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Football 'victory' for Chatham and Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch

The government is to back MP Tracey Crouch's call for an independent regulator for English football to ensure clubs are well run.

The Chatham and Aylesford MP and former sports minister demanded action after leading a fan-led review in November.

Tracey Crouch, MP for Chatham and Aylesford
Tracey Crouch, MP for Chatham and Aylesford

Now the government has announced it will endorse all her 10 key recommendations.

They include:

* Shadow boards to give fans a greater voice in how their clubs are run

* Golden shares to ensure supporters have a bigger say in changes to their team's name and kit as well as where they play

* Stronger action to improve equality and diversity in club boardrooms

* Ensuring women's football is treated equally to the men's game

Tracey Crouch at the Heart of Kent Road Race 2022
Tracey Crouch at the Heart of Kent Road Race 2022

In other developments, the government also plans to consider whether the sale and consumption of alcohol in sight of the pitch should be allowed at matches in the lower leagues of men's football.

Miss Crouch, 46, a qualified FA football coach, has welcomed the government's support but told Sky News she will "will remain nervous that this commitment will be delayed or watered down by the vested and conflicted interests in the game, which have resisted the much-needed reform for so long."

She added: "Further delays could be catastrophic for clubs, communities and fans seeking a more secure and certain regulatory environment."

The government is going to set out its full response this afternoon (Monday). A white paper is expected to be published in the summer.

The regulator would have the power to block potential owners from taking over a club if they don't have enough financial backing.

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