Gareth Southgate Disapproves UK Govt’s Financial Regulator Plan – Another VAR Waiting to Happen

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In last week’s King’s Speech, the Government announced plans to set up a regulator to guarantee financial integrity in the game.

England manager Gareth Southgate is wary that an independent football regulator (financial) will do nothing but add to confusion – just like VAR (Video Assistant Referee). In last week’s King’s Speech, the UK Government announced plans to set up a regulator to guarantee financial integrity in the Premier League.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s proposed Football Governance Bill wants an independent regulator to ‘have powers to monitor and enforce compliance with requirements in financial regulation, corporate governance; club ownership (owners’ and directors’ tests); fan engagement and club heritage protection; and approved competitions.’

Gareth Southgate unhappy

However, Southgate is not convinced that this will lead to better governance. In fact, he believes that it could just add another layer of complexity.

It would worry me that we’re trying to find simple solutions to very complex problems,” said the England manager.

“I’m dubious that we can solve all the issues. For me, it’s another VAR waiting to happen.

“I know as an organisation The FA have supported the idea of some sort of financial controls. But I’m not sure what is expected of the position (regulator) and who is this person and what their experiences are.

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“If we interviewed every owner in the league, would we have come to the right conclusion as to whether they were going to be good or bad at that moment in time,’ he argued. “I’d say No, and who actually decides when they are good or bad,” Southgate added.

An independent regulator was first proposed In 2021. Bury went bankrupt and speculation grew that Derby, Wigan and some other clubs were close to following suit.

Now, it remains to be seen if the FA and British government pays heed to Southgate’s advice.

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