Premier League New Rules Are Shocking

Premier League clubs unanimously approved changes to their owners and directors test, which now includes the disqualification of any individual with a history of human rights violations. This significant change means that if an individual or state has been sanctioned by the UK government for human rights violations, they will be barred from owning or serving on the board of a Premier League club. Those convicted of crimes such as violence, corruption, fraud, tax evasion, and hate crimes will also be disqualified.

Individuals or entities seeking to own or be directors of a Premier League club previously only needed to demonstrate that they had not been dishonest in the past and had not been sentenced to prison for at least 12 months. The strengthened owners and directors test will bring more clarity and transparency to the takeover process, including the release of materials requested by the Premier League from new owners.

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While some organizations, such as Amnesty International, see the change as a step in the right direction, others are skeptical of its effectiveness. According to Amnesty International, the change will have little impact unless powerful individuals linked to serious human rights violations overseas are permanently barred from owning Premier League clubs. There are also fears that Top Flight will fail. Unless the Premier League gets this right, English football may still become the sports washing machine of authoritarian figures around the world.

The change in the owners and directors test has been regarded as significant, resulting in greater transparency and clarity in the takeover process. It remains to be seen, however, whether the Premier League has the teeth to disqualify and bar serious and wealthy individuals from owning Premier League clubs.

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