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Soccer’s servants

The Blair government has done a lot for soccer, and has got almost nothing in return. It's time for a new deal

By Simon Kuper   March 2001

When labour took office in 1997 we heard a great deal about the interest in football of the “regular guys” now in power. Four years on, Labour politicians don’t talk so much about football any more. However, in office they have been the game’s devoted servants.

Governments have always gone out of their way for football, but this one is friendlier than most. At the EU’s Nice summit Tony Blair and Gerhard Schr?der broke off from discussing qualified majority voting to persuade the European Commission not to abolish football transfer fees, because of their importance to smaller clubs.

The antiquated…

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