Blackpool CEO Ben Mansford says: Derby County prove football must change

The struggles of Derby County are just the latest example of why intervention is required to help the game.

Saturday, 16th October 2021, 12:30 pm

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That’s according to Blackpool’s chief executive Ben Mansford, who has long been an advocate of greater protection and financial fair play regulation.

The Rams were deducted 12 points last month after the club was placed into administration and Mansford told The Gazette: “I think it’s very sad that a proper football club in a proper city like Derby – just like Blackpool is a proper club in a proper town –has found itself in such a mess.

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The EFL is in good hands with chairman Rick Parry says Blackpool CEO Ben Mansford

“I’ve said before that we’re trying to do things in a sustainable manner here because we have to work within the financial fair play rules that exist in the league we play in.

“Mistakes have clearly been made at Derby. I know the administrators have said they’re 90 per cent sure the club will come out the other end of it, but if a lot of what has been written in the media about the debt and the structure is to be believed, then it’s a real concern.

“What I think it means is that we need greater intervention, greater protection and financial fair play regulation. I know there has been some debate about whether an independent regulator is needed for football and it’s maybe too early to say.

“With Trevor Birch and Rick Parry, the EFL is in good hands and I think those two individuals at the head of that organisation are able to lead the EFL through the challenges that Derby is posing and other clubs may pose.”

While Mansford is adamant there need to be changes in the running of football, he believes Blackpool are in safe hands under Simon Sadler’s ownership.

“I think our fans know better than anyone the feeling that you’ve lost your football club, although there were slightly different reasons in that instance,” he added.

“I hope our fans know Simon Sadler really cares about this club and about this town and therefore we’ll work in a manner that doesn’t jeopardise our long-term existence as a community-based asset.

“But clearly, a lot of lessons need to be learned from what has happened at Derby and I hope the EFL can ensure that other clubs don’t end up here again.

“A whole host of things will need to happen to ensure that. If we talk about true sustainability, then we need to look at redistribution of wealth from the top to the bottom.

“We need to look at the financial fair play regulations. At some point, some structuring of salaries needs to come in and of course the PFA successfully challenged the introduction of the salary cap, despite League One and Two voting overwhelmingly to bring that in.

“The regulation of football will need looking at, although I’m not sure yet whether I would clamber for an independent regulator because I think we should be able to recruit people into the EFL, FA and Premier League who can continue to make our game better.”

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