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Tracey Crouch: Transfer tax proposed by fan-led review is a chance to restore balance in English football

racey Crouch says his proposed 10 percent levy on Premier League transfers is an opportunity for top clubs to demonstrate their “moral responsibility” to English football.

One of the eye-catching propositions of the football governance review led by government supporters is the idea of ​​a stamp duty type transfer tax to raise millions for lower league clubs and the football base.

The ‘solidarity tax’, which has reportedly generated £ 160million a year over the past five years, is expected to meet resistance from Premier League clubs and could be a battleground.

Clubs already pay a four percent tax which is split between a pension fund and player development and there is also a proposal for an additional six percent tax from FIFA.

With a new additional 10% levy, a £ 50million transfer would cost £ 60million and the clubs would say this could impact their ability to remain competitive in the market with their European rivals. The report describes the idea as potentially “changeable for the rest of the football pyramid”.

Squat. who chaired the fan-led review, said: “I think many Premier League clubs will recognize that they are spending a significant amount of money in the transfer window and this will allow them to give more to the grassroots .

“A lot of fans and a lot of the public would see some of the tantalizing transfer fees and think ‘how come that doesn’t go down the pyramid? “

“It’s an opportunity for Premier League clubs to correct part of that and say, ‘Yes, in fact, we have a moral responsibility to make sure that we encourage talent growth much lower. day someone who plays on a pitch funded today by the Premier League, can play for the Premier League clubs of tomorrow.

Crouch is convinced that the failure of the European Super League and the Saudis-backed buyout of Newcastle convinced top clubs to back his recommendation of an independent regulator.

The government fan-led review made 47 recommendations and calls for the introduction of a new Independent English Football Regulator (IREF), which would manage a licensing system for professional clubs.

The top 20 clubs are responsible for running the Premier League and will likely be wary of a higher power – with a Premier League statement last night welcoming Crouch’s report but warning that any reform must not ‘damage our game, its competitive balance or current investment levels ”.

The review was launched in May, in part in response to the failed attempt by six Premier League clubs to join the European Super League (ESL). Crouch’s recommendations would allow IREF and its supporters to block any attempt at a future breakaway competition.

Meanwhile, the buyout of Newcastle by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) was approved by the Premier League last month after claiming to have received “legally binding assurances” that the club’s new property no. was not controlled by the Saudi state.

The deal infuriated leading Newcastle rivals, and Crouch believes the ESL and the takeover together helped change views on the need for more regulation.

When asked if the clubs would cooperate with the reforms, Crouch told Standard Sport: “There has been a shift in opinion during this process, especially in the Premier League. We saw two important things: ESL and the Newcastle takeover. So I think there has been a change of opinion on the need for an independent regulator.

She added: “I hope there is no [any pushback from within the game]. There is general recognition of why we had to do this review. At least there was no significant objection to that. [so far]. “

In his report, Crouch warned that English football faced a “difficult choice” between modernization and “the inevitable consequences of inaction”, and described the game as “at a crossroads”. The IREF, which would be established by Parliament and Crouch hopes to be in place for the start of the 2023-24 season, would be able to require clubs to be financially viable and have broad powers to intervene. ‘they are poorly managed. He would also oversee new tests for owners and administrators.

In its report, Crouch’s 10 key recommendations also include a new mandatory corporate governance code for all professional clubs and mandatory “equality, diversity and inclusion plans”.

Crouch said it was “heartbreaking” to hear testimony from fans who had been “betrayed” by the owners of their clubs. His recommendations include the introduction of a Shadow Board of fans to deal with clubs, while supporters would have a veto or “Golden Share” against things like the club’s name change.

Other key recommendations in the report were a separate review of women’s football and better protection for players leaving professional football.

The FA “welcomed” the review and vowed to consult with the government on its recommendations, while EFL President Rick Parry said he was eager “to move talks with the Premier forward. League regarding a restructuring of the funding model that works for the whole game.


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