Gary Neville claims “real opportunity” to seize back control from owners like Glazers

After Former Sports Minister Tracey Crouch’s fan led review, Gary Neville has picked a battle with the likes of Joel Glazer, Roman Abramovich, Stan Kroenke, Sheikh Mansour, JW Henry and Daniel Levy

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  • 17:00, 25 Nov 2021
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Gary Neville believes English football has a “real opportunity” to seize back control from the Premier League ’s big six.

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Former Sports Minister Tracey Crouch’s fan led review has received widespread backing after it recommended changes including appointing an independent regulator, a Premier League transfer levy, golden shares and fan accountability.

Sky pundit and Manchester United legend Neville, now part owner of League Two Salford City, firmly believes it can create a reset for the beautiful game in the wake of the European Super League fiasco.

Neville, who is part of the The Saving the Beautiful Game Group action group, called out the owners of United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea and said an independent regulator is vital to stop Premier League clubs calling the shots.

Gary Neville wants football to be rid of its power-hungry elite owners
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Image:
Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Former England defender Neville said: “Joel Glazer, Roman Abramovich, Stan Kroenke, Sheikh Mansour, JW Henry and Daniel Levy should not be in charge of English football.

“Does anybody in this country think that those six people should have the biggest influence on the running of English football? Absolutely not.

“They are massive players in the game. They’re at the heart of the quality that we see every single week. But the Premier League can't even control the Premier League clubs at this moment in time.”

The ten per cent transfer levy – which would bring in around £150m-a-year from deals – has already upset Premier League clubs and may be difficult to enforce but would be a lifeline for League One and Two clubs as well as at grassroots level.

But Prem clubs are unhappy that they are expected to bail out badly run EFL clubs while they already make substantial solidarity payments.

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Neville added: “I would expect the Regulator to come down really hard in respect of if EFL clubs are not able to financially control, monitor and track to ensure sustainable football. I’m not expecting the money to just wash down from the Premier League into an abyss again.

“This is a real opportunity, a historic moment to re-set the recklessness that has existed in the gme, chasing that Premier League ‘Golden Ticket’ that brings desperation, so that now clubs leaving the Premier League each season, and not just in a sporting objective disappointed but almost financially devastated.

“We’ve got to take that away and this is a real opportunity to correct that desperation that exists within the game. So that all we see with promotion and relegation and disappointment and elation in a sporting sense and not a financial one.”

The Glazers have been unpopular owners at Man Utd, yet hold an awful lot of power

Nadine Dorries, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, called it an “important report” and has urged all parties to act upon the recommendations.

But Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow warned that some of the financial demands on Premier League clubs will be too costly as they have already committed to giving £1.6billion to the rest of the game on top of a £300m package to EFL clubs.

Purslow told the BBC : “The Premier League has always really been the source of funding for the rest of football and the danger here is of course, as you said, killing the golden goose if we overregulate a highly successful financial and commercial operation.”

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