Man Utd icon Gary Neville urges Queen to address Fan Led review in next speech | Soccer | sport
Manchester United icon Gary Neville has urged the government to include the fan-led review of Tracey Crouch in the Queen’s Speech. The review of English football, led by former sports minister Crouch, was the result of three ‘crisis points’ and recommended an independent regulator (IREF), of which Neville is a strong supporter.
The demise of Bury FC, COVID-19 and plans to create a European Super League have prompted scrutiny of how English football works. His recommendations include an IREF, a renewed test for owners and directors, and for supporters to be properly consulted in key club decisions through a ‘shadow committee’.
Former defender Neville urged the government to include the recommendations in the Queen’s Speech before Parliament officially opens in 2022 on May 10, making it a government pledge to implement the changes. Our Beautiful Game – a group of which Neville is a member – is listed as having testified as part of the review.
Neville tweeted Monday morning: ‘Fan Led review needs to be in Queens speech!’
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In another tweet, the 47-year-old accused the Premier League of hiring former senior civil servant Helen MacNamara to prevent the review from being implemented. Alongside a screenshot of Crouch announcing that the government will officially respond to the review, Neville wrote, “A positive tweet below from @tracey_crouch regarding the fan-led review. Mystifying that the Premier League hired Helen McNamara (ex No10 Downing St) with part of her tenure to prevent the implementation of the Fan Led Review. They just don’t know when to quit, do they?
The Premier League did not respond when asked to comment on Neville’s claim about MacNamara, although sports express understands his appointment came in May before the review was published in November 2021. However, some Premier League clubs are believed to have concerns over some of the review’s recommendations.
The government has given its support, but it is unclear whether the recommendations will become official policy. Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said last month: “We are at a turning point in English football. Fan-led scrutiny is of crucial importance. We recognize that there are failings in the structure and governance of English football.
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“If everything worked perfectly, we would never have needed the fan-driven review. We recognize that there is a need for further refinement and testing of the more robust owners and admins and the element of integrity of that is something that is pushed.”
When publishing the review last November, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “I would like to thank @tracey_crouch and her panel for their hard work.
“We have seen clubs with centuries-old traditions, such as Bury and Macclesfield Town, disappear completely, while the European Super League threatens the very foundations of the game.
“The review also lays bare the fact that in-game incentives too often lead to reckless financial decision making. principle the main recommendation of the review.
“This review clearly shows that we are at a turning point for football in this country. Football clubs are at the heart of their local communities, and this government will ensure that they are properly managed and that fans are protected.