Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Caborn warns of “imbalance” in English football

Speaking at the launch of The State of the Game report by the Football Governance Research Centre, Birkbeck, University of London today, UK Minister for Sport, Richard Caborn warned that in England, there is a “growing imbalance” between the economic side of the game and its sporting nature.

“There is a need to put rules in place to ensure that the communities that those clubs grew out of are not left behind”, said Caborn.

Caborn highlighted the Tribunal de Commerce de Charleroi’s decision to refer Royal Charleroi Sporting Club’s case against FIFA to the European Court of Justice as one of the key cases in sport at the moment.

“There is currently a lack of clarity about how European law should apply to sport”, said Caborn. “Football has got to take the lead. The autonomy of sport is non-negotiable”.

It was a shame that Caborn was forced to head off before the presentation of Gordon Taylor, Chief Executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association, who disagreed. “If we are going to try and be autonomous, then we need to try and be inclusive”, he said.

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