Labour levy on Premier League football transfers: Starmer kills off tax idea

Tom Belger
Keir Starmer

Labour leader Keir Starmer has shot down the suggestion his party could levy a 10% tax on player transfers in the Premier League.

The radical suggestion, which could have raised significant revenues but had far-reaching consequences for English football, was included in a fan-led review commissioned for the government after top clubs’ aborted plans for a Super League.

Shadow Culture Secretary Thangam Debbonaire had fuelled speculation by telling journalists on a visit to Bristol Rovers on Monday that Labour would look again at the review.

“I’m going to look at everything again that was in Tracey Crouch’s fan-led review. A club like this [Bristol Rovers], it’s not the wealthiest club in the world, and it wants to be able to invest in infrastructure. It wants to be able to make sure that facilities are good for the future. That does take money, so I’m going to look at absolutely everything that might help increase the financial sustainability,” Debbonaire said, according to The Guardian.

READ MORE: Keir Starmer on LBC: Labour leader refuses to say if he’d have served under Jeremy Corbyn in government

But Starmer told LBC in a Q&A with the public on Tuesday morning: “Let me just kill that one. We’re not looking at that.”

The 2021 review had calculated that in the past five years a 10% levy would have raised about £160m a year, and said it could be used to provide “game-changing” funding for clubs lower down the football pyramid.

It would amount to enough to fund a grant to ensure that League One and League Two clubs broke even, 80 adult 3G pitches, 100 adult grass pitches, 100 children’s/small sided grass pitches, and 30 two team changing rooms.

But Labour said on Tuesday in a statement that its Football Governance Bill will “help put football fans at the heart of decisions over the future of English football” and “prevent a Super League-style breakaway” from the top of the football pyramid.

It’s notable Starmer has visited Gillingham, Stafford Rangers, Worcester City, Grimsby Town and Crewe Alexandra so far this campaign.

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