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Government Hiring As It Aims To Have Football Regulator In Place For 2024/5 Season

(Alamy)

3 min read

The Government is set to build a new unit which will help enforce an independent Football Regulator, as a Bill to reform the sport is widely expected to be brought forward in the coming weeks.

Applications for the role of Business Manager and Executive Support under the new Football Regulator Implementation Unit end on 5th February.

The successful recruit will work under the Chief Interim Office Martyn Henderson OBE - who was appointed in December - to help implement the new legislation. The new employee will be given a contract until March 2025 and will be remunerated with a salary between £33,095–£37,026 a year. Whitehall is looking for someone with a background in business management and experience with senior stakeholders.

A Football Governance Bill to legislate for an independent football regulator may receive its first reading before the February recess, a number of MPs have told PoliticsHome.

A shadow regulator could be set up and receive funding after the proposed Bill passes its second reading. After this has happened Government will be able to set up a transition team working on the shadow regulator. 

Industry sources told PoliticsHome they are hopeful the regulator could be in place by the 2024/25 football season.

Mike Baker, Director of Advocacy for Fair Game, told PoliticsHome it welcomed the creation of a Football Regulator Implementation Unit. However, he said the “devil will be in the detail” to ensure the regulator has teeth.

"We welcome the setting up of the implementation unit to create an independent regulator,” he said.

“It shows serious intent to implement the government's commitment and address the severe problems in the beautiful game. As ever, the devil will be in the detail, ensuring that the regulator has both the remit to ensure sustainability across the whole of the football pyramid and the powers to enforce it".

Government in September said a new football regulator would “have a tightly defined scope focused on financial sustainability”. Earlier this year a Government White Paper set out a plan on how to govern the top five leagues of English football.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee wrote to Stuart Andrew, the Sports Minister, in January urging ministers to bring the Football Governance Bill to the House of Commons as soon as possible.

Dame Caroline Dinenage MP, Chair of the CMS Committee, said it seemed “more important than ever” to establish an independent regulator to “safeguard the health” of the Game.

The new regulator will look to make football clubs more financially sustainable, enforce a directors’ and owners’ test, protect fans’ interests and approve competitions new clubs can join.

Pressure to get the football regulator in charge came after the ECJ found FIFA and UEFA blocking the European Super League was unlawful. 

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