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Sort it aht

You only have to look at the recent stories of Portsmouth, Southend and Cardiff City being threatened with administration (and countless others besides) to see that football needs a good kick up the posterior with regards to its finances. Since the beginning of the Premier League era clubs have run wild with the spending and ended up threatening their very existences in the gold rush for Premier League and Champions League TV money, and now the government wants to step in and make the clubs take a more responsible line with their accounts.

The issue has become such a hot potato that sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe, who the other week stuck his nose into the John Terry/England captaincy affair has spoken out about how football clubs finance themselves and has called on the FA, Premier League and Football League to do something (as yet unspecified) about it.

‘We have challenged the FA, Premier League and the Football League on financial regulation over the last year and they have made some welcome rule changes,’ said Sutcliffe to the Guardian. ‘But there remain tough questions for the football authorities on what more they need to do to tackle the issues around leveraged debt, takeovers and strengthening the financial governance of football clubs.

‘It is not the government's job to run football, this is down to the football authorities to regulate and for the clubs to deliver, but there is a widespread view that there must be tougher regulation from within the game and we will continue to push on these issues. Owners, managers and players come and go but it's the loyal fans that remain and those in charge of football and its clubs should look at ways of ensuring the voice of the supporter is listened to and has a greater say in the running of their club.’

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