English football bodies exploring ways to protect clubs in leveraged takeovers

Manchester United and Burnley’s takeovers were completed by borrowing against the club

Jamie Gardner
Wednesday 11 May 2022 18:00
Comments

The Football Association, the Premier League and the EFL are exploring ways to ensure the debt around leveraged takeovers is structured to ensure the long-term survival of clubs.

Burnley’s accounts for the period ending July 31, 2021 revealed a significant loan repayment would be due in the event of their relegation from the Premier League, following a takeover by ALK Capital which used much of the club’s own money to complete.

The accounts stated that Burnley’s outstanding debts stood at £102million last summer, having been nil prior to the takeover.

The Glazer family also loaded debt on to Manchester United as a result of their 2005 takeover of the club.

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham, speaking generally about ownership models in football rather than any club in particular, said: “The thing to look at in future ownership structures is the way in which the debt is structured to purchase a club, and making sure there’s enough security around that, that clubs are sustainable and secure moving forward.

“So it’s less about the identity of who purchased and rather the model in which the purchase takes place.

“It is something that we and the leagues are looking at as well, to make sure that whole area is explored in any new ownership model moving forward.”

He said it was an issue which could also fall under the remit of the new independent regulator for English football which was referenced in the Queen’s Speech on Tuesday.

“(Leveraged buyouts) are absolutely something that will be explored. I didn’t say get rid of them completely – it’s the extent to which the buyer has leveraged that is important,” he added.

Bullingham believes the new regulator could sit “within the FA family” though not directly within the governing body itself.

“We’ve been clear that we think we can give Government a really strong argument as to how that regulator could sit alongside the FA and within the FA broader family,” he said.

“Those discussions are ongoing. I think we see the advantages that we can use some of our knowledge and we can intertwine it with the regulatory aspects that we do, but anybody would need to have a large degree of independence. So there’s a lot still to work through.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in