DELAYS in delivering “much-needed” reform in the way football is governed have been criticised by John Healey.
The Wentworth & Dearne MP has been working with Rotherham United, who are backing the proposals following the government’s fan-led review.
The changes would see the creation of an independent regulator for English football, with strengthened criteria for owners and directors to meet, and more supporter involvement.
Mr Healey said: “At this rate, we will not see any new legislation until 2024 at the earliest.
“Football governance in England is broken and in urgent need of the changes recommended in the fan-led review.
“But it seems the government is betraying fans, lower league clubs and the communities football is built around by delaying these much needed changes.
“Football clubs are at the heart of communities. They’re much more than businesses, but great sources of identity and pride in our towns.
“Too often, fans are locked out of discussions, and deals which affect the whole community are done entirely behind closed doors.”
Mr Healey said that action was required — rather than more consultation — as it was now more than a decade had passed since the select committee recommended greater regulation, three years after the collapse of Bury, a year after the disastrous European Super League proposal and five months after the fan-led review report.
“The delay in implementing the fan-led review will only lead to more clubs facing difficulty, more turmoil for fans, to the benefit only of a select few rich owners who continue to benefit from the current system,” the MP added.
The government says more details on the reforms will come with the publication of a white paper this summer.