Tories attack share ownership 'gimmick'

29 March 2010 12:08

A Government plan that could see clubs forced to hand over 25% of their shares to supporters' groups has been attacked as "a pre-election gimmick" by the Conservatives.

Labour is considering giving fans first refusal on the purchase of shares in their clubs when they are put up for sale, and clubs could be required to hand over stakes of up to 25% to supporters' groups, according to the Guardian.

Shadow sports minister Hugh Robertson told Press Association Sport: "After 13 years of inactivity by the Government on this issue this has all the hallmarks of a pre-election gimmick. There are massive, massive implications for company law and insolvency law."

Robertson believes changing the rules on governance to increase supporter influence at clubs would be quicker and easier.

No 10 are expected to include the plans as part of Labour's general election manifesto.

Other strategies being considered include giving the football authorities a deadline to reform the FA and removing "vested interests" from the board.

It would also give the leagues and the FA more power in ratifying takeovers of clubs.

The move comes after growing unease about levels of debt in some of the top Premier League clubs with Manchester United supporters having recently formed a group called the Red Knights to try to take over the club from the Glazer family.

Source: PA

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