Premier League seek to BLOCK clubs selling their grounds and leasing them back to navigate spending rules
- The Premier League and EFL have entered talks to close ground sale loophole
- Reading and Aston Villa have both taken part in sale-and-leaseback schemes
- An independent panel ruled Derby didn’t breach rules by selling Pride Park
- Another panel gave Wednesday a 12-point deduction after sale of Hillsborough
The Premier League have opened talks with the EFL about introducing a new regulation to prevent clubs from selling their stadiums and leasing them back to inject money into the business.
Derby, Sheffield Wednesday, Reading and Aston Villa have all taken advantage of sale-and-leaseback schemes to help them comply with the EFL’s spending rules. The sale of Villa Park for £56million to a company controlled by co-owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens created an issue for the Premier League after the club were promoted last year.
The transaction was eventually approved by the Premier League in March after a nine-month investigation but they are eager to close the loophole that made the sale possible.
The Premier League have opened talks with the EFL about introducing a new regulation to prevent clubs from selling their stadiums and leasing them back to invest money
No club have sold their stadium while in the top flight, although given the financial problems created by the pandemic several clubs are understood to be considering the merits of doing so.
The Premier League are eager to remove this temptation by outlawing sale-and-leaseback schemes as well as align with the EFL, who have concluded that their existing regulations need to be tightened.
The EFL suffered a major setback this week when an independent panel ruled that Derby’s sale of Pride Park for £80m to a company controlled by owner Mel Morris did not constitute a breach of profit-and-sustainability rules.
The EFL suffered a major setback this week when an independent panel ruled that Derby’s sale of Pride Park for £80m to a company controlled by owner Mel Morris did not break league rules
A different panel gave Wednesday a 12-point penalty for backdating documents relating to the sale of Hillsborough last month, but did not dispute the club’s valuation, while the EFL’s investigation into Reading’s sale of the Madejski Stadium remains ongoing.
Derby’s dispute with the EFL continued on Wednesday with the club releasing a statement which claimed that the charges brought against them were ‘unnecessary’ and had cost the organisation ‘hundreds of thousands of pounds’ in legal fees.
However, in the 122-page written reasons for the judgment released on Wednesday, the panel made it clear that the EFL were entitled to bring the charges and that Derby had a case to answer. The panel also dismissed claims from Derby that the charges resulted from a deliberate agenda against the club led by former chief executive Shaun Harvey and head of legal affairs Nick Craig.
Share this article
Source: Read Full Article