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Football Crazy

The Government intend to publish a White Paper this week, laying bare the full details of its intended plans for football governance, which was commissioned in the immediate aftermath of the failed Super League breakaway.

In that episode, fan-led protests saw the demise of plans for a breakaway league involving only the biggest clubs in Europe and the UK. I think it is fair to say that those plans have not gone away. They will be being repackaged by the billionaire club owners into a format more acceptable to fans.

A league involving only massive games against clubs of equal stature would be one to maximise revenues from sponsorship and television. It would also take following such clubs out of the financial reach of the majority of fans.

A recent poll in the Birmingham Mail asked three questions regarding and Independent regulator for football;

• Is the Government's establishment of an independent regulator for football a good thing?

• Is giving fans a greater say in the running of their club a good thing?

• Do you agree with the regulator having the power to stop clubs joining a breakaway competition like the European Super League?

All three received a resounding YES vote in excess of 90%.

This shows two things. Firstly, it shows that those voting have not grasped the fact that any new “independent” body will cost money – money which will either come out of the game, or from tax payers pockets. It is not free. Secondly, it shows the uphill battle that we libertarians are facing as the feeling that all problems can be solved by government.

It escapes many that football clubs are businesses that must be free to make their own decisions. A new league of the great and the good may be incredibly popular – or it may fail miserably. Fans enjoying that matchday experience may well switch allegiances – or at least their financial support – to those clubs left behind. We simply do not know.

What we do know is that government interference in business has a lousy track record and those businesses should be left to stand or fall by their own decisions. Any further financial constrictions by the UK government could well make it harder for our clubs to compete against the European giants. Having a man from the government “here to help” is a terrifying scenario and MUST be avoided.

Martin Day – Party Secretary

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