UEFA warns against multi-club ownership fueled by US investors

UEFA has warned against multi-club ownership, arguing that holding stakes across multiple clubs undermines the integrity of the game and distorts the transfer market.

According to a detailed report in the Financial Times, owners tend to buy stakes in multiple clubs.

Description of multi-club ownership trends

Multi-club ownership typically involves an investor controlling one club and owning shares in another club. Other forms of ownership where an individual or group may become full owner of two or more different clubs are not uncommon.

By the end of 2022, UEFA has reported more than 180 teams under multiple ownership. This is a significant increase from just 40 teams in 2012. The report also claims that the trend is largely driven by US-based investors.

US businessman John Textor’s Eagle Football Holdings, which previously bought French team Olympique Lyonnais for €800 million, also owns Brazil’s Botafogo and Belgium’s second-division league Molenbeek. The 57-year-old also owns 40% of his stake in London-based Premier League club Crystal His Palace.

Miami-based 777 Partners also has several clubs in its portfolio, owning Genoa in Serie A, Standard Liege in Belgium, Red Star FC in Paris and Rio club Vasco da Gama in Brazil. He also owns the Minority Stakes Spanish Club Sevilla.

The dangers of UEFA highlights

UEFA said: “The rise of multi-club investment could pose a significant threat to the integrity of European club competitions, increasing the risk of seeing two clubs facing each other on the pitch by the same owner or investor. I have.”

Proponents of the multiple-ownership model argue that it reduces financial risk among investors if one club fails and is relegated.

However, there have always been protests from fans who claim the owner has stakes in multiple teams.

UEFA rules prohibit investors from owning shares in more than one club in the same country, but they are allowed to own across different leagues.

UEFA also said in its report that an increase in the percentage of transfers within the multi-club model is more suitable for investors rather than justifying a player’s “fair value” in the market, so multi-ownership is a transfer He said it could “distort” the market.

UEFA said: As the cross-investment structure grows, some football investors may control clubs that cumulatively span hundreds of registered players.

The UEFA Intelligence Center estimates that more than 6,500 players worldwide are registered with clubs belonging to investment structures. ”

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