Labour would consider 'transfer levy' for clubs purchasing football players

Labour set out policies on reforming football and a closer relationship with the EU on Monday, ITV News Deputy Political Editor Anushka Asthana reports

Labour would consider putting in place a "transfer levy" of up to 10% when clubs purchase football players for tens of millions of pounds.

The idea of a levy that would act like stamp duty on transfers was first put forward by the former Tory sports minister Tracey Crouch when she carried out a review of football governance.

The shadow culture, media and sports secretary, Thangam Debbonaire was asked by journalists if she would consider the move while she was visiting Bristol Rovers football club.

"I'm going to look at everything again that was in Tracey Crouch's fan-led review. It's important that we go back to first principles, just make sure there's not something that's been missed that is needed in order to ensure the financial sustainability of the entire pyramid," Ms Debbonaire replied.

Pushed to confirm its "back on the table" she repeated: "I'm obviously going to look at absolutely everything that was in Tracey's review, I think that would be foolish not to do that."

Ms Debbonaire said she "saluted" Ms Crouch who suggested the levy for sales between premier leagues or for when players are purchased from foreign clubs.

"She did a lot of really, really good work. She got cross-party, universal support for what she did and I think fans really appreciated it. Of course I'm going to go back to that and see what else there might be."

Starmer also visited the Bristol club, which is close to Ms Debbonaire's seat.

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The Labour leader pledged football reforms would put fans “front and centre” and prevent breakaways from the top of English football in what he described as a "Wild West".

Starmer confirmed that Labour's Football Governance Bill would be put in place.

He said that “in the face of continued threats of breakaways from some European clubs, we have to do this.”

The Labour leader added: “On my watch, there will be no super league-style breakaways from English football.”

“Our football governance bill will put fans front and centre of the debate over the future of English football.

“We are lucky to have historic football clubs at the heart of communities across our country. But too often, clubs and fans are being let down by the wild west within the football pyramid. That’s why we will legislate for the long-awaited independent football regulator," he said.

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