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Independent football regulator: Government White Paper outlines plans including powers around owners' tests and breakaway leagues

A new independent football regulator will test the fitness of new owners, ensure clubs are run sustainably, resolve any issues around how money flows from the Premier League down the pyramid and could stop clubs joining breakaway leagues.

The government will publish its White Paper on football governance on Thursday, and has now confirmed it will act on a recommendation from the 2021 fan-led review of football to create a regulator.

The body's main purpose would be to oversee a licensing system to ensure clubs are run sustainably, following the collapse of Bury and Macclesfield in recent years. The regulator will also run an owners' and directors' test, with a focus on the fitness and propriety of new owners and enhanced due diligence.

The regulator will make sure fans have a greater say in the running of their clubs, giving them a say if owners try to to change aspects of a club's heritage, such as a team name, badge or home shirt colours. Clubs will also have to seek regulator approval for any sale or relocation of a stadium.

Following the formation of the European Super League in April 2021, which prompted the government to bring forward its plan to commission a fan-led review, the regulator will have the power to prevent English clubs from joining new competitions that do not meet a predetermined criteria, in consultation with the FA and fans.

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