Business Daily Media

Business Marketing

.

English football is ready for a rule change when it comes to financial management

  • Written by Christina Philippou, Principal Lecturer, Accounting, Economics and Finance, University of Portsmouth
English football is ready for a rule change when it comes to financial management

Football fans are frequently involved in heated arguments[1] over the rules of the game. Soon it will be the turn of elected politicians to debate new regulations which govern how the sport in England will be run.

On November 7 2003, the UK government announced[2] a new bill[3] which aims to “safeguard the future of football clubs for the benefit of communities and fans”.

Central to the new legislation would be the creation of an independent football regulator to address “systemic financial issues in football”. It would also seek to preserve club heritage, protect the voice of fans, and safeguard against breakaway competitions such as the doomed attempt[4] by six Premier League clubs to form a European Super League in 2021.

When that happened, fans were quick to show their anger, the government threatened a “legislative bomb[5]” and eventually the English clubs backed down[6].

But that episode was part of what led to the fan-led review[7] of English football being published in November 2021. And one of its main recommendations was the creation of an independent football regulator to deal with the finding that “without intervention, football at many levels risks financial collapse”.

Ultimately, the concern is that English football club finances are not in a strong position, with many clubs losing money both before[8] and after[9] the pandemic. This has been particularly bad in the Championship (English football’s second tier), where efforts to get promoted to the extremely lucrative Premier League have led to risky behaviour[10].

The potential disastrous outcome of weak finances was illustrated in 2019 by the sad demise of Bury FC[11], which was expelled from the English Football League (EFL) after 125 years of membership for being unable to pay its bills. (Fans have since worked hard to rebuild the club, which now plays[12] in a regional league.)

The saga at Bury showed how football clubs going into administration has a wider impact[13] on local communities, with businesses losing custom and people losing jobs. The independent regulator is due to oversee[14] changes that will seek to avoid a repeat of this happening elsewhere in the top five tiers of men’s football in England (Premier League, Championship, League One, League Two and the the National League).

Two fans hold a clock standing next to a coffin marked 'RIP Bury FC'.
Bury FC fans protest in 2019. EPA-EFE/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA[15]

The precise make up of the independent regulator – who will appoint the key personnel, where the funding will come from, what scope it will have in terms of sanctions and punishments – is yet to be made clear. But so far, the idea has received plenty of backing from the football world.

Fans appear supportive[16], as has the EFL[17]. Research also indicates that regulators in other industries have been known to fix issues[18] where the market has failed its customers (which in this case would be fans and local communities).

But not everyone is cheering. The Premier League has objected[19] to the idea, fearing that increased requirements over financial reporting and monitoring may put off future investors. Research suggests they may have a point, and that heavy regulation can lead to inefficiency and reduced resources[20].

But despite those concerns, change to the financial side of football looks to be gaining momentum. Uefa has updated its regulations to limit squad costs to 70% of income[21] for all clubs playing in European competitions .

And there have already been governance changes in English football since the publication of the fan-led review. The English Football Association brought in a rule to protect team strip colours and club crests[22] from unwanted changes, as well as a code of governance[23] which includes board member term limits and targets for diversity and inclusion.

Meanwhile the Premier League has introduced a “fan engagement standard[24]” designed to improve the involvement of fans in decision-making, and have moved to strengthen ownership tests[25].

All of these changes are designed to make the sport more resilient; to prevent the collapse of clubs which have been part of their communities for decades. Football fans throughout the leagues will be hoping they succeed.

References

  1. ^ heated arguments (www.bbc.com)
  2. ^ announced (pm-priorities.campaign.gov.uk)
  3. ^ new bill (www.gov.uk)
  4. ^ doomed attempt (www.nytimes.com)
  5. ^ legislative bomb (www.theguardian.com)
  6. ^ English clubs backed down (www.espn.co.uk)
  7. ^ fan-led review (www.gov.uk)
  8. ^ before (assets.publishing.service.gov.uk)
  9. ^ after (assets.publishing.service.gov.uk)
  10. ^ risky behaviour (eprints.bbk.ac.uk)
  11. ^ demise of Bury FC (www.bbc.co.uk)
  12. ^ now plays (www.bbc.co.uk)
  13. ^ wider impact (theconversation.com)
  14. ^ due to oversee (www.gov.uk)
  15. ^ EPA-EFE/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA (epaimages.com)
  16. ^ appear supportive (thefsa.org.uk)
  17. ^ has the EFL (www.efl.com)
  18. ^ fix issues (academic.oup.com)
  19. ^ objected (www.independent.co.uk)
  20. ^ inefficiency and reduced resources (www.sciencedirect.com)
  21. ^ 70% of income (documents.uefa.com)
  22. ^ team strip colours and club crests (www.thefa.com)
  23. ^ code of governance (www.englandfootball.com)
  24. ^ fan engagement standard (www.premierleague.com)
  25. ^ strengthen ownership tests (www.skysports.com)

Read more https://theconversation.com/english-football-is-ready-for-a-rule-change-when-it-comes-to-financial-management-217034

Essentials That Can Aid in Seamless Business Functioning in this era

You have a breakthrough idea and a killer business plan for your startup. A talented workforce is ready to take on any challenges in the market. It ...

Business Training

Sydney Residential Architects: Crafting Your Ideal Living Space

Welcome to the world of Sydney residential architects! Here, dreams become reality and living spaces are transformed into works of art. With thei...

Property

Top 6 Factors That Influence Land Valuation

Valuation of and is done to determine its value based on various factors. The valuation is carried out using sales, income, cost, and market data...

Property

Mastering English from Home with The Benefits and Strategies of Online English Tutoring

Online English tutoring has become an increasingly popular way to improve one's language skills from the comfort of their own home. With the help of k...

Business Training

Tips on How to Accomplish Your Goals as a New Business Owner

Being a new business owner can be an overwhelming experience for most due to the hefty responsibility of keeping a startup afloat. As such, many peo...

Business Training

Deep Blue Company marks 10 years of operation with major milestone of largest national market share

The Australian pioneer of digital conveyancing is now 20 times larger than the nearest competitor in the sale-to-settlement category following pla...

Property