Gary Neville blasts ‘arrogant’ Premier League chiefs for their ‘hostile language’ after comparing recommendations for an independent regulator and a transfer tax to living in China or North Korea
- Clubs met last Friday to discuss Tracey Crouch’s fan-led review into football
- They are strongly opposed to an independent regulator and a transfer tax
- But a compromise deal could be a regulator operating within FA structures
Gary Neville has hit out at Premier League owners for their ‘hostile’ response to plans for an independent regulator for football.
Premier League clubs met last Friday to discuss Tracey Crouch’s fan-led review into football.
The wide-ranging review, which was promised by the government as part of its manifesto for the 2019 general election, has called for the creation of an Independent Regulator for English Football (IREF).
The Premier League are pushing back hard against Tracey Crouch’s proposals for reform
The review has made 47 recommendations including an independent regulator for football as well as a 10 per cent tax on Premier League transfers.
Clubs are opposed to both of these key recommendations.
Neville told Sky Sports: ‘I think 95 per cent of EFL clubs, national league clubs and fans are behind the fan-led review, its’s what it says on the tin.
‘Borne out of the stresses in football, Bury was the forerunner for it because people accepted that couldn’t happen again. But what happened in Covid and the actions of the Premier League have accelerated this.
Leeds chief executive Angus Kinnear (left) has compared the review into football governance’s recommendations to the regime under Mao Zedong (right) in China
‘The five stakeholders are doing very well for their interest parties but no-one is really looking after the interests of English football. The FA don’t really have any power, they say they do but they don’t, the Premier League control the power in this country. We’ve seen some pretty unfortunate and unacceptable actions which just mean English football need that independence and transparency.
I don’t think it’s right that the bottom of the Premier League get £100m and the top of the Championship get £95m less. That’s too big a gap.
‘When you’re in the Premier League you’re in a bubble but when go an experience League Two or non-league you do feel the distribution of wealth is unfair and needs modifying. I think the No 1 job of the regulator should be to protect the quality of the Premier League, that can be done as well.
‘Football clubs are too important to not have better governance, and more independence and transparency. Football clubs are unbelievably important and heritage assets people live their lives for every single week. This is a great opportunity to reset English football. I’d have hoped and it hasn’t happened that the Premier League would have engaged and come to the table. Just tweak English football slightly, we’re not talking £5bn or stupid numbers coming down from the Premier League. The money needs to be sent down with some conditions.
West Ham chief Karren Brady (above) compared regulation to living in North Korea or Russia
‘There’s been some quite hostile language from Premier League owners. There is no unintended consequence of this report, they were really intelligent football people from all parts of the game, you can’t say that panel have not done a thorough piece of work. It’s quite ignorant and arrogant to suggest that people on the panel have created unintended consequences.
‘I think the smart thing for the Premier League is to tell their representatives to stop doing interview because it’s not helping their own cause.’
Gary Neville has hit out at Premier League owners for their ‘hostile’ response
The Premier League’s position is that it is open in principle to an independent regulator as long as it operates within existing football structures.
The strength of feeling is very strong amongst clubs against a regulator and the 10 per cent tax.
Leeds chief executive Angus Kinnear has taken a distasteful aim at the fan-led review of football governance – comparing its recommendations to the Maoist regime in China that was responsible for a famine killing millions.
However, writing in his programme notes ahead of Leeds’ match with Crystal Palace on Tuesday night, Kinnear said: ‘Football is a private sector business and has flourished that way.
‘Enforcing upon football a philosophy akin to Maoist collective agriculturalism (which students of ‘The Great Leap Forward’ will know culminated in the greatest famine in history) will not make the English game fairer, it will kill the competition which is its very lifeblood.
‘Teams further down the pyramid do not need their means artificially inflated, they need to live within them.’
West Ham chief Karren Brady compared regulation to living in North Korea or Russia