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Sweeping English football review to study ownership, role of fans

A wholesale review of the way English football is run that was ordered after the European Super League debacle will consider creating a new regulator and changing the “fit and proper person test” for owners.

It will also examine how to give fans a greater say in how their clubs are run and consider interventions to protect clubs’ identities—including their location and team badges.

Ministers hope the doomed breakaway bid by the Premer League’s “big six” teams will prove to be a watershed moment for the game.

Former sports minister Tracey Crouch will lead the work, which could result in new laws being passed to improve governance.

The widely condemned Super League proposals involving Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham were the catalyst for the launch of the review.

But it will examine wider questions about the way the sport is run, looking at examples such as the collapse of Bury, which went into administration last year.

“Football begins and ends with fans and we have seen that passionately displayed this week,” said sports minister Nigel Huddleston. “It must be a watershed moment in our national game.

“We must capitalise on this momentum. Clubs are the beating heart of their local communities and this important review will help put football on a surer footing for the future where supporters’ voices are heard.”

The review will study the way the game is run overseas and will examine whether the existing owners and directors tests are fit for purpose.

It will look at whether oversight of foreign ownership of clubs is sufficient to protect the interests of the game.

Crouch said: “Football means so much to so many people in this country and my review will be firmly focused on the fans.

“It will look closely at the issues of governance, ownership and finance and take the necessary steps to retain the game’s integrity, competitiveness and, most importantly, the bond that clubs have with their supporters and the local community.”

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