Ten of the sanest mad ideas for transforming football

Date published: Wednesday 14th October 2020 2:24 - Sarah Winterburn


We can’t trust football and football clubs to run themselves with any degree of sanity or unselfishness. So here are some ideas that would ensure football is fair and fantastic.

They stop financial mismanagement. They’d effectively stop oligarchs and other ne’er do wells owning clubs. They make it impossible to leverage an owner’s money to dominate. They prevent wage and transfer inflation. They mean no-one can buy success. They make training, recruitment and management all-important. They allow progress through the leagues and for each league to be competitive. They ensure every club is sustainable and that the pyramid functions properly.

These are so sane, you’ll think they’re mad. Here we go.

1) All clubs have to be run on a break-even/not-for-profit basis.

2) Any excess profits to be invested in local communities selected by local mandate.

3) To negate financial leverage, both a club wage cap and an individual maximum wage cap to be set at a level affordable by the poorest club in each league, to be decided each year by an independent financial body.

4) Sponsorship income capped.

5) TV rights income divided and distributed equally between all clubs in the leagues.

6) Any player, family, business or relations found in receipt of money or goods to get around maximum wage rules are banned from playing professionally.

7) All capital investment for clubs is paid from an independently operated FA bank paid into by all clubs as a percentage of turnover.

8) Abolition of transfer fees, replaced with rolling single-year contracts that have to be honoured.

9) All clubs are at least 51% fan-owned.

10) All owners must have a year’s operating income on deposit at all times.


John Nicholson

Johnny’s book, Can We Have Our Football Back? How The Premier League Is Ruining Football And What We Can Do About It has been massively successful. Get a copy and find out why it’s attracted so much love.

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