Premier League cautious as UK government confirms radical new independent regulator
The Premier League stressed it to be "vital" that England's top flight remains an attractive investment destination after the United Kingdom government announced plans to establish a new independent regulator.
On Thursday, a white paper is due to be published that outlines the government's plans to introduce a new regulator to give clubs and fans "greater protections under a radical transformation of the rules governing how football is run in England".
It comes after the government pledged a fan-led review into football governance following the demise of clubs such as Bury and Macclesfield Town, who went out of business due to financial mismanagement.
The fan-led review was launched in 2021, the same year as the failed attempt to establish a new breakaway European Super League by a group of Premier League and European clubs.
The government says the new independent regulator will "help prevent repeat financial failings", strengthen the owners' and directors' test "to protect clubs and their fans from unscrupulous owners", give fans greater say in running clubs, and "block English clubs from joining unpopular breakaway leagues".
The Premier League's response on Wednesday was lukewarm, as it acknowledged the government's motive was to protect but voiced concerns about the English top flight's popularity or financial might being impacted by any drastic changes implemented by the regulator.
A Premier League statement read: "The publication of this white paper is a significant moment for English football. The Premier League and its clubs will now carefully consider the government's plan for England to become the first major nation to make football a government-regulated industry.
"The Premier League, alongside the rest of English football, is a global success. We fully recognise that the passionate support of millions of football supporters is fundamental to our competition.
"We are proud that our success has been consistently shared for the benefit of the wider game, and of our clubs, who have a positive impact every day in their local communities.
"The Premier League recognises the case for change in football governance and continues to implement stronger and more independent regulation.
"We are strengthening our ownership rules and are already providing £1.6billion in financial support to the wider game in this current three-year cycle. We appreciate the government's commitment to protect the Premier League's continued success.
"It is vital that regulation does not damage the game fans love to watch in the deepest professional pyramid in the world, or its ability to attract investment and grow interest in our game.
"We will now work constructively with stakeholders to ensure that the proposed government regulator does not lead to any unintended consequences that could affect the Premier League's position as the most-watched football league in the world, reduce its competitiveness or put the unrivalled levels of funding we provide at risk.
"The Premier League has already taken action to address many issues raised in the fan-led review and will work with government and parliamentarians on the next phase of the white paper.
"We are committed to delivering a football-led solution to address key issues in the game – including financial distributions, financial controls and the football calendar – together with The FA and the EFL [English Football League]."