Premier League agrees to meet Amnesty for new owner test talks | premier league

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The Premier League has accepted Amnesty International’s request to discuss the review of the owners and directors test, following the Saudi takeover of Newcastle United.

Fifteen days after the human rights organization first wrote to the league’s chief executive, Richard Masters, requesting a meeting on his proposals, drafted by a QC leader, to make the test compliant human rights, his offer was ultimately accepted.

At present, the owners test, applied to anyone identified as having a direct role in controlling a Premier League club, makes no mention of human rights. Last weekend, Crystal Palace fans held up a banner condemning the test and the decision to approve the Saudi deal.

“We are obviously delighted that the Premier League is willing to talk about these proposals as a starting point for what we hope will be a process that will lead to a considerable strengthening of the rules of football governance,” said Sacha Deshmukh, CEO of Amnesty. UK international.

“The current rules regarding who owns and runs English football clubs are woefully inadequate, without a property ban for accomplices in acts of torture, slavery, human trafficking or even war crimes.

“The Saudi takeover of Newcastle United has always looked like an attempt to denigrate Saudi Arabia’s appalling human rights record with the glamor and prestige of the Premier League and top football.

“We look forward to discussing with Richard Masters our ideas for a human rights compliant owner and manager test that can help weed out inappropriate owners complicit in human rights abuses, as well as reduce washing sports and generally improve governance in the game. “

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The owners and directors test covers a limited range of criteria, mainly possible conflicts of interest and criminal convictions. Last year, Amnesty commissioned David Chivers QC of Erskine Chambers to design a revised test that would broaden its scope to comply with the FIFA statutes, which commits the game’s governing body to “respect all human rights internationally. recognized and… to promote the protection of these rights. rights”.

Chivers wrote: “Changing the owners and directors test to incorporate a reference to human rights wouldn’t make the Premier League some kind of outlier. Rather, it would see the Premier League aligned with modern expectations of governance and corporate responsibility. “

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