PREMIER LEAGUE clubs have agreed a clampdown on rogue owners – including a formal human rights test for the first time.
Measures that would have seen the automatic expulsion of Roman Abramovich when he was placed on the Government sanctions list last year were formally approved by the 20 club chiefs at their latest “shareholder” meeting.
The new rules, to start immediately, will also see the Government’s Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations used as an “objective” test on potential owners.
That would have NO impact on the Saudi ownership of Newcastle or Qatari Sheikh Jassim’s potential takeover of Manchester United, although all current owners and directors would be assessed on an annual basis.
But in a significant move, club bosses did agree to extend the list of criminal offences which will result in disqualification.
And League leaders have agreed to publish the names of any individuals on a new banned list, updated every season.
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A Prem spokesman said: “This will include offences involving violence, corruption, fraud, tax evasion and hate crimes.”
In further moves, the League’s ruling Board will now have the power to prevent any new directors or owners from being appointed if they are under investigation for a “disqualifying event”.
Potential owners will also face an obligation to meet a published list of “Acquisition Materials” that must be provided to the League as part of the due diligence process.
The clampdown was part of a series of alterations to the current owners and directors test, ahead of the arrival of the Government’s proposed Independent Football Regulator.
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Those measures, agreed “unanimously” by club bosses, will also see any individual with a 25 per cent stake in one club forbidden to hold more than 9.9 per cent of another Prem outfit, reducing the threshold for what is deemed “control” of a club from the current 30 per cent.
It also sees club chief executives brought under the remit of the test, along with all senior club officials who sign critical regulatory documents.
League chiefs will also have broader powers to take action against directors involved in insolvency actions.
Anyone banned by the Charity Commission, FCA, Prudential Conduct Authority, HMRC and Gambling Commission will now also face the boot from Prem club roles.
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