Foreign owners of English clubs more professional: EPL chief


London : English Premier League (EPL) chief executive Richard Scudamore is convinced that the growing number of foreign owners is bringing a new "professionalism" to the game.

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With Hong Kong billionaire Carson Yeung now owning almost a 30 percent stake in Birmingham City, nine of England's 20 Premiership clubs are effectively controlled by overseas investors, reports the EPL website.

Some critics, including Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan, have suggested the situation is bad for the game.

However, while Scudamore understands club ownership is an emotive issue, he has broadly welcomed the concept.

"I am sure there are people who wish every player was English and every owner was a local businessman, who supported the club as a boy," he said.

"Clearly that is not where we are at and we cannot go back there.

"It is not about who the owners are. It is about how they perform and how they behave.

"Our experience suggests the new owners bring a level of professionalism to the situation.

"They bring new things to the game and I don't see any evidence that they have ripped up the old traditions or that they are riding roughshod over the rulebook."

And as the Premier League approaches its 16th season, Scudamore is convinced the implementation of recommendations put forward by Lord Stevens in his wide-ranging report on the game, leave football in a far healthier state than it was before.

"Despite all the noise around the Stevens Report, it was an exercise well worth doing," said Scudamore.

"The clubs have now moved to a much better place in order to avoid similar criticisms in the future and I do not believe, with new rules and procedures in place, we will need that same level of scrutiny.

"That is a huge achievement for the Premier League, which can only stand us in good stead, not just for next year but the years that lie ahead as well."