Starmer rules out Premier League transfer tax

A 10% levy on transfers, proposed by the fan-led review of football governance, will not be part of Labour’s plans for reforming the game.

Sir Keir Starmer ruled out Labour introducing a levy on Premier League transfers
Sir Keir Starmer ruled out Labour introducing a levy on Premier League transfers (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Labour will not introduce a 10% tax on Premier League transfers, Sir Keir Starmer has said after reports his party was considering the move.

Shadow culture and sport secretary Thangam Debbonaire sparked reports Labour could introduce the transfer levy on Monday when she said she would “look at everything” proposed in the recent fan-led review of football governance.

But on Tuesday morning, Sir Keir killed off the idea, telling LBC’s Nick Ferrari it was “not part of our plans for football governance”.

Asked about introducing the levy, the Labour leader said: “Let me just kill it dead, we’re not looking at that.”

Dame Tracey Crouch (Roger Harris/UK Parliament)
Dame Tracey Crouch (Roger Harris/UK Parliament) (Roger Harris/UK Parliament/PA)

The 10% levy was proposed in the fan-led review chaired by former Conservative MP Dame Tracey Crouch in 2021.

Sir Keir later suggested Ms Debbonaire did not mean to highlight the 10% Premier League transfer levy as being an option for Labour’s football governance bill.

Asked why his minister did not kill the idea the previous day, he told reporters: “What was put to her yesterday was whether we’d look again at the Tracey Crouch report and the recommendations in it.

“And she said, yes, as a general proposition. Now within that you had this specific issue. So she wasn’t really meaning to highlight that particular one.”

Described as a “solidarity transfer levy”, it would have taxed transfers between Premier League clubs and between Premier League clubs and overseas sides, with the money being redistributed further down the football pyramid.

The review estimated a 10% levy would have raised £160 million per year between 2016 and 2021, enough to fund a grant to ensure League One and Two clubs broke even – along with grassroots playing facilities for adults and children.

Labour’s manifesto contains a commitment to “reform football governance”, giving fans more of a say in how their clubs are run and introducing an independent regulator – another of Dame Tracey’s proposals.