Several football clubs are urging the government to go ahead with plans for an independent regulator, with concerns of its absence ‘wiping them off the map’.
According to a letter addressed to Culture, Media and Sport Secretary, Michelle Donelan, over a third of clubs have gone under since 2000 and 52% were insolvent in 2020.
Specifically, 29 clubs have written to the government after a regulator was the key recommendation of the fan-led review – commissioned last year following the Super League scandal.
The letter read: “Football clubs are at the heart of our communities, with numerous local businesses dependent on them. Inaction now could lead directly to clubs being wiped off the map and local economies and communities being devastated.
“You are right, football is incredible, but all those great things you mentioned are at risk. Football is at a crossroads and the future of the game hangs in the balance.
“We have seen over a third of clubs go into administration since the turn of the century. And in 2020, 52% of clubs were technically insolvent. Since then, the pandemic has left clubs on their knees and the cost of living crisis threatens to deliver a knockout blow.
“To save football, we need an independent regulator. Any further delay is simply not in the wider interests of football – and crucially the communities they serve.
“We await the White Paper on football governance with interest and we implore you to commit to immediate legislation for a regulator in the next King’s Speech.”
Furthermore, before her recent resignation, Liz Truss had reportedly been preparing to abandon the plans for a regulator altogether. Whilst current PM Rishi Sunak has declared that he is committed to implementing all 10 recommendations during his leadership, he is yet to address the topic since taking office.
The white paper setting out the regulator’s scope was initially going to be published in summer this year, but mayhem in the country’s leadership has caused uncertainty and delays in the process.