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British Parliament Gives English Soccer 12 Months to Reform
Guardian, January 29th, 2013 1:05PM

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The British parliamentary committee of culture, media and sport has given the English Football Association, the Premier League and the Football League a “very disappointing” mark in response to a report published in July 2011, which had looked into the governance of the game and asked that certain measures be reformed. Unless “clear progress” is made in the next 12 months on the measures outlined in that report, the government has been instructed by the committee to legislate “as soon as practicable.”

The 2011 report wanted the FA to assert its independence from England’s soccer leagues, to overhaul its council to be more representative of the clubs it governs, to introduce tough new rules on financial regulation, and to increase the influence of supporters on how their clubs are run.

Chairman John Whittingdale said the committee was particularly disappointed with the response to the call for a new licensing system run by the FA that would theoretically help reign in soccer's overheated finances. The committee also believes that the game is too heavily influenced by the Premier League -- a case which could lead to “the regulated controlling the regulator.”

In a statement, Hugh Robertson, the sports minister, said: "We have been clear that we want the football authorities to carry out the reforms they promised by the start of the 2013-14 season – most notably around improved governance and diverse representation at the FA, the development of a licensing system and greater financial transparency. If football does not deliver then we will look at bringing forward legislation."

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