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Crysal Palace chairman Parish questions government regulator call

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish has pushed back on a fan-led review insisting on a government imposed regulator for the game.

Parish reviewed the findings on BBC Sport today.

He said: "The overall aims are to be commended and Tracey Crouch has done a very in-depth job, looking at the game and talking to certain types of people who have certain types of views. Unfortunately, I think these solutions are in grave danger of huge, unintended consequences that could make the game a lot worse in the long run.

"Lets just start with the concept of an independent football regulator run by the government. We're in a world at the moment where there has been a regulatory environment in the gas industry and we are seeing tens and hundreds of companies go to the wall and consumers having to suffer pain because of that. The idea that the government regulating an industry de facto makes it better (isn't necessarily true).

"In football, Tracey talks about three major issues we need to address, the catalyst for this report being Bury, Covid and the Super League. Well, football is probably, I would imagine, the most robust industry ever created. In 120 years, a tiny handful of businesses have gone into liquidation and I'm confident there will be another Bury Football Club, something that rises from the ashes. Other than that, there are a lot of things that will make football worse, more difficult to run and far less attractive to investors."

Parish also said: "We are the envy of the world, make no mistake. We emerged from the Covid crisis, the English game, as the most healthy game in the world, without a doubt. Everybody looks on us and at this report, across Europe particularly, somewhat comedically, thinking we are about to create a huge act of self harm. Everybody in Europe moves to copy our and what makes us successful.

"The Championship is far and away the richest second league in world football. The concept of the lower leagues being starved of finances is not true. Could we look at distribution? Could we look at parachute payments? Are there elements of this report that have got some merit? Absolutely.

"But an Owners and Directors Test which looks at business acquittances and friends and sees if they've got integrity, I think would be very difficult to enforce. Tracey knows only full well that the Newcastle takeover, which has been highlighted for the Owners and Directors Test, would have gone through under any regulatory regime that would have been imposed.

"I fear for the government somewhat. All football fans tend to want different things. The fact of the matter was the Newcastle takeover was unstoppable; in any court, we'd have lost that action to try and stop it. I don't think it should have been stopped, (Saudi Arabia) is a country we do business with in a very open way, if they want to buy to buy a business asset in the UK they would be allowed to and I don't see how a football club is particularly different. The fans of that club welcome it because they get the investment. There are a lot of sledgehammers to crack nuts in this report."


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