4 May 2010

English football faces greater regulation after election

12:20 pm on 4 May 2010

English football has been warned to clean up its financial mess or face government intervention to save the national game's reputation.

The opposition Conservative Party's spokesman for sport Hugh Robertson says governance cannot be exempt from measures introduced in other parts of society and business.

Dozens of clubs have gone into administration in recent years because of cashflow problems and unpaid debts, including the most high-profile casualty so far, Portsmouth, the first Premier League club to call in the accountants.

Robertson could be be sports minister if the Conservatives win what is expected to be a close-fought election on Friday.

He wants the Premier League, the Football Association and the Football League to tighten the fit and proper person test for club owners, and he also wants independent governance, greater financial transparency and controls on debt levels.