Politicians curry favour with fan proposal
Having presided over record levels of public debt, you might think it's a bit rich for Gordon Brown to start lecturing football clubs on their finances.
But there's an election to be won and while some might argue there are more serious issues for the government to address, football is a good way for the Prime Minister to show he is a man of the people.
That's certainly what opposition parties and the Premier League thought of new proposals to give fans the right to buy shares in their teams. "Blatant electioneering" howled the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.
Supporters could be given the chance to buy a stake in their club under radical proposals being considered by Labour
"Leave us alone and concentrate on the Football Association's failings", said the Premier League.
But before you dismiss the idea as pie in the sky, there might be more to this than a cheap election stunt sketched out on the back of a fag packet.
Government lawyers are understood to be considering a scheme to force the FA to change its constitution, which would in turn cause member clubs to offer fans the right to buy shares in their team.
If they don't they will threaten to withdraw £35m of annual government funding or, even worse, pull support for the highly prized basis of the sport's economic boom - namely the right to collectively sell their television rights.
What Brown's team is proposing is a state intervention with few parallels, except perhaps the bailout of the banking sector.
They would also require supporters groups to come up with huge sums of money and an amendment to insolvency law - which means that in the event of a football club going bust, fans would get first refusal on a takeover ahead of alternative bids which potentially offer more money to creditors.
There are a lot of hurdles to clear - not least the election itself.
But for a Government which has always sided with the Premier League's free market model, the proposals are a sign that patience is running out with football's economic arrogance.