”

Three major parties all commit to the Independent Football Regulator

Labour's inclusion of the Football Governance Bill in their manifesto means that all three major political parties have pledged to introduce an Independent Football Regulator.

The Conservative manifesto stated: “We will introduce laws to ensure our fans never again face the threat of clubs in England joining breakaway closed-shop competitions and giving them more of a voice through the Independent Football Regulator.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats' manifesto stated: “We will ensure a sustainable future for football clubs and give fans a stronger voice by establishing the promised new independent regulator, placing it on a statutory footing, and giving it the power to impose a fairer financial flow that rewards well-run clubs.”