Blackpool boss Neil Critchley supports new football regulator

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Blackpool boss Neil Critchley has added his support to calls for an independent regulator in football.


Tomorrow the Seasiders visit a Derby County club mired in off-field strife.

Wayne Rooney’s side prop up the Championship on just one point, having been docked 21 points this season. The Rams, who are under the control of administrators, remain on the lookout for a potential buyer but the process has been a long and frustrating one for Derby supporters.

Neil Critchley expressed his sympathy for this weekend's opponents Derby County in their current plight

Neil Critchley expressed his sympathy for this weekend’s opponents Derby County in their current plight

Critchley has a great deal of sympathy for the crisis-hit club, who appear destined to be relegated to League One.

Pool’s head coach said: “It’s something that I’ve obviously never experienced and something I don’t want to experience, if I’m being honest.

“This has been going on for a number of months now and the people at Derby will want this situation to be resolved rather quickly.

“I don’t know the workings behind the scenes and what’s happening with the administrators, but it’s been in the press about potential buyers and so on.

“I don’t know where they are with that but I, for one, hope they get it sorted quickly because you always want your fate to be decided on the pitch over 46 games.”

Calls for independent regulation of the English game have strengthened in recent weeks following the publishing of the government’s fan-led review.

Tracy Crouch, who oversaw the process, recommended that the government create a regulator to ensure clubs are protected long-term.

A regulator would have the power to oversee financial regulation and could establish a new ‘fit and proper persons’ test to replace the existing system.

The idea for independent regulation was first mooted by Blackpool fans four years ago, when they felt they had nowhere to turn in their struggle against the Oystons’ ownership of their club.

Critchley added: “There’s been a lot in the press recently about a regulatory board being introduced to govern football, which I think would be a good idea to stop what happened to us – or what could have happened to us – and the Burys and the Macclesfields.

“That can’t happen and it should not happen.

“Derby hopefully don’t follow that path. Hopefully someone will come in and buy that club.

“It might get worse before it gets better for them but at least they’ll have a football club to support.”

Blackpool could have Gary Madine back in contention for tomorrow’s trip to Pride Park after the striker missed last weekend’s home defeat to Luton Town with a groin injury.

Luke Garbutt (knee), Oliver Casey (ankle) and Kevin Stewart (ankle) have all made good progress in their recoveries too, although they are unlikely to be involved this weekend.