Regulator cannot be a 'sledgehammer' to English football, warns Premier League chief

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Premier League chief executive Richard Masters warned that a new independent regulator for English football cannot be used as a "sledgehammer" to the game.

Plans have been confirmed by the United Kingdom government for an overhaul of the sport's regulatory oversight following the publication of a white paper on Thursday.

The government said 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".

Reception has been distinctly lukewarm from the Premier League however, urging caution in a statement on Wednesday that highlighted the need for the top flight to remain attractive to investors.

Now Masters has further outlined concerns over the potential knock-on effects of the regulator, which was recommended after the launch of a fan-led review in 2021.

"Regulation brings with it many challenges," he told BBC Sport. "This needs to be a very precise regulatory tool and not a sledgehammer.

"Otherwise, it might take football sidewards, or even backwards, rather than forwards.

"We need to be able to ensure the things which have made English football so successful over the last 150 years, and during the Premier League period, are not damaged, and the sport is fundamentally supported.

"We don't want that to be choked off, [or] chilled, to the point where actually it's starting to affect the quality of our competition."

The introduction of a regulator would theoretically help safeguard clubs from going out of business while taking onboard additional input from supporters.

It also comes following the involvement of six Premier League clubs in the attempted European Super League breakaway.

Masters conceded there was a need to rebuild trust between the game's power brokers and fans following a turbulent period.

"We accept some of the things which have happened in the recent past should not have happened, whether that be insolvencies in the Football League or the European Super League as a concept," he added.