Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough backs proposals for new independent football regulator

Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough has tentatively welcomed the government's decision to establish an independent football regulator after backing recommendations made in the fan-led review into the men's game.

Amid a climate of clubs going bust or in crisis and having unsuitable ownership, the regulator will have powers to sanction clubs in English football who break financial and other rules.

As Stags continue to press for promotion under Clough, safe in the envied ownership of John and Carolyn Redford, Clough said: “I just hope it's a good independent regulator.

“Just looking at a few of the decisions in the last few years I am not sure we can guarantee that.

Mansfield manager Nigel Clough - tentative backing for proposals to help football.

“It has to be the right one, a good one and it has to have some teeth to be able to do things.

“You saw the protests at Oldham on Saturday against the owners.

“People forget that while owners own football clubs, they don't really. They belong to the supporters who have come for years and years.

“It's their club and it needs a sort of stewardship to take care of it for people.”

Among the suggestions is clubs having a 'shadow board' made up of supporters.

“I am not sure about 'shadow boards', but fans should have some sort of representation without a doubt,” said Clough.

“There should be more contact and dialogue with supporters' groups.

"We had about 180/190 people in for our forum recently and it is fascinating hearing about the queues at the kiosk.

“You want to know about trying to buy tickets and things like that as they're the problems that fans experience and the things we can do something about.”

A new owners' test will be introduced and legislation will give fans more say in the running of the game.

It comes after the review, chaired by former sports minister Tracey Crouch, made 10 recommendations to government on how to improve football governance last year following a number of high-profile crises such as the failed European Super League and the collapse of Bury FC.

The government said a white paper will be published in the summer.