Football club owners come in for a lot of criticism. If a team isn’t performing well, on and off the pitch, fans, pundits and experts will often point the finger of blame at the hierarchy, believing that problems start at the top and filter down. But is this what should happen? And it begs the question, who should own a football club?
There is no denying that there have been some “bad” football club owners over the years. And generally, when those in control aren’t fit and proper people with the right intentions or prone to making too many costly mistakes, they get found out pretty quickly.
You will often hear people clamour to suggest there must be better checks performed before a takeover at a football club can happen. And that the rules and regulations must be in place to protect clubs and their interests moving forward, preventing disaster striking,
And all the above is all well and good, but finding the right person or persons is the crucial first step. So, how do you do it? Well, the first thing is that a potential or owners have the financial power to run the club they’re going to potentially take control of for a minimum of a couple of seasons.
It has been the case where people want to gain control of a club and run it using someone else’s money and wealth. It shouldn’t be allowed to happen. Anyone classed as an owner should have financial credibility, and it must never be in doubt. So, for example, if they were running one of the , you can very much guarantee they will tick this box.
On the other hand, if a potential owner does a lot of talking but their track record in the business world is sketchy. Or, if the information available is scarce, red flags should appear immediately, and more detailed checks must be performed. The owner of a football club’s credibility must be intact and not in question at any stage.
Also, you want good people involved in the upper echelons of football clubs. If, for example, question marks are surrounding their criminal record and character, you do have to question if they are suitable for being in control of a business that is so public-facing. You have , so the message must be right and consistent with it.
All in all, it comes down to the footballing authorities setting out strict criteria that must be met for potential owners to reach before they can press on with negotiations. The requirements should include checking an individual’s character and history regarding criminal convictions and public opinion.
And then there must be the financial credibility and that they have enough money themselves to power a club for a minimum of two or three seasons. So if all of the above is met, you are minimising the risk of letting the wrong person into the building. And that’s all you can do.