Premier League consider new owner rules

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Football News

The Premier League would demand proof of funds from prospective club owners under a plan being considered to avoid the sort of crisis that has engulfed Portsmouth.

The 'means and abilities' test was discussed at Thursday's meeting of club chairmen and will be voted on at the summer AGM in June.

The test would try to ensure that owners have enough money to sustain a club in the top flight and avoid such situations as Portsmouth's where they have become the first Premier League club to go into administration.

Prospective owners would also be required to meet the Premier League in person before the takeover was ratified. Portsmouth previous owner Ali Al-Faraj ignored all invitations to meet the Premier League and never even visited Fratton Park.

The new rules would toughen up the existing 'fit and proper person' test for owners and directors.

Under new rules brought in this season clubs are already required to provide financial information for the year ahead and proof that they are not in debt to HM Revenue and Customs or to 'football creditors'.

Meanwhile, the Premier League insist changing the parachute payments for relegated clubs from two to four years would only be done with the agreement of the Football League. The parachute payments would total £48million over four years if new Premier League proposals are agreed.

The new system would come into effect from the end of the next season but the Premier League have insisted no final decision was taken at Thursday's chairmen's meeting.

The league said in a statement: "This issue was not discussed in any detail or voted on. Any decision regarding the future structure of parachute payments cannot be taken by the Premier League alone and must be agreed with the Football League.

"The Premier League is currently in positive discussions with the Football League on a number of issues; however an announcement will only be made once these have reached a satisfactory conclusion."

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