Former Hearts chairman George Foulkes to lead inquiry into running of European football

PACE appoint former Tynecastle chief to investigate
George Foulkes will lead a European football inquiry.George Foulkes will lead a European football inquiry.
George Foulkes will lead a European football inquiry.

The former Hearts chairman George Foulkes is to lead a wide-ranging inquiry into the running of football across Europe.

He has been appointed Rapporteur by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which is conducting the investigation.

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Lord Foulkes, 78, is a long-standing representative on PACE and has led a number of previous enquiries. He served as Hearts chairman from April 2004 until October 2005.

The inquiry intends to look into many different areas of European football. It will examine financial gaps between clubs and how to achieve a fairer allocation of resources, plus a possible reform of the transfer system and agency rules.

It will also assess how to encourage leagues and clubs to improve social responsibilities, how to protect children, promote the role of women in football and strengthen bonds between football bodies and public authorities.

Foulkes said: “This inquiry comes at a critical time for European football. While coronavirus poses a major challenge, wider issues including the rights of young people, women and the place of football in the wider community must also continue to be addressed.”

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Foulkes will meet with UEFA and FIFA and consult widely with other interested bodies. The PACE committee dealing with sport will also hold evidence sessions.

It is expected that a full report with recommendations will be completed and published next year, depending on circumstances surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

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