Premier League’s Richard Masters says football faces ‘challenges’ after Chelsea sale

The Premier League chief executive, Richard Masters, has admitted that football faces “some challenges to be met” around the test of owners and managers following the sale of Chelsea by Roman Abramovich.

Masters questioned whether Abramovich, who was sanctioned by the British government after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, would have passed the test if it had been carried out when he bought Chelsea FC in 2003. He stressed that the sport is looking at how to put safeguards in place. After being asked if the Russian-Israeli oligarch, which sold Chelsea to a consortium led by Todd Boehle and Clearlake Capital in May, had a positive impact on English football.

“It’s hard to say now in hindsight that everything has been clearly good, given what has happened over the past six and a half months,” Masters said. “I think if you asked the Chelsea fans, they would give you a different answer. I think the situation we ended up in has given the sport some challenges that we have to face.

“Ultimately, there was no test for owners and managers when Abramovich took ownership of Chelsea, and so I suppose the answer to the question is whether there was what would have happened and what safeguards we need to build for the future.”

Masters said the measure needs to be reinforced. “It’s a graduated test. Prevention is better than cure, right? There wasn’t its time, there now, it will change and part of that actually will probably be an annual boost… I wouldn’t call it a MOT, but an annual test.”

Chelsea were given a deadline of May 31 for the takeover. The sale took place at a dramatic pace and close to the wire, with Chelsea facing the possibility of serious financial consequences if the deal with Boehly and Clearlake collapses.

“Nothing like this has happened before,” Masters said. “Obviously there was a real concern that the sale wouldn’t take place in the time frame available. Fortunately it didn’t happen.”

Masters, who said there were no plans to revive the idea of ​​holding Premier League matches abroad, said the majority of the division’s clubs wanted to keep the League Cup in place. But he stressed that UEFA’s changes to the Champions League after 2024 would create additional pressure on the tournament. He added that discussions are continuing on whether to continue organizing the semi-final matches on two legs.

Richard Masters insists Premier League clubs still want the League Cup Photo: Michael Reagan/Getty Images

“I think we now know what will happen after 2024, and there will be discussions between the FA, the Premier League and the EFL on how to fix the calendar,” Masters said.

“Obviously, I think the biggest impact of the UEFA reforms will be on the League Cup due to the loss of midwives, so we need to find a solution to that. If you talk to Premier League clubs, they want the League Cup to stay, they want you to remain part of the competition, Wembley slot This is one of the things that we have to discuss and that has to happen now.”

There is a desire to manage the workload of players this season, which begins with Arsenal’s trip to Crystal Palace on Friday. Clubs that play away in the Champions League on Wednesday will not play at lunchtime the following Saturday. Teams will also not be required to play twice within 48 hours during the holiday period.

A multi-ball system will be put in place as the league tries to combat time wasting after it was found that the ball was only played for an average of 55 minutes and seven seconds last season. One ball will be on the field, the fourth official will have a spare ball, and there will be eight more balls centered around the field. Hopefully, the system will speed up gameplay.

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