Blatter wants foreign owner rules

 BBC SPORT | Football | Blatter wants foreign owner rules

Blatter wants foreign owner rules

Sepp Blatter

Blatter wants the European Union to work with Uefa over foreign ownership

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has called for stricter rules on foreign ownership of clubs in the UK and abroad.

"Something has to be done about these billionaire owners," Blatter told reporters at the European Parliament.

"These days you can buy a club as easily as you buy a football jersey. There is something wrong and that’s why I ask the European Union to act.

"This is not just about England where the problem is acute. This will spread across Europe."

The acquisition of Manchester City by the Abu Dhabi United Group in September made them the latest Premier League team to benefit from wealthy foreign investors.

There must be better control of football’s finances otherwise there will be big financial difficulties in the future

Sepp Blatter

Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United are among other high-profile teams in the English top flight under foreign ownership.

Blatter, who is concerned at the fate of such clubs should the economic downturn affect foreign owners, met EU lawmakers on Monday to discuss overseas investment in football, among other issues.

"Some of these owners prefer horse racing, others like to buy a Formula One team, now buying a football club is the big attraction," he said.

Blatter added that while there was "no single remedy", he believed owners should have an association with the area before buying a club.

"There are national laws in Switzerland, for example, when you buy property or make an investment, you must prove yourself," he explained. "You have to prove your link with the area.

606: DEBATE

Should Premier League owners have to prove a link to the club they own?

"We must ask ourselves about what motivates these owners and are they really interested in the game or just making money?

"There must be better control of football’s finances especially in the difficult climate we are facing. I urge Uefa to work with the EU to tighten up the rules, otherwise there will be big financial difficulties in the future."

Liverpool’s American owners delayed the building of a new stadium as the global economic crisis took hold, and Manchester United’s shirt sponsors, AIG, had to be rescued by the US Federal Reserve in September.

see also

Poland settle dispute with Fifa
06 Oct 08 |  Internationals

Blatter calls for 2010 enthusiasm
17 Sep 08 |  African

Fifa rejects 39th-game proposal
14 Mar 08 |  Premier League

Blatter hostile to overseas plan
15 Feb 08 |  Premier League

Blatter tells firms: ‘sell football product’
26 Nov 07 |  Business


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Football on the BBC

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BBC SPORT | Football | Blatter wants foreign owner rules

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