UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) has strengthened rules and regulations enforcing a litany of multi-club owners to reduce their stakes in order to compete in European competitions.
Owner of Premier League side Brighton Tony Bloom was forced to reduce his shares in the Belgium Pro League side Union Saint-Gilloise as both teams qualified for the UEFA Europa League this forthcoming season.
Bloom’s stake in the Belgian club was cut from a majority to a minority stake but, as a result, Brighton are cleared to compete in Europe for the first time in the club’s history.
These new enforced rules by the CFCB come after UEFA made ‘significant changes’ to its stance on multi-club ownership as the governing body deems two clubs owned by the same entity to cause a conflict of interests and are making the changes to maintain the utmost compliance.
Aston Villa were another Premier League side who received clearance to compete in the upcoming UEFA Conference League campaign after its owners V Sports, led by Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris, had to cut its stake in Portuguese club Vitoria S.C from 46% to 29%.
UEFA concluded that both clubs neither had directly or indirectly dealt in shares or securities of other competing clubs in UEFA competition, or a member of any other club.
The body also found in these cases no club had any power or was “simultaneously involved, directly or indirectly, in any capacity whatsoever in the management, administration or sporting performance of more than one club, and that no one had control or decisive influence over more than one club in a UEFA club competition”.
The European footballing organisation has also clarified that clubs under the same ownership who are competing in the same European competition will not be allowed to transfer or loan players to each other until September next year.
Multi-club ownership in football is becoming an increasingly prominent model in the sport, with Chelsea owners Clearlake Capital becoming the latest to do so, acquiring Ligue 1 side RC Strasbourg most recently.