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Last Updated: Monday, 4 September 2006, 13:33 GMT 14:33 UK
Uefa voices club takeover fears
Uefa wants the government to investigate the growth of foreign investors buying into English clubs.

Uefa are concerned about the anonymity of some investors buying into clubs.

Uefa director of communications William Gaillard told the Daily Telegraph. "The UK Government has a responsibility to start investigating."

West Ham have been linked to a takeover and sports minister Richard Caborn has urged "those involved to be as open and transparent as possible".

World football's governing body, Fifa, is working on bringing in rules that will ensure more transparency over the identity of mystery backers.

The interest in English clubs, whether foreign or coming from the UK, is an indication of the health of the Premiership

Deloitte Sports Business Group consultant Alan Switzer

It wants such regulations, which will not allow backers to stay anonymous when buying into a club through the name of a company, to be introduced in July 2007.

But Gaillard said: "We certainly are concerned by what is going on as it seems to be following a worrying pattern.

"The trend is going against what we want to see - more clubs being owned by the community and the people who really care for them."

The issue of club ownership was covered by the recent European Sports Review, which also urged greater transparency and regulation.

Caborn added: "As the Prime Minister pointed out recently, those aspects of the review that try to bring greater integrity to the way in which the financial transactions are conducted are especially worthwhile."

But, after the Premier League negotiated a television deal worth 1.076 billion, Deloitte Sports Business Group consultant Alan Switzer believes top-flight clubs are attractive investment opportunities.

"The interest in English clubs, whether foreign or coming from the UK, is an indication of the health of the Premiership," said Switzer.

"The clubs must take some credit but the Premier League equally, as it was they who negotiated the TV deals.

"We are not at a peak, because with the new TV deal the clubs have the potential to grow.

"What has happened is clubs have managed their costs against revenues better. That was probably the key driver of increased profits."

West Ham on the up - Joorabchian
03 Sep 06 |  West Ham Utd
West Ham in takeover discussions
01 Sep 06 |  West Ham Utd


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