It is probably the first sight of floodlights that hooks most youngsters, or maybe the smell of freshly cut grass or pies and Bovril.

But whatever it is, attending your first live football match as a child is normally the start of a lifelong relationship with very few ever straying from that original dalliance.

Over the course of a lifetime there are normally far more low points than good ones for the average fan, but we probably wouldn’t have it any other way.

However, in recent years football has become the preserve of the super-rich clubs which have all been fattened by the riches of the Champions League.

It means that most leagues in Europe are effectively two or three horse races, with the exception of France and Germany where only one club seems to ever win.

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England has six big clubs who effectively win everything, while here in Scotland the Old Firm have dominated things for nearly four decades – and a long time before that too.

Over the same period many long-established clubs in the UK have gone into administration or even disappeared forever with greedy and useless owners tending to be at fault.

But now the UK government seems to have become an unlikely saviour for grassroots clubs south of the border after announcing plans for a new independent football regulator.

The regulator was recommended by a fan-led review last year and one of their primary tasks will be to block clubs such as Manchester Utd, Liverpool and Chelsea from joining a breakaway European Super League.

It is also designed to prevent historic clubs going out of business, as well as giving fans greater input and a new owners’ and directors’ test.

The significant move aims to protect English football’s cultural heritage.

Before launching its white paper yesterday, the UK government said: “The English game remains one of the UK’s greatest cultural exports, with clubs and leagues around the world modelling themselves on its success.” 

A new licensing system will also require every club – from the Premier League to the National League – to prove it has a sustainable business model implemented by responsible custodians as part of an application process.

If clubs are not granted a licence by the regulator, they will not be allowed to compete.

Another key power of the regulator will be ensuring fans have a greater say in their club’s strategic decisions.

Moves by owners which may prove controversial – for example, changing the name, badge and traditional kit colours, or moving stadium – will not be allowed to be made before consulting fans.

It will “put fans back at the heart of how football is run”, says the government.

The test to determine the suitability of owners and directors of English clubs has long been under scrutiny.

The move has been widely welcomed by most in the game but particularly fans who are getting pretty fed up with the state of the game at the moment, which increasingly resembles an expensively assembled closed shop for the super-rich.

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The top end of the game is certainly a million miles away from its traditional working class roots as billionaire Russians, Americans and Middle Eastern petrodollars take-over clubs and move them into a different stratosphere.    

It is often said that the soul of football is now lost as youngsters no longer want to go and watch their local teams and instead walk about in Arsenal or Manchester City tops like the  stars on satellite TV.

But what the regulator cannot do is reconnect young fans to their local teams and start a lifelong support that many clubs desperately need just to survive.

Maybe Scottish football should consider a regulator too as there is no doubt that many clubs are on their knees financially and the game is far too dominated by the Old Firm.

A better distribution of TV money is one idea that is regularly put forward and while it is a valid call, there is no doubt that Rangers and Celtic bring in most of the money so they should get a bigger share.

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That will never change. To be frank, an Aberdeen v Kilmarnock game will never have same global draw as a Glasgow derby – handing millions more to clubs won’t make games like that any more appealing.

As an Aberdeen fan, there are many changes I would like to see. 

Primarily, I would ensure that no non-league clubs would be allowed to compete in national cups after the Darvel debacle last month.

In fact I would ban every other club from all cup competitions – but even that might not guarantee a spot in the final given the haplessness of the team.