Thank you for contacting me about regulatory reform in football.
I agree that football governance must keep evolving if it is to keep pace with the challenges of the modern game. The global commercial attractiveness of English football is something to be celebrated, but not at the expense of supporters and their communities.
With regard to the ownership of clubs, it is a priority for the football authorities to ensure a robust Owners and Directors Test is in place and that due diligence is carried out on owners. New owners are obliged to meet the Premier League or English Football League board and provide detail on the sources and sufficiency of the funding they have in place. Clubs must submit information on their financial structure, any proposed investment and a business plan demonstrating that all liabilities can be met for the next 12 months, and clubs must submit independently audited accounts each season.
Taken together, the measures within the existing regulatory framework have helped to curb club debt and put the financial state of our football clubs in its best state in the last 20 years. While I am satisfied that the existing regulatory framework makes the establishment of an independent regulator unnecessary, this should not be an excuse for the football authorities to become complacent and I believe the rules must be kept under constant review.
I was pleased therefore that the Manifesto I stood on pledged to establish a fan-led review of football governance which will include consideration of the Owners and Directors Test, and will work with fans and clubs towards introducing safe standing. Ministers have confirmed they will liaise closely with fan representatives and the football authorities as they decide the scope and structure of this work.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.