Initial Recommendations From The Fan-Led Review Into English Football
Over the last few months, a panel of experts have been involved in setting up and running an independent review of football governance. Partly triggered by the failed plot to create a European Super League, the review is emphasised to be “fan-led” and builds on the widespread condemnation of fans, football associations and the government towards the project. The Government led review Panel have heard over 100 hours of oral evidence, reviewed 16,000 responses, and considered over 70 documents of written evidence and responses. On 22 July 2021, Tracey Crouch MP, the chair of the Panel, provided an update by way of a letter to the Department for Digital, Culture Media & Sport (Letter). The Letter, sets out the Independent Panel’s interim findings and recommendations.
The “headline recommendation” is for English football to introduce a new Independent Regulator for English Football (IREF). Addressing the need for independent regulation, Crouch recognised that despite the current issues, football clubs play a “critical social, civic and cultural role” in their local communities.
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Neeraj Thomas is a Partner at CMS working across the Sports and Regulatory and IP Disputes teams.
Neeraj has significant expertise is in the sports and disciplinary area and has provided lead advice to the largest Scottish sports governing bodies on a number of high-profile disciplinary issues involving clubs and players over the last few years. Neeraj has also been heavily involved in advising on, drafting and implementing and thereafter managing the new disciplinary rules for various sports governing bodies. Neeraj has also acted for number of, clubs and players/athletes in a wide range of sports and regulatory matters.