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European Super League: Chatham and Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch on football review


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A Kent MP who will lead an investigation into footballing governance following the news of a breakaway European Super League says the review is long overdue.

Chatham and Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch, who will head up the fan-led probe, described the plans as a threat to the sport as fans across Europe urge the clubs involved to pull out of the proposal.

She said there is nothing off the table with the "long overdue" review.

She added: "We've seen issues in football that have raised as a consequence of poor governance in the past.

"The review will be quite a radical look at the way football is governed in the country, but at the same time, a look at how we can sustain long-term financial stability in football.

"What we need to remember is that football is an enormously large pyramid – at the moment, we are very much focused on the ESL news, but we need to also look at what's happening in our local towns as well.

Tracey Crouch will lead the review
Tracey Crouch will lead the review

"Gillingham doesn't have all the broadcasting and sponsorship money that Tottenham has, and likewise Chatham doesn't have the same broadcasting or sponsorship money that Gillingham has.

"I think this league poses a threat to the sport, which is why there's been such a robust condemnation of the proposal, not just here in England, but across Europe, and it's been really interesting to see how people have reacted to it.

"You'd be hard pressed to find fans who agree with the proposals."

Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden announced the review.

Oliver Dowden announced the plans in parliament yesterday
Oliver Dowden announced the plans in parliament yesterday

It comes after England's "big six" – Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur – announced plans to join the new competition with six other clubs around the continent.

Ms Crouch, a former sports minister and a Spurs' fan, will lead a "root and branch" investigation look at the financing of the men's and women's game, its governance and regulations, as well as the merits of an independent regulator.

"The news about the ESL has triggered the review into football governance, although it was a review that was due anyway, because of governance issues that are in the pyramid and have been in the pyramid for some time," Ms Crouch added.

"You'd be hard pressed to find fans who agree with the proposals."

"It had been on hold because of the crisis in football caused by the pandemic, and Oliver was very keen that we got through the crisis before we launched a review into football.

"Unfortunately, six clubs didn't have the same kind of view of where their priorities should be, and therefore said they are going to join the ESL which is what triggered the announcement yesterday."

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