Coates backs Premier League move

09 March 2011 09:00
Stoke chairman Peter Coates believes the recruitment of an international law firm to implement the Premier League's `fit and proper persons' test will ensure prospective club owners are properly vetted. It emerged on Tuesday that the test, which had been criticised for being too lax in its previous form and was tightened up almost two years ago, had been placed in the hands of the unnamed specialists. The Premier League, who devised the test in 2004 in a bid to prevent corrupt or untrustworthy businessmen taking over a top-flight club, have evidently decided specialists are better qualified to assess potential investors than their own in-house lawyers. It was also revealed that several investors have fallen foul of the test and Coates, speaking at a House of Commons Select Committee inquiry into football governance, said: "We don't know the numbers but we do understand that there are people that wanted to buy and failed to buy (clubs) because they didn't pass the test." Coates revealed he was one of the driving forces behind the recruitment of specialist lawyers, saying: "It's something that I wanted them to do. "If you want to improve the fit and proper persons test, you want to make sure it's properly vetted and I thought a specialist company would be the best way to do it."

Source: PA

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