British football is becoming a money haven for rich foreign owners to infiltrate clubs and earn millions off the TV deals and investment from sponsorship deals.
The Premier League has seen huge changes in ownership over the last 20 years. Nearly all clubs have changed hands..
Man United – The Glaziers
Man City – Sheik Mansour
Arsenal – Stan Kroenke
Chelsea – Roman Abramovich
Leicester – Vichai
Wolves – President Xi Jinping of China
Leeds United – too many to name!
Aston Villa – Again, too many to list!
The list could go on and on and it’s not just foreign investment either.. however the point for this article is that although these owners have entered our game and some have been ‘success stories’ particularly Leicester City and the Late Vichai who did what nobody expected and turned The Foxes from Championship level to a Premier league winners.. at 5000/1!
But others have not been successful and have ultimately destroyed clubs, communities and people’s livelihoods. The 2018/2019 season saw lots and lots of issues particularly in the EFL but the EFL fail to take action, instead they prefer clubs to go bust, deduct them points and relegate teams as if that is somehow going to magically change something for the better?
Bolton Wanderers are a prime example. Ken Anderson has run the club so far into the ground that they have unpaid tax bills, players have not been given their salaries and other clubs such as Manchester City had to donate £100k in Food Tokens to employees just to ensure that they can feed their families. What sort of sick joke is this? When is the line where the EFL should take action against owners and be able to make changes with the power and money that they have coming down from the very top?
Other examples being Coventry City.. now being forced to play their home games outside of their city for the 2nd time in 6 years due to a dispute between club, the council and a London rugby team that have taken over their stadium and been sold it on the cheap. At what point do the EFL recognise that this is a huge negative for the club, the fans who follow them and pay their hard earned cash, the league and the general outlook on how this situation is handled. The EFLs stance on this? That was to set a deadline to either have an alternative place to play or face a vote to be evicted from the Football League. Thanks for nothing.
Bury players have worked hard all season and gained PROMOTION into League 1 but the players did this due to their love of football and the club and it’s fans.. they had not and potentially still waiting for their salaries to be paid. These salaries are vital to these people, they have houses to pay, children to feed etc.. imagine turning up to work every day in your 9-5 and not getting given the money that you are owed? I certainly wouldn’t survive with car payments, insurance and lots of other outflows.. so why can’t the EFL who get millions out of TV deals or the FA who got Billions this season find a way of having some sort of back up plan in place?
Suggestion – all owners when taking control of a football club should sign a contract. Should the EFL then need to step in to support players, employees and the club, then they will automatically take ownership of the club due to the current owners incompetence and then sell the club to proper owners who will be able to sustainable run a club.
So all this really boils down too on many many occasions is that we are told that their is a ‘fit and proper owners test’ – but if rumours are to be true then the new owner at Bolton Wanderers is already a black listed fraudulent owner who was caught for tax evasion and money laundering.. Seems like that test must be simply turning up to a meeting and that’s good enough because with that track record, I would want him nowhere near my club.
Thanks but no thanks to the EFL. Another organisation so out of touch with the modern day life in the UK. Merely just old, white, Retired, British men who don’t understand the game is changing but also life in Britain is too.