The biggest soccer league in the world will be overseen by the U.K. government.
The U.K. is following through on a recommendation made by a committee in 2021 to introduce an independent regulator to oversee soccer in the country, the government announced on Thursday.
The regulator’s main purpose will be to “reform the culture of governance in English football clubs and mitigate the risk of clubs being entirely lost to fans and communities.”
English soccer team Bury FC collapsed in 2019 due to financial problems, becoming the first English soccer team to cease operations in 27 years. Macclesfield Town was expelled because of high debts in 2020.
The creation of the regulator also appears to be motivated by the attempted European Super League, which six Premier League clubs joined and then later renounced. The regulator would have the authority to ban teams from joining any breakaway competitions.
Earlier this month, the Premier League charged Manchester City with more than 100 financial violations between 2009 and 2018, which some saw as an attempt to show English authorities that there was no need for an external regulator.
The U.K. addressed this notion in announcing the regulator, saying, “The government is not convinced that an industry regulator would be genuinely independent from the influence of clubs, or could be sufficiently held accountable for its actions and performance.”
It’s not clear if the regulator will be established in time to influence the sale of Manchester United, which took in its first round of bids last week.