ANNEX A : IMPLEMENTING THE CROUCH RECOMMENDATIONS
Ms. Crouch has now fulfilled the terms of the remit she was given. In her report she made a number of things clear :
• that her package of recommendations - forty seven in total - is not an a la carte menu that can be selectively addressed. The package is designed to work together as a whole - and should be implemented in the same way
• the new regulator needs to be truly independent . One of the reasons why the current system fails is that the Leagues, who run it, are answerable to the very clubs that it is supposed to investigate. The conflicts of interest are clear and indefensible
• to be independent, the new regulator needs to take its powers from legislation, and she recommends that the Government should bring it forward as soon as possible. In the meantime, a Shadow Regulator should be identified to pave the way for the permanent body that will follow
• the new regulator should be funded by the football industry, which can well afford it. Its access to permanent sources of income should be established by statute
• the new regulator should also have an independently appointed Board to ensure that it is free from any suggestion of political interference
• its powers to act should be framed widely - not to give it unfettered power, but to ensure that it is able to tailor its responses to the problems that it finds itself dealing with. Failure at football clubs comes in many forms, and it is impossible to anticipate them all in framing either legislation or statutory guidance. It is far more sensible to frame legislative powers that allow the regulator a wide discretion to respond to the precise circumstances it faces in any given case
What will happen next ?
To bring in a new regulator of the kind Ms. Crouch wants will only happen if the Government makes provision for it. Specifically:
a slot needs to be made available in the legislative programme. This is set out annually in The Queen’s Speech, the next one being planned for May 2022 and covering the period through to May 2023. Ms. Crouch has urged the Government to be ready to introduce a Bill then the sponsoring Department for a Bill will be DCMS (Digital, Communications, Media & Sport). It will be their job to :
· persuade Government to grant them a slot in the legislative programme for 2022/23
· make good progress in instructing Parliamentary Counsel as to the precise contents of the Bill, and….
….. ultimately, creating a small team to steer the Bill through both Houses of Parliament when the time comes