Thursday 22 July 2021 12:14 pm

Football review chair: Game could face "existential crisis" without reform and regulation

Tracey Crouch, the former sports Minister tasked with a review of football governance in the UK, has written to the Culture Secretary to say “football authorities have lost the trust and confidence of fans.”

In her interim findings, Crouch calls for an independent regulator of football clubs to monitor in particular financial regulation, corporate governance and ownership.

The review had been promised in the Conservative manifesto in 2019 but was finally prompted by the failed attempt by a number of bigger clubs to form a ‘European Super League’ earlier this year.

That in itself came after two historic clubs, Bury and Macclesfield Town, both disappeared from the football pyramid after mismanagement.

Read more: The Super League collapsed all by itself and Boris Johnson’s threats to intervene were badly misguided

Crouch said that the football authorities do not offer “a single, unified response to the problems of English football” and that the “lack of coordination significantly reduces (her) confidence in the football authorities being able to successfully address the problems” in the game.

In the letter, the Spurs fan also points to financial concerns around football clubs.

Nine of the Premier League’s 20 clubs made pre-tax losses in season 2018/19 and three clubs operated with a wage to revenue ratio at more than 80 per cent.

“Operating at such a level of consistent losses is clearly unsustainable in the long term,” Crouch writes.

“The threat of possible future reductions in income expected as the broadcast market diversifies indicates that, without reform, English football could face an existential crisis in years to come unless pre-emptive action is taken now,” she continues.

Read more: The worst thing about the Super League? It makes perfect sense