Football club owners will have to pass an 'integrity test'
Prospective football club owners set to come under greater scrutiny as they will have to pass an ‘integrity test’, after the Government endorsed 10 key recommendations from MP Tracey Crouch following fan-led review
- A fan-led review into football governance will produce key changes in the sport
- Now, prospective club owners will have to pass an ‘integrity test’ amid scrutiny
- This test would apply before the purchase of a team and on an ongoing basis
- A new independent regulator will be brought in to apply the enhanced rules
Prospective football club owners will have to pass an ‘integrity test’ after the Government endorsed 10 key strategic recommendations from MP Tracey Crouch following a fan-led review of football governance.
A new independent regulator will be brought in to apply an enhanced owners and directors test, including the ‘integrity test’ for all owners and executives to improve corporate governance and protect clubs and their fans from unscrupulous owners. The test would apply before the purchase of a club and also on an ongoing basis.
Crucially, the regulator will be backed by new legislation, giving it the power to licence and sanction clubs.
Prospective football club owners will have to pass an ‘integrity test’ after the Government endorsed 10 key strategic recommendations from MP Tracey Crouch (pictured above)
The fan-led review was launched in April 2021 in a bid to improve the governance, ownership and financial sustainability of clubs in the football pyramid after the collapse of Bury FC in 2019, followed by crises at Bolton Wanderers, Derby County, Macclesfield Town and Wigan Athletic.
The announcement comes as the independent study commissioned by the Government is published on Monday.
It highlights the widespread culture of clubs operating unsustainable financial practices, placing the pursuit of success over sound fiscal management.
A fan-led review was carried out after the collapse of Bury in 2019 and other football crises
This includes an over-reliance on owner funding which can leave clubs dangerously exposed if their custodians pull the plug on cash injections.
Premier League and Championship clubs are now regularly exceeding UEFA’s guidance on spending no more than 70 per cent of club revenue on wages, leading to weak finances and balance sheets across the industry.
The Government has also committed to giving fans a voice in the running of their clubs with a white paper to be published in the summer.
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