Governing the beautiful game: the future of football in civil society

Think tank: Civitas

Author(s): Aaryaman Banerji

February 6, 2023

This report from UK think tank Civitas looks at the prospect of regulation within English men’s football.

This Civitas publication looks at the prospect of regulation within English men’s football, something that has a large impact on football fans and the local community. Aaryaman Banerji is a sports researcher at Civitas looking at how we regulate ‘the beautiful game’. Against the backdrop of football’s growing institutional graveyard, with centuries-old clubs now condemned to administration or insolvency, Banerji explores the standing of English football and proposals for a new regulator proposed by the Fan-Led Review led by former sports minister, Tracey Crouch. The proposed independent football regulator would oversee several key areas of governance, including financial sustainability and a new test for club owners and directors. Several Premier League clubs, however, raised concerns about the report’s findings, particular around the establishment of an independent regulator. This report, therefore, makes an independent evaluation of the proposals from the Fan Led Review. Whilst viewing the establishment of a regulator as necessary, it also seeks to review some of the difficult challenges facing the long-term future of men’s football.