Karren Brady: Our game does NOT need Labour’s ‘football regulator’… we have the FA, and are better off the Wembley way | The Sun

NEVER mix sport and politics is an age-old expression and right now it is as accurate as a Harry Kane penalty.

Labour Party deputy leader Angela Rayner made a joke-laden speech this week at her party’s conference, in which she outlined plans to create a new football regulator.

It was mentioned right alongside sewage control, which was rather fitting as it’s a foul idea.

Football already has a regulator — it’s called the Football Association.

The FA is the right and proper regulator for the game in England and Wales.

It looks after all areas of governance, including anti-doping, gambling, safeguarding — the list goes on.

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Rayner continued by saying the Labour Party “together will transform this country”.

I don’t wish to curb her enthusiasm but government and the “beautiful game” should be many, many football pitches apart.

The fan-led Tracey Crouch review has been a great catalyst for change at the FA and there has already been widespread reform in their corridors of power.

More importantly, the FA already remains truly independent — something it would not be if the Government started poking their noses in.

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If the Government appointed an outside regulator, it would be akin to asking state approval for this, that and the other.

It would be the Ofsted of football — governed by poorly designed regulations, with lots of paperwork, it would be highly burdensome and expensive and take years to set up and implement.

Plus, what would the international bodies, Uefa and Fifa, have to say about it — would they stand by and happily allow another  outside regulator with no  knowledge of the game to set rules they are supposed to  ultimately govern? I doubt it.

For those cynics who say I’m only backing the FA as they would give clubs an easier ride — stacks of yellow cards and precious little red — my answer would be this…

Why not give the FA the chance to show what it can do and, if it doesn’t deliver, the Government can intervene.

By giving the FA the remit, it’s a real live test to see if they have the muscle to do it. Nothing ventured nothing gained.  It might not be perfect from the get-go — but it would certainly be progress.

Rayner and her buddies see this as a way to push their “pro-fans” credentials ahead of a general election, which is two years away.

Labour wants to create a regulator with extensive powers, including financial ones, designed to extend Premier League revenues “more fairly”.

Contrary to popular myth the Premier League’s success is already widely shared.

 We already give away 20 per cent of our annual revenue to the EFL, FA, charity and so on. Name another industry that does that?

I don’t wish to curb her enthusiasm but government and the “beautiful game” should be many, many football pitches apart.

Over the next three years £1.6billion will be committed by the Premier League to the other 72 league clubs, the women’s game, charity and grass-roots facilities.

That’s not including money the EFL makes from player transfers and Carabao Cup revenue.

This pot-sharing makes the EFL the best-funded second-tier league in the world, with the best-paid second-tier players.

Not since Portsmouth has there been a significant regulatory failure in the Premier League.

The likes of Derby, Bury and Macclesfield were in the EFL, where regulations were not  adequately enforced.

The FA must be doing something right as nearly all the clubs from the professional league system introduced in the 1920s are still in existence, many within two divisions of where they were back then.

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I think the Premier League has a decent track record when it comes to finances and, don’t forget, players pay their dues — to the tune of £1.5bn in taxes last year.

That’s money which does make a huge contribution to the nation’s coffers at a time when, boy, we certainly need it.

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