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Opinion

Why the Premier League can’t be trusted

2 months ago
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Like most football supporters, I view the state of football in this country through the prism of my own team, which is why I feel very cynical about the ability of the Premier League to regulate itself.

The lack of transparency and the drawn out nature of our proposed Newcastle United takeover, makes you question whether the Premier League has a hidden agenda.

Where the Premier League do have clear rules and regulations, such as the ones about holding regular fan consultations, there seem to be no consequences if, like Mike Ashley, you break those rules.

With the Government now implementing a review of how football is run in this country, the Premier League have obviously decided they need to act and have set up something called the Owner’s Charter. The Owner’s Charter will ‘reaffirm the values and expectations placed on clubs and their owners, committing them to the core principles of the Premier League.’

Clubs and their owners will ‘protect football’s open pyramid, principles of sporting merit and the integrity of the football community, while breaches of these rules and the Charter will be subject to significant sanctions.’

It might be just me but this sounds just like typical corporate bullsh.t and an attempt to fend off the possibility of future regulations being imposed upon the Premier League.

This impression was confirmed when I heard the Aston Villa chief executive, Christian Purslow, talking about the Owner’s Charter on the radio. After extolling the virtues of The Premier League he stated that it was exceedingly rare ‘for owners and decision makers to have ignored the obvious wishes of fans and their community.’

As Newcastle United fans, we know that Mike Ashley has been ignoring the obvious wishes of the fans for at least the last decade and Manchester United fans have been at odds with their owners for a similar period, as the Glazers have loaded debt onto their club, whilst extracting large amounts of money for themselves.

These are just two of the most glaring examples where the owners have ignored the obvious wishes of the fans and I can think of a number of other cases, so this is not quite as rare as Christian Purslow thinks.

Christian Purslow then went on to say ‘I don’t know of a single executive in English football who thinks it’s a viable strategy to ignore the fans or who isn’t all over what they feel.’ He clearly has never met our very own Lee Charnley.

Although I’m not confident that this Government will be able to deliver on their commitment to make changes to the way football is run in this country and their proposed changes may not be able to stop a future Mike Ashley or the Glazers abusing their position, it’s got to be better than self-regulation by the Premier League.

As for the Owner’s Charter, I don’t think it’ll be worth the paper it’s written, especially if it’s been drawn up by the likes of Christian Purslow.

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