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RUST Ramblings: Football MPs call for radical re-distribution of football finances
Posted by: bigrich on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 09:00 AM

The Report of the All Party Football Group’s Inquiry into Football and its Finances concludes that the increasing financial divide in football needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

The Report also makes clear, however, that for the game as a whole to benefit from re-distribution, all professional football clubs must meet tougher corporate governance standards. It recommends that the powers of the Independent Football Commission (IFC) should be beefed up and their decisions become binding o­n all parties before statutory regulation is considered.

Alan Keen MP, Chair of the All Party Football Group (APFG), said:“Football is richer today than ever before, but more clubs than ever before are going to the wall. Why? It was this paradox that our Inquiry looked to answer.

“After nine months of detailed investigation, we have concluded that the financial divide in football between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ must be tackled urgently. However, it is not good enough just to throw money at lower league clubs without reforms to ensure they are run better in future.

“We welcome recent moves by the football authorities to address some of these issues. We have not called for a statutory regulator … yet. The jury is still out o­n the IFC and we believe it should be given more resources and more powers, including the ability to make binding recommendations, before a decision to introduce a statutory regulator is taken.”

The APFG Report is the conclusion of a detailed nine month investigation by an Inquiry Panel representing over 150 MPs and Peers. In the course of its Inquiry it took written evidence from dozens of interested parties and heard oral evidence from over 40 witnesses including the football authorities, club chairmen, fans, ex-Sports Ministers, journalists, administrators and agents.

The main findings of the Report fall into five broad headings. The key recommendations include:


Premier League to double the broadcasting revenue it re-distributes to the rest of football More re-distribution of TV money within the Premier League Detailed research needed into the financial impact of the Transfer Window Football Authorities to be given duty to promote competitiveness of the game Consultation between football authorities and all clubs o­n the re-introduction of gate sharing  Insolvency

Strong support for severe points deduction for clubs going into administration Wage-capping to be considered by Premier League if experiment in Football League/Conference proves successful Abolition of the ‘football debts’ rule  Corporate Governance

Immediate introduction of the ‘Fit & Proper Person’ test All professional football clubs brought into line with best existing corporate governance practice Full accounts published annually and passed by AGM Supporters’ views represented at Board Level Tax-breaks offered to establish Supporters’ Trusts Football Supporters Federation should be funded by football authorities FA to be more representative of modern Britain  RegulationIFC left to complete first full three year term before decision taken o­n introducing a statutory regulator IFC to receive complaints directly rather than by referral IFC be funded directly by Government and budget significantly increased Football authorities to incorporate IFC into their rules to make its decisions binding Comprehensive licensing system along UEFA lines to be introduced throughout the professional game All professional clubs to have budgets approved two seasons in advance All agents to be licensed and all payments to be disclosed Introduction of an Agents Levy to be re-distributed to grass roots game  Broadcasting

Future Premier League contracts to include limited number of games to be broadcast by free-to-air channels ‘Decisive Qualifying Matches’ to become Listed Events The norm for a majority of a club’s home league fixtures to kick-off at 3pm o­n a Saturday

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