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Boardroom rules need tightening

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and Supporters Direct merged to become the FSA in 2019 – so this page may contain hyperlinks that do not work and/or have missing files. Our archived pages are not maintained and will not be updated.

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The Football Supporters’ Federation is calling on the Premier League to clarify the current position regarding its Fit and Proper Persons Test for potential owners of Premier League clubs.

“A motion passed at the FSF’s Fans’ Parliament has already called on the government to safeguard football clubs’ role as part of our country’s cultural heritage – and the time has come for the game’s authorities to show their hand.”

Recent developments at Manchester City have brought this thorny issue into sharp focus, and FA Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore has stated:

“If we feel the rule has been breached we will invoke it. We will not turn a blind eye to issues of a serious nature. As always, we will take advice from the Home Office and the Foreign Office. We are not experts in law in every country, so it is wise to speak with the people who are.”

But supporters want to know what rules currently apply, and what sanctions are available to the Premier League? There must be clarity on how much backing the Premier League would actually receive from government if it invoked punishment.

FSF Deputy Chair, Jon Keen, said:

“At the present time it is not clear to us what powers the Premier League has, can it force owners who have transgressed its rules to sell up?

“That a situation like this has unfolded at Manchester City clearly indicates current rules and guidelines in place regarding Fit and Proper Persons Tests aren’t doing the job they were supposedly designed to do. The whole situation is in need of urgent review.

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