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London Evening Standard - 2021-11-25

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Crouch: Transfer tax a chance to redress balance

Sport

Dan Kilpatrick

TRACEY CROUCH says her proposed 10 per cent levy on Premier League transfers is an opportunity for top-flight clubs to demonstrate their “moral responsibility” to English football. One of the eye-catching proposals of the Government’s fan-led review of football governance is the idea of a stamp duty-style tax on transfers to raise millions for lower-league clubs and the grassroots of the game. The “solidarity levy”, which would have generated £160million per year over the past five years, is likely to be met with resistance by Premier League clubs and could be a battleground. Clubs already pay a four per cent levy which is distributed between a pension fund and player development and there is also the proposal for an additional six per cent levy from FIFA. With an additional new levy of 10 per cent, a £50m transfer would cost £60m and clubs would argue that could impact their ability to remain competitive in the market with European rivals. The report describes the idea as potentially “game-changing to the rest of the football pyramid”. Crouch (right), who chaired the fan-led review, said: “I think many Premier League clubs will recognise that they do spend a significant amount of money in the transfer window and it will enable them to give more to grassroots. “Many of the fans and much of the public would see some of the eye-watering transfer fees and think ‘how come more of that is not coming down the pyramid?’ “This is an opportunity for Premier League clubs to redress some of that and say, ‘Yes, actually we have a moral responsibility to ensure we encourage the growth of talent much further down’. So that one day somebody who is playing on a pitch that is funded today by the Premier League, could be playing for

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