A fan-led government review is set to examine ownership structures within English football – and could consider whether to implement the 50+1 rule.
It is also set to look at whether the Owners’ and Directors’ Test can be improved, as well as if an independent regulator is required for clubs.
The fan-led review will also consider whether club finances can be examined more regularly.
Questions about the possibility of an independent regulator were first brought to the table by Gary Neville in October of last year.
He was speaking following ‘Project Big Picture’, a proposal headed by Manchester United and Liverpool which would have restructured English football and given bigger clubs more control over the top flight.
Neville said: “I suspect because it [Project Big Picture] has been rejected that we will now enter into a world of chaos for the next six to 12 months and football will probably have a go at trying to reform itself but will yet again fail.
“The only way to actually achieve that is through someone independent being there to faciliate it.”
What is the 50+1 rule?
In short, the 50+1 rule is where the fans own 50% of the shares in any club and an additional share, which is where the ‘+1’ originates from.
Each club must retain a majority of voting shares, which allows club members to veto decisions by outside investors.
The rule is used to good effect in Germany, with low wages, debts and ticket prices when compared to other top leagues.
For instance, in 2019/20 a Bayern Munich season ticket would cost you as little as €145.
In comparison, the cheapest adult season ticket at Arsenal comes in at an eye-watering £896 (from a 2019 report via Off The Pitch).
The 50+1 rule is designed to stop investors from controlling football clubs.
The rule was introduced back in 1998. German clubs were originally founded as not-for-profit organisations, and ownership of any kind was banned.
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