Football governance bill hailed by Sunak as 'historic moment for fans' being ditched due to election, says MP

Football governance bill hailed by Sunak as 'historic moment for fans' being ditched due to election, says MP

A football governance bill hailed by Rishi Sunak as "a historic moment for fans" is being ditched due to the general election, says one of its champions.

Former sports minister Tracey Crouch expressed her disappointment that the legislation would not pass in the two-day “wash-up” period before the country goes to the polls on July 4.

The bill would have set up an independent football regulator after a review overseen by Tory MP Ms Crouch, a qualified referee.

She tweeted: “Unfortunately the Football Governance Bill will progress no further and although there is a ready made Bill for the next Government, I won’t be here to see it pass.”

Ms Crouch, who is stepping down at the election, added: “I just wanted to say a massive thank you to EVERYONE who helped shape this Bill.

“A lot of people have poured their heart and soul into the Bill - officials, politicians, authorities, clubs and of course fans. I am 100% convinced there will be an Independent Regulator for football, thanks to the efforts of others and the desire for sustainability.”

The MP, who has successfully battled cancer, emphasised: “My final plea is to the Premier League and EFL...please, for the sake of football, sit back down and start negotiating a deal. The impasse is infuriating. I know it is complex. But please, agree a deal. The End.”

The Government pressed ahead in March with the plans to better manage football, with the Football Governance Bill being introduced in Parliament.

The legislation would have given powers to a body, independent of government and football authorities, to oversee clubs in England's top five men's tiers.

At the time, Mr Sunak said it was a "a historic moment for football fans".

He added: "It will make sure their voices are front and centre.”

And he stressed: "Football has long been one of our greatest sources of national pride.

"But for too long some clubs have been abused by unscrupulous owners who get away with financial mismanagement, which at worst can lead to complete collapse.”

The proposed new law came after a fan-led review, which concluded that a regulator was needed for the long-term financial stability of the men's professional game after controversies including financial mismanagement and plans for a breakaway European Super League.

Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt was announcing details on Thursday afternoon over which bills would be included in “wash-up”.

They were expected to include legislation to press ahead with compensation for victims of the Infected Blood Scandal, as well as the Finance Bill.

But legislation on banning smoking was expected to fall.