Leeds chief executive Angus Kinnear compares football regulator to Maoism

Kinnear was talking about the fan-led review into football governance, making the comparison in his programme notes

Pa Sport Staff
Tuesday 30 November 2021 19:52
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Angus Kinnear took exception to two key issues in the fan-led review (Mike Egerton/PA)
Angus Kinnear took exception to two key issues in the fan-led review (Mike Egerton/PA)

Leeds chief executive Angus Kinnear has compared calls for an independent regulator in English football and a transfer levy on Premier League clubs to Maoism and the Great Chinese Famine.

They were two of 47 recommendations made by a fan-led review of football governance which was announced last week.

Kinnear supports much of what was included in the review but took exception with two key issues which he said were “as flawed as they are radical”.

Writing in his programme notes for Leeds’ clash with Crystal Palace, Kinnear said: “Of the 47 recommendations contained in the fan-led review of football governance there was much to applaud.

“Increased supporter consultation, heritage shares, renewed focus for the women’s game and improving equality and diversity (among others) will all be met with almost unequivocal support.

“However, the two most significant recommendations are as flawed as they are radical. The first is the demand for independent regulation and the second is an increased transfer levy to redistribute increased funds further down the football pyramid.

“These proposals have been conflated to address the very separate issues of the demise of Bury, the threat of the European Super League and the takeover of Newcastle United.

“Football is a private sector business and has flourished that way. Enforcing upon football a philosophy akin to Maoist collective agriculturalism (which students of ‘The Great Leap Forward’ will know culminated in the greatest famine in history) will not make the English game fairer, it will kill the competition which is its very lifeblood.

“Teams further down the pyramid do not need their means artificially inflated, they need to live within them.

“As a recently promoted team we were asked by the review what we would have done with increased funds if Premier League teams had been forced to financially contribute to our promotion campaign and the answer (although more eloquently expressed) was, fundamentally, that we would have still blown it on Pawel Cibicki.”

Kinnear’s quotes have attracted some attention, with Gary Neville suggesting they were hypocritical.

He tweeted: “Anyone remember when Leeds United were in the Championship sweating like crazy over their own financial state if they didn’t go up.

“How has it come to this within 12 months? A sorry state of affairs. Surely even Leeds fans don’t like these programme notes on the Fan Led Review.”

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