Football Governance Bill Introduced in UK Parliament

Recently, the Football Governance Bill was introduced in the UK Parliament. This Bill provides for the establishment of a body corporate called the Independent Football Regulator (IFR).

IFR’s objectives include promoting the financial soundness of regulated clubs, ensuring financial resilience across the leagues, and safeguarding the heritage of English football. The press release dated March 18, 2024, states that the Regulator will have the authority to fine clubs up to 10% of turnover for non-compliance.

The Bill also seeks to make provisions for licensing football clubs and distributing revenue received by football competition organizers. One notable feature of the Bill is the requirement that clubs consult with fans on matters relating to operational and match-day issues, the club’s strategic direction, business priorities, heritage, etc.

The British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, expressed that “for too long, some clubs have been abused by unscrupulous owners who get away with financial mismanagement, which at worst can lead to complete collapse – as we saw in the upsetting cases of Bury and Macclesfield Town“. He added that the Bill “is a historic moment for football fans – it will make sure their voices are front and centre, prevent a breakaway league, protect the financial sustainability of clubs, and protect the heritage of our clubs big and small“.