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Premier League’s auditor awarded key contract related to independent regulator

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 23 Feb 2024

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The Premier League’s auditor Deloitte has been awarded a key contract in helping to set up football’s independent regulator, the PA news agency understands.

Sources have expressed concern over a potential conflict of interest for financial services firm Deloitte, which signed off the Premier League’s most recent set of annual accounts.

The EFL and campaign groups want the regulator to be able to review whether any new deal agreed between the Premier League and the EFL on how television cash is split meets the regulator’s stated aim of ensuring the sport’s financial sustainability.

The involvement of Deloitte has raised some eyebrows, at a time when the regulator’s precise remit is still unclear as the wait goes on for the publication of the Football Governance Bill.

EFL clubs left a meeting with Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer last week concerned that the regulator would not be given powers to correct any settlement which is agreed, something which football reform group Fair Game has said would be “unacceptable”.

Government sources say the Deloitte contract will involve the firm providing support around the design and implementation of the regulator’s operating model, and insist the firm will not be providing advice on, or developing, regulator policy.

Deloitte will look at how the regulator is structured, staffed, and its systems and infrastructure requirements, the Government source said.

They said any potential conflicts of interest would be managed in the usual way, and were considered as part of the procurement process.

The Government and Deloitte declined to comment.

EFL chairman Rick Parry told MPs last month that his organisation was prepared to do a deal with the Premier League but stressed that the “right solution” on financial distribution and cost controls would only be reached through independent analysis by the regulator, as part of a planned ‘state of the game’ review once it is up and running.

The EFL has declined to comment following last week’s meeting as it continues dialogue with the Government, but Fair Game – which has 13 EFL clubs within its membership – insists the regulator must have the power to intervene.

“The number one stated aim of the regulator is to secure the financial sustainability of the football pyramid,” Fair Game’s director of advocacy Mike Baker said in a statement issued on Friday.

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