09/04/2024 53comments  |  Jump to last

Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Masters, has penned an article for The Times in which he warns of unintended consequences should the Football Governance Bill become law and the domestic game be regulated independently.

Introduced last month, the Bill proposes the formation of an Independent Football Regulator (IFR), a standalone body that would be independent of both the Government and the football authorities, and would have three core objectives as explained in the manifesto: “to improve financial sustainability of clubs, ensure financial resilience across the leagues, and to safeguard the heritage of English football.”

Masters assured Parliament in January that he would not lobby against an independent regulator but the Premier League recently placed an advert on the Politico website to get their message in front of the eyes of the politicians who will vote on the Bill and its CEO has taken the opportunity and forum of one of the leading national newspapers to caution against the "unprecedented power over the sport" the IFR would have and his concern than it "would reduce our competitiveness and weaken the incredible appeal of the English game.

"We are asking MPs and peers to protect the game, including the Premier League, which not only helps sustain the football pyramid for the benefit of fans but also contributes £4 billion in annual tax revenues and creates 90,000 jobs across the country. The unintended consequences of regulation generate significant risks.

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"It is a risk that regulation will undermine the Premier League’s global success, thereby wounding the goose that provides English football’s golden egg.

"It is a risk to regulate an industry that has worked so hard to lead the world, especially when none of its competitors are subject to the same regulation.

"It is a risk to introduce uncertainty and red tape into an industry that relies heavily on a relatively small pool of investors, who often see club ownership as a passion project as well as a business. While the sport is buoyant today, it would be so easy to misstep and drive our world-leading investment elsewhere.

"It is a risk to bring politics and lobbying into football, especially when there are also genuine concerns regarding how truly independent the regulator will be.

"The government claims its regulator would not interfere on the pitch, but by intervening in the carefully calibrated distribution of revenues and upsetting competitive balance, it would already be doing exactly that.

"Finally, it is a risk to rush through complex legislation at the end of a parliament, especially when there is a danger of it unbalancing our national sport. The past tells us that rushed legislation is usually bad legislation. Parliamentarians need time to scrutinise this unprecedented plan, and I hope they will be as determined as I am to ensure that no harm is done to English football. Fundamentally, we all need to remember that the people who will suffer the most, if this goes wrong, are the very fans whose interests the legislation aims to protect."

Quotes sourced from The Times

Reader Comments (53)

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Stan Grace
1 Posted 09/04/2024 at 23:42:51
"Fundamentally, we all need to remember that the people who will suffer the most, if this goes wrong, are the very fans whose interests the legislation aims to protect."

If only he could abide by his own words when points are being deducted from football teams.

David Currie
2 Posted 09/04/2024 at 00:00:48
Never knew that Masters cared so much about the fans!

Wonder if he can get together with Sky and switch our Friday night Luton game to a Saturday afternoon!

Jack Convery
3 Posted 10/04/2024 at 02:38:45
In other words we have a cartel of clubs we look after and keep at the top of the Premier League because they bring in the big bucks. We make sure the rest can't get near them, to keep the TV revenues across the globe rolling in.

We make it exciting by using VAR to keep things close in the table, so the season goes to the end of the fixture list, before the Champions are known. Remember the Aguerro moment? That's how to do it.

The Premier League is not broken – it's just corrupt, so go away and leave us alone. Look what we've done to Everton. We are okay. We know how to regulate.

If he was in my back garden, I'd close the curtains. Self-important coward. Stand up to Man City and Chelsea, you shithouse, instead of going after the 'small clubs'. That slip of the tongue said it all. Gobshite.

Christine Foster
4 Posted 10/04/2024 at 02:53:36
Two-faced hypocrite.
Jamie Sweet
5 Posted 10/04/2024 at 03:55:54
A lot of what he writes could well be correct, but it holds absolutely no water coming from a guy has proven himself to be an incompetent, corrupt, horrible piece of shit.
Alan J Thompson
6 Posted 10/04/2024 at 05:38:45
"Weaken the appeal of the game"?

He's already done that by changing league positions with points deductions and indifference to certain clubs committing similar breaches and we won't go near even playing fields, equal conditions and treatments or dispensation of penalties.

Who knows, he might even get around to doing something about the poor refereeing which even FIFA recognizes when appointing officials for the World Cup.

Danny O’Neill
7 Posted 10/04/2024 at 06:36:49
Well, I tried to look at that subjectively. But all I can see is an attempt for self-preservation.

Appeal and supporters?Well the game has had appeal since it started, not since 1993. And the supporters have always been there before he probably showed any interest in the game.

And how he brings his "thoughts" for supporters into the equation just makes the blood boil.

I recently rewatched the interview with the DCMS as Masters was told "you don't know what you're doing" by one of the interviewers. What I hadn't realised previously is that Rick Parry was sat next to him. So we have a non football person and kopite calling the shots. You can't make this up.

Regulate them and make them accountable. They have no framework and are making it up on the fly.

That's got my morning off to a good start. Get them regulated. They are afraid of it.

Pete Neilson
8 Posted 10/04/2024 at 07:13:28
Don't bring politics and lobbying into football, says Masters with a straight face.

Newcastle and UK/Saudi government involvement, Man City and Foreign Office involvement, constant lobbying by the “big five (plus Spurs)” including Masters secret meeting with them to clear up the fallout from Operation Big Picture.

He's simply using Everton as an example of how the existing governance is tough enough. Shameful stuff, his credibility drained away months ago.

Steve Brown
9 Posted 10/04/2024 at 07:14:47

How about the carefully calibrated PSR sanctions process?

Appoint Andy Butnham as the independent regulator.

Derek Thomas
10 Posted 10/04/2024 at 07:49:00
The only thing it will harm is his cosy closed shop little fiefdom.

Also, If you throw in Government (of any stripe) Regulation, I fear that for every problem they 'fix' - they'll cause two more and make it worse...see Ofwat, etc.

Colin Glassar
11 Posted 10/04/2024 at 08:02:06
Masters is using us as a scapegoat to avoid an independent regulator being established. This is his last throw of the dice before he’s held to account.
Pete Neilson
12 Posted 10/04/2024 at 08:09:18
Master verb
past tense: mastered; past participle: mastered

1. for self preservation acquire and act on an unhealthy obsession, bordering on a vendetta, primarily to make an example of, and potentially destroy, an old ineptly run organisation, and to do so by using a supposedly independent arms length executor, leaving a trail of quasi legal rulings that might as well be tea leaves for all the consistency, objectivity and explanation of the imposed sanctions that they contain.

Example: “Manchester City were never mastered but Everton were mastered regularly.”
Origin: Richard Masters, Chief Executive of the Premier League.

Ernie Baywood
13 Posted 10/04/2024 at 09:11:15
Seems his concern is that a handful of English clubs won't be able to dominate Europe if we actually make football sustainable and competitive at the domestic level.

Sounds great to me. And, I assume, to about 86 professional football clubs.

Blow it up. It's not fit for purpose.

Brian Harrison
14 Posted 10/04/2024 at 10:22:28
This letter is a desperate attempt for Masters to cling on to power, nothing more, nothing less.

He says he is concerned that an independent regulator might not be independent, that's a bit rich coming from someone who refused to tell a Commons Select Committee the date on which the Premier League were going to bring Man City before the commission.

Masters talks about an independent regulator killing the golden goose, maybe he didn't notice how flat the spending was in January, and how clubs, even one as big as Chelsea, are having to sell players in June to help avoid a points deduction.

Also, we are hearing that Newcastle and Villa are in a similar position. So, if these clubs don't manage to sell players in June then next season, there will be maybe 4 or 5 clubs having to appear before commissions to decide what points deduction they might receive.

You have to ask yourself why was the P&S rules and UEFAs' FFP brought in?

The real reason was to protect the cartel, so no other nation state could take over a club, like happened at Man City, which threatens the cartel's monopoly. But in reality, what it has done is to stop those outside the Top 6 being allowed to spend in order to try and compete.

There has never been a Premier League club go into administration so it's not like these rules were brought in to stop unscrupulous owners spending money they didn't have and leaving a massive debt on the club. Also, as I have said many times, the bond scheme suggested by Gary Neville would stop any chance of that happening.

Finally for all the regulations, nothing has been done to help fans have a say, like in Germany, of how their club is run. The Premier League is littered with instances of fans unhappy with clubs' owners yet they are powerless to do anything about it.

The FAB is just a ruse to make fans believe they can have a voice in how their club is run, but we know Moshiri's interaction with our FAB is virtually non existent.

Quite ironic that all the journalists argued very passionately about no points deductions being metered out to the Super 6, yet despite Everton fans organising marches protesting at how badly our club was being run, I don't see that same vitriol from those same journalists.

Sorry for the extra long post.

Ted Roberts
15 Posted 10/04/2024 at 10:31:59
No apology necessary, Brian #14.

A really honest post and one that I support 100%, well said.

Derek Thomas
16 Posted 10/04/2024 at 10:50:38
Richard Masters – and by extension, The Premier League – making the Government's case for regulation of them on an almost daily basis.
Dave Abrahams
17 Posted 10/04/2024 at 10:58:44
What an appeal by Masters! Everything he wrote there made him what he was called by Christine @12.

Well done, girl. I'll say it again, Christine, you are wasted over there in New Zealand at the moment, get back here!

Sean Mitchell
18 Posted 10/04/2024 at 11:05:19
The man is an absolute prick.

Shite bias and shite one-eyed league.

Dave Abrahams
19 Posted 10/04/2024 at 11:06:13
Above @17. That should be Christine@ (4).

Sorry about that, I got interrupted by the gardener on a day like today when it hasn't stopped raining!

Tony Abrahams
20 Posted 10/04/2024 at 11:33:50
When Masters uses words like to 'protect the fans', he sounds like the late William Kenwright.

Everton are a club in limbo because the Government decided to sanction Russian Oligarchs, and the only people who are really suffering because of this is the very loyal Evertonians.

777 Partners are in their eighth month of trying to prove they have the funds to buy Everton, but not once has the league come out and criticised the owners, even though their perceived witch-hunt of Usmanov is definitely affecting the fans more than it will be affecting The Big Uzbek.

The media were correct about 8 April being the deadline for Everton to receive the outcome of the latest PSR enquiry, so let's just hope and pray that The Esk's date of 14 April being when MSP need to be repaid by is also correct🤞

Mike Hayes
21 Posted 10/04/2024 at 11:39:54
If there is to be an independent football regulator, then the first thing on the agenda should be to get rid of Masters and the shithouse Rick Parry, then ask the fans about how it should be monitored.

There's a plethora of very knowledgeable fans on here that know what they are talking about, Christine Foster being one – as soon as I come on here, I look to find her opinion on all posts.

Barry Rathbone
22 Posted 10/04/2024 at 11:42:15
"It is a risk that regulation will undermine the Premier League's global success"

If the game in its present state is success, Lord knows what failure looks like.

Ray Said
23 Posted 10/04/2024 at 11:47:44
I am sure the many, many millions of ordinary footy fans who 'take the Times' will have been waiting for this article.

It's Champions League quarter-finals and I noticed that two of the teams are from Germany which seem to have a pretty decent set of regulations that are valued by fans and that don't seem to have adversely affected the prestige of their league.

I would be happy if the Premier League lost its world leading status and global success and settled for being one of the top five leagues but with a better deal for fans.

Brent Stephens
24 Posted 10/04/2024 at 12:16:54
Masters coming out with his statement is bizarre. A car-crash like the TV interviews of Prince Andrew and Lady Mone. Stupidity unbounded.

Not enough that we've been through a whole series of car crashes:

1. Moshiri's reckless spending.

2. A set of PSR rules with serious flaws, especially but not only the "double jeopardy" built into the rules.

3. The Premier League starting proceedings against us to fend off the introduction of a Government Regulator.

4. Everton's bizarre decisions on allocation of interest-bearing loans and non-interest-bearing loans to, respectively, operational expenditure and the stadium.

5. Our attempt to pull the wool over the Premier League's eyes during the period we were in discussions with the Premier League before the first case was brought against us.

6. Our cock-up of a defence at that first hearing.

7. The extreme and repeated cases made against us by the Premier League during the various hearings.

8. The suspicions about the independence of the panels for those hearings (notwithstanding their withering dismissal of some of the Premier League's arguments).

9. The quirks of "case law" precedents and / but apparent contradictory decisions across these hearings.

And now this.

Charles Ward
25 Posted 10/04/2024 at 13:25:57
I wouldn't put too much faith in a Government appointed regulator. Just look at OFWAT and OFSTED. Having said that, Masters sounds just like one of those deregulation tossers like Rees-Mogg.

And yes, German fans have more say in how their clubs are run — but it hasn't stopped Bayern having a virtual monopoly on winning the Bundesliga.

Brian Wilkinson
26 Posted 10/04/2024 at 13:45:33
This is tongue -n-cheek before anyone thinks it is genuine.

I received an email today, that was sent in error and had me cc'd in the email to Man City:

Dear Manchester City,

Thank you so much for agreeing a meeting with ourselves, at some point in the Autumn. Please let me know at the earliest opportunity if you cannot make this appointment and I will schedule another meeting in the next decade or so.

We will not be able to schedule you in for next season as we have further charges to hand out to Everton, Forest, Leicester, possibly Everton again after Xmas. We are closely looking at Villa as well, should they finish in the Top 4, then possibly Everton again in the spring.

I would like to say how touched we were, with you agreeing a meeting and will make sure your co-operation is taken into account which could see all your points deductions wiped out, due to acting in good faith, should you receive any sanctions.

In the meantime, if there is anything we can do, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Lots of love,

Richard Masters xxx

Michael Lynch
27 Posted 10/04/2024 at 13:53:37
Masters is the wrong person to be saying this - his credibility is zero. He sounds like Rishi Sunak - a man who knows his power is waning but is desperately trying to convince people that he's on our side and replacing him will be even worse.

In my opinion, he's not wrong. In that he's talking about the global brand that is the Premier League, and the global fanbase. The product is incredibly popular and lucrative, without doubt the best league in the world if you measure these things by audience size and revenue generated. And, if you look at the two games last night involving English teams, it really is a fantastic product.

But we – Everton fans, and the fans of 85 other English clubs – are a different matter. We're just the soundtrack, the annoying but necessary idiots who keep the "pyramid" intact, so the Super Clubs can fight it out between them but still have to play against the riff-raff to fill the TV slots.

Masters isn't talking about us when he talks about protecting the fans, he's talking about the global fans who take their pick from six clubs in England and three or four from the rest of Europe.

So he's right in a way. The government will fuck up his lucrative global product and try to make it more open. We want that, but the vast majority of the fans of the Premier League around the world don't give a fuck.

Rob Jones
28 Posted 10/04/2024 at 13:55:33
Even if the regulator doesn't turn out to be what people want, if it acts as a counter-balance to the likes of this prick, it'll still be a net positive.
Mark Taylor
29 Posted 10/04/2024 at 13:56:08
Looking at Masters's comments, I had to check the date but no, it is 10 April.

My own personal favourite from the above is promising not to lobby against a regulator.

Runner-up is the comment about 'upsetting competitive balance'.

Maybe it's a masterclass in irony?

Brendan McLaughlin
30 Posted 10/04/2024 at 13:57:56
Ha ha, Brian,

Although the funniest bit is that you felt you had to flag up at the outset that it wasn't genuine.

Tony Abrahams
31 Posted 10/04/2024 at 14:08:30
It wouldn't surprise me if Masters turned up in some capacity helping to form a breakaway European Super League.

It's coming imo. I read some people writing that The American owners of Liverpool would love a one-team city, but my own opinion is that Liverpool FC have already outgrown our city.

So now it's up to Everton to go and reclaim a lot of local support once the ownership is resolved. Then we move into the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, hopefully with a clean slate.

Ian Horan
32 Posted 10/04/2024 at 14:12:17
There's already a football regulator "Fuck-Off Twat!!” aka Masters. We are dammed if we do, dammed if we don't.

Part of me fancies a few years in the Championship, talking about football away days and rivalries instead of corruption and elitism, the Sky Sly Six love-in.

Brian Wilkinson
33 Posted 10/04/2024 at 14:17:47
You never know on here, Brendan, 99% will know the sarcasm and tongue-in-cheek of it mate.
Dave Abrahams
34 Posted 10/04/2024 at 14:24:18
Brian (344),

And sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that your post was a photocopy of the real letter!

Brian Wilkinson
35 Posted 10/04/2024 at 14:27:09
Ha ha true Dave.
Brendan McLaughlin
36 Posted 10/04/2024 at 14:29:12
Dave A's in the 1% club.
Anthony Hawkins
37 Posted 10/04/2024 at 14:36:29
@Brian - who touched whom? Could explain part of it. ;)
Jay Harris
38 Posted 10/04/2024 at 15:23:10
I'm amazed there haven't been more calls for his resignation.

Anybody that is so two-faced and corrupt surely can't hold down a position like that.

In fact, put Andy Burnham in as the regulator and let him choose the chief executive.

Eric Myles
40 Posted 10/04/2024 at 16:00:38
"The government claims its regulator would not interfere on the pitch, but by intervening in the carefully calibrated distribution of revenues and upsetting competitive balance, it would already be doing exactly that."

Masters should be hung drawn and quartered for this disingenuous statement.

"Carefully calibrated distribution of revenues", "competitive balance" my arse.

The set up is to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. And any 'small team' that thinks it can get above its station by trying to improve their lot by say, building a stadium to improve revenues, well there's PSR regulations that can prevent them from doing that.

And oh, we're going to change those PSR regulations to make the whole system even more inequitably in favour of the rich and punish the poor.

Kevin Edward
41 Posted 10/04/2024 at 16:27:14
‘Goose that laid the golden egg?'

The egg has cracked and is starting to smell a bit; his Goose should be cooked on 'Masterschef'.

He's going to be minted whatever happens, collecting cash from the global brand followers.

So probably not too concerned that some ToffeeWebbers are calling him a knob and laughing at his audacity.

Lynn Maher
42 Posted 10/04/2024 at 16:54:41
Please write to, or email your MP regarding this matter. I did this a while ago after our first points deduction, and watching that smarmy Masters in front of the CMS committee.

My MP is fully in favour of the independent regulator. She actually said this is a once-in-a-generation chance to reset football.

If enough fans do this, we may finally get rid of this moron.

David Currie
43 Posted 10/04/2024 at 17:47:09
Michael 26, Spot on,

Those global fans would switch the TV set off if their carefully chosen team ever became lower than Top 4 or 5.

Tony 29,

If they have outgrown the city, does that mean they may move on to something bigger?? Maybe they can go and play in London or New York or Saudi???

Tony Abrahams
44 Posted 10/04/2024 at 18:05:44
What a very nice thought that is, David!

The scale of the support for Liverpool FC does now seem to be absolutely incredible though and I get the feeling that going to Anfield has now become a bucket lister for so many people who probably don't even know that much about the beautiful game.

Where do they garner most of their support from? Scandinavia, Ireland, or southern England? Or maybe all three? The amount of people who want to go to Anfield nowadays and are prepared to pay a massive amount of money to achieve this makes me smile at the irony of the song that is often sung at that stadium.

Fuck the Tories? The place must be full of them when you hear about the prices that they pay!

Charles Ward
45 Posted 10/04/2024 at 18:39:21
Tony, I see that RS fan groups are protesting about 2% rise in season tickets.

Dread to think what an increase we'll see to pay off the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock?

Mark Murphy
46 Posted 10/04/2024 at 18:54:27

I'm a Christian guy who likes to think that I'm grounded and accept all, whatever their race creed or politics. But I hate them cunts since 1985.

Everything changed that year. Normal banter went out the window. The friendly rivalry died forever.

Justice for the 39
Koppites are Gobshites

Paul Birmingham
47 Posted 10/04/2024 at 19:37:19
What a masterclass in bullshit, the ironic desperate crys from a poisonous arsehole.

The man has by his actions warranted his own demise in Premier League football.

Hopefully very soon.

Brent Stephens
48 Posted 10/04/2024 at 19:37:49
Lynn #35,

"My MP is fully in favour of the independent regulator. She actually said this is a once-in-a-generation chance to reset football."

The Bill will need to have a very quick and easy passage through Parliament if it's to be passed into law before Parliament rises for the summer recess on 24 July (somebody ease Bill's passage!).

It has 5 stages in the Commons and 5 in the Lords to go through. Not impossible if it's uncontentious but Parliament is in recess until 15 April, so no business before then. May Bank Holiday recess 3 to 6 May. Whitsun recess 24 May to 2 June. Summer recess 24 July to September.

MPs sit so little, do they have much to do? They can't have piles!

Christine Foster
49 Posted 10/04/2024 at 19:39:27
Depending on your perspective position, the Premier League is a fantastic success or the death knell of competition. They have purposely and deliberately created a super league within the Premier League that ensures those clubs have access to money, the best players and skewed decision making.

The other 14 clubs who make up the competition are irrelevant to the executive, merely the means to a lucrative end for the other 6.

No-one begrudges wealth creation, but to claim that a regulator would damage the success of the Premier League is a sham, because it is more likely to ensure that the arrogance of Masters is countered with regulation.

His lobbying against an independent regulator, something he told a parliamentary committee he would not do, is shameful in its arrogance and sheer hypocrisy.

Not one of the big 6 has made any statements about PSR and the Everton situation or the impact on the game in general because, quite simply, it doesn't affect them, and if threatened, the rules are changed or skewed to prevent competition.

The league is anti-competitive in its structure, it's rules and operation. Advantage for years in on-field decision-making has always been a thorn in every supporter's side, now, unashamedly even the sham of any Financial Fair Play has dropped its own deceit in abandoning the joke that its title alludes too, fairness.

Divisive derision abounds with some clubs trying and failing to dent the steel ceiling (glass gave the allusion it could be broken), wealthy owners handcuffed, Everton, Newcastle, Villa, Leicester... money is of little use if you are not allowed to spend as freely as the ring-fenced six.

There is no future in the present format of the Premier League, no matter how successful those 6 teams are in Europe, no matter how many trophies they win. The deliberate exclusion of 14 clubs being given the opportunity to compete at the same level, has gone. Shamelessly, it has been stolen from them on the drip.

The pie has been divided up with preference to a guaranteed greedy few and any resemblance to fairness has been replaced with accusations of competitive advantage.

Having already given the greatest known in-built competitive advantage to 6 clubs, this Executive doubles down on the miniscule discrepancies of alleged advantage whilst enshrining it for the few.

Corruption is not merely an accusation, the game is rigged, flawed, beautiful but ugly. Its demise is overdue but the 6 will fight it tooth and nail.

Danny O’Neill
50 Posted 10/04/2024 at 19:58:27
Tony, I have to live amongst them down here.

It winds me up as I end up educating them on Liverpool more than they know. I feel ashamed.

Mark, I'll never forgive them.

David Currie
51 Posted 10/04/2024 at 20:52:16
Tony 37,

There is a load of them now here in Southern California; back in the day, you never came across any. Winning has meant a lot of Yanks have switched from Man Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea.

In all my years here spent on the fields, I've never met one Yank who likes EFC!!

Si Cooper
52 Posted 10/04/2024 at 00:00:41
I still don't entirely agree with the view that Masters has a list of six specific clubs that he actively promoted.

What matters to him is that the top EPL teams can compete / dominate in Europe. As long as that happens, the Premier League retains the status he wants.

What he won't do, is anything that could cripple one or more of the currently successful clubs.

He will, of course, shamelessly ruin any currently less successful or already damaged club to try to claim to be an effective regulator and run-off any truly independent regulator who might wreck his desired status quo.

Paul Birmingham
54 Posted 13/04/2024 at 08:56:49
The latest threat of yet another points deduction related to stadium interest payments, makes you wonder when Masters's playbook is done. he and his committee are framing Everton for every cost transaction.

Surely they should have this list of charges drawn up and done in one hit. Creative and deliberate review of all of Everton's financial obligations.

He will drag us to the end of the season and he will try and get Everton sent down after the last game.

I have zero trust in the Premier League board and Masters is a version of Caligula, framing anyone else but himself to preserve his pathetic stature and eroding kudos.

Time for Andy Burnham to join forces, with the Everton KC.

Paul Birmingham
55 Posted 14/04/2024 at 08:16:24
I pray for the day Everton, can wake up one morning and feel free from the clasp of the Premier League PSR hit squad. BAU... that would be nice.

Without a doubt, the ex Chairman, now decreased, since the day he took over from Peter Johnson, played out his own corrupt fairytale and, along with Moshiri, has accelerated the business mismanagement of EFC.

The Premier League, and Masters's Cronies, of "impartial, non-conscious bias," warped commissions are taking the piss at every opportunity.

Everton will survive this sketch and I hope their KC and, via Parliament, Andy Burnham, turns the focus onto Masters and his corrupt operation.

Everton have done a crime, been punished, but stringing out the charges in view of interest on a new stadium build amongst other matters raises the questions of his conscious bias against Everton and the legitimacy of his objectives.

Without doubt for the darkest era in Everton's history, and for me the game is waning in appeal, each passing week.

Simple game it is not, and until Man City and Chelsea are served punishment, the stench of Masters won't go away.

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