Many prominent Premier League clubs petitioned the UK government to restrict nation-state governments to purchase ownership in English teams.

A new independent soccer authority may soon take up this request as part of their job. The United Kingdom’s government, meantime, has assured that it would arrive “when parliamentary time allows”, according to The Guardian.

English clubs contact UK government over nation-state ownership

During a consultation process involving several participants in the English soccer ecosystem, the demand for these ownership limitations gathered momentum. Instead of waiting for the Premier League to submit its own arguments, several teams are said to have gone ahead and lobbied the government on the matter of state ownership.

The report adds that future regulators must determine whether or not potential shareholders and board members are qualified to hold such positions. The government said that feedback from the survey showed broad support for including a question on “ethics and integrity” in the owners and directors test (ODT).

Several parties contested the scope of public ownership in ODTs. The Premier League’s last ODT update did not address nation-state ownership. Now, it is part of the test.

No more cases like Newcastle?

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) made headlines by purchasing Newcastle. Fans began to complain about the league’s treatment of some of its teams. However, further scrutiny rolled in following the PGA and PIF’s ownership of Liv Golf in the United States.

It was all despite the Premier League’s assertion that it had received “legally binding guarantees” against Saudi Arabia taking control of Newcastle. According to official documents, Yasir al-Rumayyan, the governor of PIF and chair of Newcastle, is a minister in the Saudi government. PIF is “a sovereign instrumentality of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

Several teams in the Premier League began to have reservations about the promises when these findings surfaced. Specifics of the amended ODT from the regulator come out in the near future.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Sportimage