Premier League may face legal action from club over third-party rules | Premier League
The Premier League may face a new legal challenge from one of its own clubs after approving new rules that would limit the ability of teams to buy players or strike sponsorship deals with parties related to their ownership.
An amendment to rules governing associated party transactions (APTs) was approved by clubs at a league meeting on Friday, after they had been informed of the risk of legal action should they do so. The identity of the club that is considering legal arbitration has not been made public, but is understood to be the champions, Manchester City.
A new legal fight would hardly be welcomed by the league, which is contesting high-profile cases against Everton, Nottingham Forest and City over a variety of alleged breaches. On the other hand, the competition also has to manage the desire of a majority of clubs to crack down on the use of associated parties.
League officials regard the new rules as clarifying the process by which APTs are assessed, with clubs expected to show that – in any deal conducted with a club or business in the same ownership – they have struck fair market value. Critics say the rules were changed to make it harder for such deals to be done. Changes were rejected in a vote last November but those proposals were adjusted before Friday’s vote, including by removingpersonal liability for directors involved in striking such deals.
“Following a full review of the existing associated party transactions rules and fair market value assessment protocols, clubs agreed to a series of amendments to further enhance the efficiency and accuracy of the system,” the league said in a statement.
Manchester City have been approached for comment.
The latest Premier League shareholder gathering lasted for two days as clubs and officials sought to gain control over a number of issues. Also on the agenda was the continuing lack of a deal on financial redistribution to the EFL. The league said it had agreed a new timeline for finalising an offer to the Football League with its clubs, after the process had come to a halt before Christmas. A group of Premier League clubs also invited a number of EFL sides to a private meeting to discuss the issues this week.
In other developments the Premier League is looking at the possibility of repeating the pre-season summer series tour in the United States in 2025, and clubs have agreed to sign an “environmental sustainability commitment” which, in the first instance, will look to calculate the league’s collective carbon footprint.