Is Ashley Ahead Of The Game?

30 July 2011 10:01
MPs have called for a major overhaul of the way English football is run to ensure the game's long-term future in the face of rising levels of debt and financial instability. Although we continue to be critical of Mike Ashley . and his promises that never seem to bare fruit . perhaps he is one step ahead of many club owners by putting a cap on player's wages. Although the Toon owner "splashes the cash" in casinos and hands golfers £2m on a whim, he is very careful where he spends his money where Newcastle United are concerned. He insists "it's for the future of the club", and although some suggest he has lost interest in his "toy" that is Newcastle United (and turned his interest to golf), perhaps he has a point. In a hard-hitting report, the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee branded the current Football Association Council as not "fit for purpose" and said it was in need of a radical restructuring. It called for the establishment of a formal licensing system for clubs to help curb the game's "excesses" with "robust" ownership rules and a "strong fit and proper persons test". The MPs demanded an end to insolvency rules which encouraged "excessive financial risk-taking" and which, the committee said, would be "illegal" in any other area of business. The committee warned that if the game was not prepared to put its own house in order, the Government should step in to do so, if necessary by legislation.