Labour has refused to rule out forcing Premier League clubs to pay a 10% tax on every player they sign.

Thangam Debbonaire, Shadow Sport Secretary, said the option is on the table as she looks at sweeping changes to the way the Beautiful Game is regulated. She vowed to re-examine proposals put forward in a 2021 fan-led review, some of which were dropped by the Tories.

These include a levy on transfers from overseas or between top-league clubs, which could see teams stump up an extra £2million on a £20million transfer. This cash would then be distributed across the football pyramid to benefit smaller clubs.

Ms Debbonaire vowed to prevent a repeat of the collapse of Bury FC in 2019 and make the game fairer. She told reporters: "We don't want another Bury. We don't want another situation like Scunthorpe where they pretty much lost their ground."

Quizzed on whether this meant the transfer levy - recommended in a review headed by former Tory MP Tracey Crouch - will be considered, the Labour frontbencher said: "I'm going to look at everything again that was in Tracey Crouch's report.

"I think it's important we go back to those principles just to make sure there's not something that's been missed that is needed in order to ensure financial sustainability is back on the table." Labour vowed to press ahead with a Football Governance Bill after Tory efforts to regulate the way clubs are run collapsed when Rishi Sunak called a snap election.

Ms Debbonaire said her party is committed to creating a new regulator, and strengthening tests to make sure owners and directors are suitable. There will also be measures to protect fans having a say in how their club is run, and to prevent breakaway leagues.

There will also be stricter rules around selling or relocating from football grounds. It comes as Keir Starmer vowed to make the UK the "best place in the world to be a football fan" if he becomes PM.

Speaking on a visit to Bristol Rovers Football Club, Mr Starmer said he'd put football reforms “front and centre” if he becomes PM. He said: “Our football governance bill will put fans front and centre of the debate over the future of English football.

“We are lucky to have historic football clubs at the heart of communities across our country. But too often, clubs and fans are being let down by the wild west within the football pyramid. That’s why we will legislate for the long-awaited independent football regulator.

“In the face of continued threats of breakaways from some European clubs, we have to do this. On my watch, there will be no super league-style breakaways from English football.”

The Labour manifesto includes a commitment to setting up a new independent regulator. It calls for reforms that will “protect football clubs across our communities” and “make Britain the best place in the world to be a football fan”.

2024-06-17T17:18:30Z dg43tfdfdgfd