Leeds: Chief executive Angus Kinnear says some review calls 'Maoist'

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Independent regulator will strengthen English football - Tracey Crouch MP

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 revealed last week.

Kinnear said he supported many of the review's recommendations but took exception to two key issues, which he said were "as flawed as they are radical".

"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," he said.

The Great Leap Forward was a campaign led by Mao Zedong's Chinese Communist Party from 1958 to 1962 that led to the largest famine in human history and the deaths of millions of people.

Kinnear added: "Redistribution of wealth will simply favour the lowest common denominator. Clubs who excel in recruitment, player development or commercial enterprise will be punished, while less capable ownership will be rewarded for incompetence."

Key among the recommendations from Tracey Crouch MP's fan-led review is a move to establish an independent regulator for the English game, a move the government has already "endorsed in principle".

Kinnear said it is hard to see the "value" a regulator would have.

LISTEN: Is it time for football to put fans before money?

In his programme notes for Leeds' Premier League fixture with Crystal Palace on Tuesday, Kinnear said some of the 47 recommendations - such as increased supporter consultation, renewed focus for the women's game and improving equality and diversity - will receive "almost unequivocal support".

But he added: "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.

"It is hard to see the value an independent regulator would have added to the perceived issues.

"On the recommendations around financial redistribution, it seems to have been conveniently forgotten that the Premier League distributed £1.5bn to the wider football pyramid in the last three years, with a further commitment for another £1.6bn in the next three.

"I don't believe there is any industry where its biggest entities donate at anywhere near that level to both their aspiring competitors and their community.

"There is already a 4% levy on transfer fees which is distributed between a player pension fund and academy investment. Football is a private sector business and has flourished that way."

We won't be resistant to change - Premier League CEO Richard Masters on independent regulator proposals

Under the proposals put forward by the fan-led review, the new independent regulator (IREF) would oversee financial regulation in football and establish new owners' and directors' tests.

The 47 recommendations can be condensed into 10 major points, which also touch on the women's game, financial distribution through the pyramid and fan consultation on key off-field decisions at clubs.

Former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville has been an advocate for the creation of an independent regulator and said the fan-led review was "an opportunity for the game to come together and unify instead of acting in self-interest and greed".

Last week Premier League chief executive Richard Masters told BBC Sport the organisation is "open" to a regulator but added that there were some "pretty radical proposals there that need to be thought about".

Kinnear is the third senior figure from a Premier League club to criticise the review.

His view has been echoed by the likes of Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish, who said some suggestions could create "a grave danger of huge unintended consequences that could make the game worse in the long run".

Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow stressed a need to be "very careful as we contemplate reform that it does not ultimately damage the game".

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