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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance


From the beautiful game to the regulated game: Proposed reform to English club football

30 November 2023

The global sports industry is larger than the global film and music industries combined. Football constitutes 40% of the global sports industry and the English Premier League (EPL) is the largest club football league in the world, by both viewership and revenue.

Recent controversies in the English game sparked a fan-led review of football governance in November 2021, which concluded that significant changes were needed to protect its heritage and financial sustainability. The outcome of this review led to the Government White Paper: 'A sustainable future – reforming club football governance' (White Paper) which most significantly proposed the unprecedented establishment of an independent regulator (Regulator). Following the White Paper's publication, plans for the Regulator were further outlined in the King's Speech in November 2023 where the 'Football Governance Bill' (Bill) was announced. This article evaluates the key regulatory changes proposed by the Bill and the wider impacts of these reforms on the sport.

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