Time to speak out over club ownership within the Premier League?

Premier League blogs- Worst ever ownersTo have a voice in a governing body as influential as the Premier League, is to have unbeatable control over the state of English football, whether it be financially or culturally. Richard Scudamore, chief executive of the Premier League has gained praise for his work in the globalisation of the competition. Agreeing a deal with broadcast companies that allows the English domestic league to be viewed in over 200 countries, Scudamore has contributed to the leagues rapid growth over the past 10 years.However, with recognised praise also comes unwanted criticism. With the Premier League now awash with owners from every corner of the globe, the Chief Executive looking for new ways to further enhance the leagues status on foreign shores, has been met with criticism. Considering the disastrous ownership of clubs from some foreign investors (Man United, Liverpool and Blackburn to name a few) it seems as if Scudamore’s desire to make the Premier League a global phenomenon has impacted clubs and their fans negatively. By holding such a powerful position, surely the Bristol-born executive can speak out and challenge the way that non-British owners run clubs as a business, rather than an institution that has impassioned historical roots entrenched in towns and cities across the country.

Richard Scudamore is ready for any argument of this nature to come his way. When Portsmouth suffered the disaster of administration in 2010, the CEO and his “team” created a safeguard to prevent another situation occurring that rivals the financial disasters that befell the south coast club. A strict set of financial guarantees have to be displayed to the PL to show that the respective club is economically healthy. Granted, the idea has proved relatively fruitful considering that no administration worries have fractured a Premier League club since, but some concerning problems still slip through the net, as was uncovered when Man United figures were released this year. A growing debt issue that has seen the clubs coffers diminish thanks to the Glazer family, must have warranted some concern from Scudamore and co. However, the Premier League’s most dominant figure still professes his support for foreign owners stating that they “bring a new level of professionalism to the league”. Professionalism as businessmen maybe but it is just not as simple as that with football in this country. A burning passion for your club whilst gauging fan opinion is an absolute essential way to gain credibility with a club, something that too many foreign owners have failed to achieve.

It is probably in Scudamore’s contract that he must continue the growth of our game abroad and it can’t be argued that fans will want the Premier League to continue its marketability around the world. It is when foreign investment disrupts the game on our shores that has to be dealt with. One would expect that being such an advocate of the quality of the Premier League, Scudamore would not turn a blind eye to the failings of some foreign owners.

With an absolute rejection of support of foreign investors from the older and more patriotic generation like the unflappable Dave Whelan, it seems that the remaining minority of British owners arguments are falling on deaf ears and that the future of ownership in the Premier League will not only be run as businesses by a cultural smorgasbord of owner but be positively condoned by the governing body of English footballs most prominent league – who seem to overlook the hard-working loyal fan in favour of globalising the Premiership and raking enormous financial profit in the process.