Gary Neville is about to put more pressure on the struggling Premier League and EFL leaders when he appears before MPs to call for an independent football regulator.
Former Manchester United and England stalwart, and now a Sky Sports pundit, Neville is part of a leading group pushing for proposals for reform in English football under the banner ‘Saving Our Beautiful Game – A Manifesto for Change’.
Central to the group’s goals is the creation of an independent regulator, which will oversee a fairer distribution of football’s significant wealth to ensure that clubs throughout the football pyramid are sustainable.
Gary Neville to address MPs on football governance reform proposals
About 50 MPs and members of the House of Lords are expected to participate in a Zoom call
Neville and his partners, including former FA Chairman David Bernstein, ex-FA Executive Director David Davies, and Conservative MP Helen Grant, will take the case to about 50 MPs Tuesday via a Zoom appeal.
“The goal is to get the matter to them,” said Bernstein, who is encouraged by the positive response the group has received to their involvement in the governance debate.
“We are taken seriously.”
Ministers are believed to have read the Manifesto for Change, which it claims would prevent clubs like Bury from going bankrupt, and the latest initiative is to build broad support in Parliament.
The group is in a hurry to bring about change after the country’s biggest clubs, led by Manchester United and Liverpool, sought to implement a restructuring of English football that would have even more wealth and power in their hands through Project Big Picture. concentrated.
A Manifesto for Change promoted by Neville and other senior figures suggests better governance could protect clubs like Bury, which was forced out of the league last year
The main recommendations of ‘Saving the Beautiful Game – Manifesto for Change’
- Create a new football regulatory body independent of the game’s current structure
- Decide on new ways to distribute money across the wider game based on a funding formula and pay a fair levy by the Premier League
- Set up a new and comprehensive licensing system for the professional game
- Check out the causes of financial stress in the English Football League, including parachute payments and salary limits
- Implement governance reforms at the FA that are essential to ensure it is truly independent, diverse and representative of English football today
- Liaising with supporters’ organizations
- Learn lessons from abroad and defend supporters’ involvement in running clubs
That plan was ultimately rejected by the 20 Premier League clubs, but it underscored both the need for change and the apparent inability of football’s governing bodies to come together and find a common approach.
In the aftermath of Project Big Picture, the Premier League is conducting a review of its structure and governance, which will be reported in March, the government says it is committed to a fan-led assessment of the sport and that some championship clubs have partial purchase. -from the EFL to release funds.
“Our concern is that there have been so many reviews, but they all come to nothing,” said Bernstein. “A new review will only take time.”
Neville was outspoken in his criticism of the governance of football.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson supports the idea of a ‘fan-led review’ of football in England
The Manifesto for Change claims that the ‘dysfunctional and damaging existing structure’ of football is highlighted by the inability to mount a convincing response to the coronavirus pandemic.
At the manifesto launch in October, Neville said Sky Sports“The principle is that we don’t trust that football can run itself and create the fairest deal for everyone, be it the Premier League, EFL clubs, non-League clubs or the fans.”
Meanwhile, negotiations continue between the Premier League and the EFL on financial support for financially affected clubs, as many teams continue to point the finger at the government demanding more tangible support.
Current discussions revolve around the Premier League, offering a £ 200 million loan facility to support Championship clubs and a £ 50 million package for Leagues One and Two. The lower division clubs say they need the money in exchanges, but so far the Premier League has offered most of it in loans.
Rick Parry, Chairman of the EFL (left) and Premier League chief executive Richard Masters (right) appeared before MPs on the DCMS Select Committee in November
Football fans could have a say in how the sport is governed by a government rating
This week’s parliamentary activity is likely to place a more critical focus on the leadership of both the Premier League and the EFL.
They have had a rough ride from Parliament in recent weeks.
CEO Richard Masters and chairman of the football league Rick Parry had to appear before the Ministry of Culture, Media and Sports earlier this month.
Commission chairman, MP Julian Knight, told the couple that a bailout package for EFL clubs in danger of extinction as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which has cut revenues due to a fan ban, has been a ‘farce’. .
When big clubs take more power, shock results like Burnley’s win at Old Trafford are unlikely
He followed up with the Inquisition with a scathing letter accusing the two organizations of “bickering” and criticizing them for lack of leadership, and not doing well to fans.
It described efforts to reach an agreement on a bailout eight months after the outbreak of the pandemic as a “fiasco.”
Neville’s audience with MPs and members of the House of Lords on Tuesday will be followed by a debate in Westminster Hall on football governance hosted by MP Clive Efford on Wednesday.
DCMS Committee Chairman Julian Knight MP wrote a damning letter to the Premier League and EFL
On Wednesday, sports minister Nigel Huddlestone is expected to be questioned about the government’s plans for a fan-led review.
Backed by the Football Supporters’ Association and cross-party MPs, the review is a manifest commitment of the Conservative Party.
However, no timetable for the review has been set, nor have details been published on how it would be implemented.