Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Football: Scudamore has 'no issue' with foreign takeovers

The Premier League chief executive, Richard Scudamore, is unconcerned by the number of English clubs being taken over by foreign owners - provided strict eligibility criteria are met.

Chelsea, Manchester United, Aston Villa and Portsmouth have been sold to non-British investors and Arsenal and West Ham have been linked with deals.
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"We have an ownership model, as do other businesses in this country, that allows those who have the money to come in and purchase assets in this country," Scudamore told BBC Radio Five Live's Sports-week. "We have to be realistic. This league has attracted foreign players, managers and investment. So ultimately it will attract foreign owners.

"The issue isn't who the owners are, their country of origin or the colour of their skin. The issue is how they conduct themselves and how we regulate what goes on. I have no issue that at the present rate of investment, in five years' time half of the Premiership clubs will be owned by foreign investors, as long as they pass the proper tests.

"We have a very good Department of Trade and Industry. There is a whole lot of regulation that goes on before anyone can take over any business in this country.

"That includes checking out where the money is coming from. We've put in a few new regulations on top of that. The underlying inference in a lot of commentary is that we don't like foreign owners or the colour of their skin. We are not going to go down that route. "I don't want to see a Premier League that is entirely stocked with foreign players. What we want to see is the best of English talent matched against the best of foreign talent."

This article has been copyrighted by the Independent 2006


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