June 13, 2021

Top ex-football players pen open letter calling for independent regulatory body

Top ex-football players pen open letter calling for independent regulatory body

Super League fallout

Ah, the Super League. It all feels a bit like a bad dream that lasted 48 hours, but the ramifications are being felt weeks later.

All six Premier League clubs pulled out of the chaotic idea just two days after announcing their intention to join it, following widespread backlash that saw any potential sponsors and broadcasters quickly distance themselves from the idea. However, the fallout continues to engulf the Premier League, whilst Juventus are at risk of being removed from the Serie A if they do not officially abandon the idea.

Open letter and petition:

In the latest attempt to ensure that the fiasco never happens again, top ex-footballers including Gary Lineker, Jamie Carragher, Gary Neville, Micah Richards, and Rio Ferdinand have penned an open letter calling for an independent regulatory body “to block any Premier League clubs attempting to abandon the country’s football pyramid”.

The letter warns of a possible repeat, saying that “without swift and direct intervention, the return of a European Super League will be a constant threat”, whilst it sets the end of 2021 as a deadline for action.

The accompanying petition, available here, has gained over 31,000 signatures at the time of writing, a quarter of the way to the 100,000 signatures needed for the UK government to debate the issue in Parliament.

The independent regulator would oversee the main issues of the Premier League, such as revenue distribution, ticket pricing and ownership suitability. At present, there is some ownership regulation, which saw Newcastle’s proposed takeover collapse earlier in the season.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - JANUARY 03: Callum Wilson of Newcastle United (13) during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Leicester City at St. James Park on January 03, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – JANUARY 03: Callum Wilson of Newcastle United (13) during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Leicester City at St. James Park on January 03, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

However, according to The Athletic, the proposed regulatory body would aim to have stricter regulations, “to introduce tighter regulation, protecting clubs from unsuitable owners, mismanagement and bad practices”.

Of course, there is some irony in key media figures asking for a more inclusive and affordable game, given that currently fans of Premier League clubs require three different subscriptions just to watch their side play every week and the Premier League attempted to introduce a £15 pay-per-view system earlier in the season.

Top ex-football players pen open letter calling for independent regulatory body

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 22: Gary Neville ahead of the Premier League match between West Ham United and Fulham FC at London Stadium on February 22, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

However, all progress towards inclusivity is good progress, and an independent regulatory body would be a welcome improvement on the power big clubs currently wield.

Read more:

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This article was edited by
Tom Canton.

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# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City FC 36 47 83
2 Manchester United FC 36 28 70
3 Leicester City FC 36 21 66
4 Chelsea FC 36 22 64
5 Liverpool FC 36 21 63
6 Tottenham Hotspur FC 36 22 59
7 West Ham United FC 36 10 59
8 Everton FC 36 3 56
9 Arsenal FC 36 12 55
10 Leeds United 36 4 53
11 Aston Villa FC 36 7 49
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 36 -14 45
13 Crystal Palace FC 36 -21 44
14 Southampton FC 36 -16 43
15 Burnley FC 36 -18 39
16 Newcastle United FC 36 -19 39
17 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 36 -5 38
18 Fulham FC 36 -24 27
19 West Bromwich Albion 36 -37 26
20 Sheffield United FC 36 -43 20
Player Team Goals
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 22
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 22
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 17
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 17
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 16
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 15
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 13
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 13
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 13
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 12
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 12
Wood, Chris Burnley FC 12
Gundogan, Ilkay Manchester City FC 12
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 11
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 11
Iheanacho, Kelechi Leicester City FC 11
Pereira, Matheus West Bromwich Albion 10
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City FC 10
Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick Arsenal FC 10
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 9