Hunt: Premier League clubs have to learn to control their debts

Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt wants football's authorities to impose tighter controls on prospective owners using loans to buy clubs. Hunt is alarmed at the amount of debt that has been built up around Premier League clubs.

He said: "My hope is they bring in rules that make sure we only have sensible amounts of leverage when people buy football clubs, because we all know what happens when debt gets out of control.

"The football authorities have taken some steps. There is a lot more transparency; they have strengthened the fit and proper person's test. They are moving in the right direction but it is obviously something that is a concern to a lot of people. The reason it is a concern is because clubs do not just have a responsibility to their owners, they have a responsibility to their fans as well; they are part of their local communities.

"They are different to other types of businesses and that is why this is a very important issue. The Premier League understands this and that it does not do them any good if a club goes under."

Asked whether it was right that the Glazers had been able to fund their purchase of Manchester United by borrowing hundreds of millions of pounds, Hunt said: "It is one of the things that worries me a lot. The lessons the rest of the country have to learn about the overdependence on debt seemed not to have been learnt by some of the people who are running our Premiership football sides.

"But that is not to say there is not a role for debt. Arsenal borrowed a lot of money to build the Emirates Stadium and businesses need to borrow money to expand. It is a very important part of the economy. Let's not forget that foreign owners have brought huge amounts of money into the Premier League, which has meant a couple of things. It has made it the best Premier League in the world and it has meant a huge amount of money has been invested in the UK in grass roots football.

"I would hope, as the person responsible for sport, that they learn the lessons of what has happened in the rest of the economy. Sports are in a much better position to regulate themselves than government. It is not just what has happened at Manchester United but also Liverpool and Portsmouth. The Premier League understands something has to be done."

Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
News
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before