New rule in the Premier League: Club bosses must now respect human rights

New rule in the Premier League
Club bosses must now respect human rights

At least since the takeover of Newcastle United by a Saudi Arabian fund, the debate has been smoldering in the Premier League about who can and can’t manage clubs. Now the 20 clubs decide: Respect for human rights is a basic requirement. However, the practical implementation remains open.

Tightening of rules in the motherland of football: in future, no person who has violated human rights will be allowed to become the owner or manager of a professional club. That was decided by the clubs in the English Premier League. With this, the league expands the list of “disqualifying events” for the acquisition of clubs based on the “Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020”.

Specifically, the new rules mean that people or companies who have been sanctioned by the UK government will be disqualified. In addition to human rights violations, these now also include violent crime, corruption, fraud, tax evasion and hate crimes. In order to be disqualified from running a club, there is no need for a conviction. Rather, the league can exclude persons who are under investigation because of one of the above-mentioned facts from working as managing directors.

Human rights organizations such as Amnesty International (AI) had previously criticized the management of English football because the public investment fund from Saudi Arabia was able to take over Newcastle United despite the worrying human rights situation in the country. For the director of economic affairs at AI, Peter Frankental, it is “a step in the right direction that human rights and hate crimes are now taken into account,” quoted the French news agency AFP.

Human rights activists see loopholes

However, according to him, “it will make little difference if powerful individuals who are linked to serious human rights abuses abroad are not finally prevented from taking control of Premier League clubs and using them for state sports laundering”. .

For Frankental, all concerns are still not allayed: “For example, would a future offer involving Saudi or Qatari sovereign wealth funds be blocked by this rule change? It is far from clear that this would be the case,” he said.

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