Can a civil servant save Sheffield Wednesday?
Scepticism whether a football regulator will make a difference.
Tuesday’s King’s Speech confirmed the government’s commitment to legislating for a football regulator in the next year. With the civil service already advertising for senior members of it and little opposition in parliament, we can expect it to pass into operation fairly quickly. The goal of the scheme is to usher in a new era of stability to English football.
The plan is predicated on the special nature of football clubs. These are more than just businesses, more than just a game, but an integral part of the national fabric and local towns. There is some truth in that – most are economically important in the towns where they sit and do huge amounts of community outreach. They have also been through the mill, with dozens of clubs teetering towards bankruptcy in the last twenty years, or finding themselves at the hands of unscrupulous owners. Yet, as a supporter of one of the country’s most beleaguered clubs, I remain sceptical of the initiative’s ability to correct the disastrous course some teams have taken.