Premier League clubs must sign Owners' Charter after European Super League saga

3 May 2021, 16:52

Premier League clubs who breach the new Owners' Charter will face sanctions
Premier League clubs who breach the new Owners' Charter will face sanctions. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Premier League football clubs will have to sign an Owners' Charter that includes "significant sanctions" for breaches of rules following the European Super League (ESL) saga last month.

The new measures have been introduced to prevent a repeat of any teams threatening to join a breakaway competition.

Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur caused national outrage in April after announcing they would join the ESL with a number of European football's most recognisable clubs.

However, their plan collapsed almost instantly in the wake of fan protests, players and managers speaking out and several pundits condemning the move.

But the Premier League released a statement on Monday saying it was introducing new rules and regulations to "protect our game, our clubs and their fans from further disruption and uncertainty".

For example, all club owners will be required to sign up to an Owners' Charter that will commit them to the core principles of the competition.

Read more: Police officers injured as angry Man United fans storm Old Trafford

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"Breaches of these rules and the Charter will be subject to significant sanctions," the Premier League statement read.

The sporting body said it was "determined to establish the truth" of what happened when English football's so-called 'Top Six' attempted to form the ESL and added that the clubs will be held "accountable for their decisions and actions".

It also said government support would be enlisted "to bring in appropriate legislation to protect football's open pyramid, principles of sporting merit and the integrity of the football community".

Meanwhile, the Football Association (FA) revealed it launched an inquiry last week into the formation of the breakaway competition.

It also repeated its desire to ensure any return threat of a breakaway division was suppressed.

Read more: ESL founder says it 'cannot go on' after England's 'big six' pull out

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An FA spokesperson said: "Since we became aware of the European Super League our priority and focus has been on preventing it from happening, both now and in the future.

"Throughout this period, we have been in ongoing discussions with the government, the Premier League and UEFA.

"In particular, we have been discussing legislation with government that would allow us to prevent any similar threat in the future so that we can protect the English football pyramid.

"Last week, we started an official inquiry into the formation of the European Super League and the involvement of the six English clubs.

"We wrote to all of the clubs to formally request all relevant information and evidence regarding their participation. Once we have the required information, we will consider what appropriate steps to take."

It comes after two police officers were injured during fan protests outside Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium

People angry at the club's ownership stormed the pitch ahead of the Premier League match against Liverpool, which was later postponed.

United supporters were expressing their anger following the decision, strongly backed by the Glazer family, to join the ESL.

The short-lived plans added to years of discontent and protests by fans after the controversial takeover by the Glazers in 2005.

A Liverpool win at Old Trafford would have handed the Premier League title to United's neighbours, Manchester City.