Ex-Sports Secretary Tracy Crouch has described the changes to testing for Premier League owners and directors as ‘smoke and mirrors’… which she claims the amendments only reflect the ‘law of the land’
- Tracy Crouch described the owners-managers test as “smoke and mirrors”
- The new changes have tightened the English Premier League’s rules on club ownership
- High-ranking officials deemed human rights abuses ‘disqualifying events’
Changes to the Premier League owners and managers test have been dismissed as “smoke and mirrors” by prominent politician Tracy Crouch.
The former sports minister says the amendments agreed yesterday, which ban those convicted of human rights abuses from owning clubs or becoming managers, only reflect the “law of the land”.
Crouch was instrumental in the arrival of an independent football regulator.
It added that the changes, which take effect immediately, “do not amount to a white paper” on the regulator. “Smoke and mirrors,” Crouch concluded.
Amnesty International and others have criticized the Premier League for giving the green light to the Saudi Public Investment Fund to lead the takeover of Newcastle United, given the country’s appalling human rights record.
Former sports secretary Tracy Crouch said changes to testing for Premier League owners and directors are “smoke and mirrors”.
Premier League chiefs have agreed new rules to disqualify owners for human rights abuses
Concerns about a possible Qatar takeover of Manchester United have also been reported among LGBTI human rights groups.
But it does not appear that the new rules would have stopped selling Newcastle, and are unlikely to affect Sheikh Jassim’s bid for United should he be successful. None of those involved are on the government’s list of those currently sanctioned for human rights violations.
Tougher testing of owners and managers will be among the powers held by the new independent regulator, a move confirmed by the government’s white paper last month.
In the meantime, clubs have agreed in principle to a voluntary ban on front-facing gambling advertising, which will be introduced at the start of the 2026-27 season.
The matter is likely to be voted on at a virtual meeting next month.
They also agreed to vote to introduce the semi-automated offside system next season at their annual meeting in June, which is expected to pass.
There is an expectation that referees will stress wasting time next season by showing more yellow cards and adding more injury time.