May 21, 2024

As she questioned Parliament on the status of proposals for an independent regulator, Alison McGovern brought up the Everton penalty.

After hearing from constituents on the 10-point deduction, the Labour MP for Wirral South shared a video on Twitter on November 23. In it, she reiterated her demand for a regulator “to administer the game correctly.”

McGovern had put to government minister Penny Mordaunt that Toffees supporters were “frustrated” by the situation the club has been through and “worry” about “unfairness” in the process.

She said that “fans of many clubs believe that the structure of men’s football requires much better governance” and claimed “support from parties all across this house” to move ahead with a regulator.

Mordaunt acknowledged the “audible agreement” around the House as the question was asked, and said she was a supporter of the issue, although failed to give a specific answer to when the bill would be published apart from to say McGovern would “not have long to wait”.

Spotlight

It is broadly positive that Everton’s plight is now gaining a lot of mainstream attention, although fans will probably not be delighted for it to have taken a heavy punishment to come down to reach this point.

The Premier League’s process for referring the club to an independent commission who then deducted 10 points has come under major scrutiny.

Rules on what spending would be counted against profit and sustainability appear to have changed on a whim, and the club have been hit by a major sporting punishment despite an apparent agreement that there was no sporting advantage from the spending breach.

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And it has made many very disgruntled when it comes to the team and the supporters taking the brunt of it instead of the board, who are already out of a job, and the owner, who is about to leave.

While it is simple to argue that football should no longer be trusted to mark its own homework, it seems more likely that an outside authority will simply become unpopular. The independent regulator has been heralded as the solution to all of these problems.

Much like the divisive introduction of VAR the regulator will only be as effective as those who are appointed to it, so if one is on the way it will need to be held to account itself, and either way it appears to be coming too late for Everton.

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