Ghana's No. 1

New football white paper delayed further

Published on: 06 February 2023

Football fans protested outside stadiums following the announcement of the European Super League in April 2021

The publication of the UK government's long-awaited white paper proposing reforms to shake up football has been delayed to later this month.

Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan said on January 26 that the paper would be published in "two weeks' time".

Expected proposals include the introduction of an independent football regulator in England.

That was among 10 recommendations made by a fan-led review on how to improve football governance.

    Clubs urge government to act on football reforms

The review, chaired by former Sports Minister Tracey Crouch, said a regulator was necessary for the long-term financial stability of the men's professional game.

It comes after a number of high-profile crises in the sport, such as the failed European Super League and the collapse of Bury FC.

The government announced plans for an independent regulator in England in April after endorsing the fan-led review.

Plans were initially due to be released last summer, but were delayed due to the change of leadership within the Conservative party.

Details of the white paper were reportedly leaked to the Sun newspaper last week.

'Many clubs have been pushed to the brink'

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live last week, Crouch said: "It is frustrating that we've had this delay. But I am still confident that even if there are things missing in the white paper that were in the review I still think they will come over time because I think that's the way that football is going anyway.

"The prize is the independent regulator and we have got that."

Shadow Culture Secretary Lucy Powell has urged the government to publish the white paper without further delay.

"We urgently need proper football regulation. Bury has already collapsed. Many other clubs have been pushed to the brink," she said.

"Labour supports the fan-led review recommendations, which should be implemented in full. The government has already taken over a year since its publication to decide to adopt the recommendations.

"While we know the football white paper exists and journalists have seen a leaked copy, the government has delayed publication yet again."

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