Campaign to introduce independent regulator to be discussed in parliament

MP Chris Matheson is due to argue the case for an independent regular in parliament on Wednesday
MP Chris Matheson is due to argue the case for an independent regular in parliament on Wednesday
Share this article

The campaign to change the way football is governed is beginning to gather momentum with the issue due to be discussed in parliament this week.

READ MORE: Blackpool boss Terry McPhillips looking up and up ahead of new season

Leading MP Chris Matheson will present a 10-minute rule bill to the Commons on Wednesday, where he will argue the case for the introduction of an independent regulator.

The Labour politician for Chester, who used to sit on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee, says such a change will stop clubs being "driven into the ground" by rogue owners.

The 10-minute rule allows a backbench MP to make his or her case for a new bill in a speech. An opposing speech may also be made before the House decides whether or not the bill should be introduced.

If the MP is successful the bill is taken to have had its first reading.

There have been widespread calls for a change in the way football is governed in this country following a number of high-profile cases, most notably at Blackpool under the previous Oyston ownership.

There have also been crises at a number of other clubs, including Bury, Bolton Wanderers, Charlton Athletic, Coventry City, and many others.

However, no help has been forthcoming from either the FA or the EFL - leading to supporters suggesting change needs to be implemented.

Last year Blackpool Supporters' Trust set up a petition calling for the introduction of an independent regulator after sharing frustration with the EFL's lack of action towards Owen Oyston - a convicted rapist who "illegitimately stripped" the club of millions of pounds.

The petition urged the government to introduce an independent regulator for English football, charged with ensuring the "highest possible standards of governance" for all clubs.

However, despite Blackpool being far from the only English club to experience strife with their owner, it received little traction away from the Fylde coast.

The government responded after the petition gained 10,000 signatures, saying there was no "desire" or "need" to introduce an independent regulator.

The EFL, whose chief executive Shaun Harvey is departing this summer, argue they are a competition organiser and has limited power when it comes to dealing with rogue owners.