Football leaders get hot under the collar

22 Apr 2008

By: Sport Industry Group

Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore and Minister for Sport Richard Caborn were at loggerheads at today’s FT Sport Industry Summit over the increasing commercialisation of football at the expense of the sport's fans.

Caborn challenged Scudamore on stage at the Summit over the commercial agenda of the Premier League stating that he believed that ‘competition off the pitch has become more important than competition on it’.

‘The reason we’ve pushed so hard with the European Sports Review is that governance of football has become secondary to commercial gain. As politicians we can give power to governing bodies through such regulation to make their leagues more fair and just organisations,’ stated Caborn.

Scudamore defended the Premier League’s ethos by stating that sport had evolved beyond activity on the pitch and that there is a necessary commercial agenda in light of the role of clubs in the modern era.

Lord Mawhinney, chairman of the Football League, who was also on the panel joined in the debate by voicing his fears that if football continued on its present path it would inevitably lead to an imbalance between the commercial and the playing sides of the game.