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Premier League clubs could face 10% transfer levy under Labour | Politics News

Premier League clubs could have to pay a 10% tax on the transfer of football players under plans being considered by Labour.

Sir Keir Starmer’s party has pledged to bring forward football governance reforms that would prevent breakaways in the style of the ill-fated European Super League if Labour wins the general election.

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On Monday, shadow sports secretary Thangam Debbonaire was asked if this would include reviving the transfer levy – something which was recommended in a 2021 fan-led review but not taken up by the Conservatives in their version of the bill.

Ms Debbonaire said she was “going to look at everything again” that was in the review.

Speaking from Bristol Rovers’ football ground, she added: “A club like this, it’s not the wealthiest club in the world, and it wants to be able to invest in infrastructure.

“It wants to be able to make sure that facilities are good for the future.

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“That does take money, so I’m going to look at absolutely everything that might help increase the financial sustainability.”

Sir Keir Starmer with Thangam Debbonaire during a visit to Bristol Rovers FC
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Labour are considering a 10% transfer levy

The fan-led review of football governance was conducted by Conservative MP Tracey Crouch in 2021, in response to long-standing concerns about club ownership and financial sustainability in the English game.

Ms Crouch said the transfer levy would work in a similar way to stamp duty and “distribute revenues across the pyramid and into grassroots”.

However it was one of the few ideas in the review not adopted by the Tories in its Football Governance Bill, which aimed to establish an independent regulator for men’s football.

That legislation was set aside after the general election was called for 4 July.

Labour has announced its own version of the bill, saying this would put fans at the heart of decisions over the future of English football.

The party’s manifesto includes a commitment to deliver a new independent football regulator.

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The manifesto also says “we will never allow a closed league of select clubs to be siphoned off from the English football pyramid”.

In 2021, six English clubs – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham – announced they would join a new European Super League, which was scrapped two days later following a public backlash.

Sir Keir Starmer, who accompanied Ms Debbonaire on the visit to Bristol Rovers, said that “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,” the Labour leader added.

“In the face of continued threats of breakaways from some European clubs, we have to do this.

“On my watch, there will be no super league-style breakaways from English football.”

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