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Premier League ready to begin human rights record scrutiny for potential new owners

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Premier League ready to begin human rights record scrutiny for potential new owners

The Premier League is reportedly considering adding scrutiny of any new owners human rights records before they take control of a club in the English top flight, the Guardian report.

Questions over the ethical nature of club ownership has reared been front and centre twice already in the 2021-22 season.

Firstly, Newcastle United were taken over by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, which has ties to the royal family of a country that has been staging an ‘intervention’ in Yemen since 2015 and stands accused of human rights atrocities in the province.

Premier League ready to begin human rights record scrutiny for potential new owners

Crystal Palace fans display a banner attacking the Premier League for approving Newcastle’s Saudi-backed takeover  at Selhurst Park on October 23, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images).

Meanwhile, Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich’s impending sale of Chelsea as he looks to pre-empt sanctions made by the UK government on wealthy Russians with connections to Vladimir Putin has raised the question again. Abramovich had reported close ties to Russia’s dictator even well after he took charge of the London club in 2003.

Premier League considering rule change

Now, in an extreme case of ‘too little, too late’, the Premier League governing bodies are considering changing the ownership test to include human rights issues. The Guardian report that ‘the Premier League is considering adding a human rights component to its owners’ and directors’ test as it conducts a review of the controversial regulation’.

Of course, the problem for the Premier League is that there are very few ‘ethical’ billionaires, and reducing the amount of money available to clubs via owners will decrease the overall attractiveness of the product that has now become a global seller. However, given global events in the last week, the governing body may be forced to have a long-overdue reconsideration of what they deem acceptable.

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Aminat Aigbe

Aminat Aigbe is the first lady of afronaija and a very good blogger ( Original Mrs AfroNaija )

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