Thursday 06 June 2013
At the Premier League's Annual General Meeting in Darlington on Thursday, 6 June, one of the procedures undertaken is the formal end of the 2012/13 season and the start of the 2013/14 campaign, where the relegation and promotion of clubs are confirmed. This is done through the transfer of the ownership of shares from the relegated clubs to those promoted.
The Premier League is a private company wholly owned by its 20 member clubs, who each are a shareholder (the FA holds a "golden share" with the ability to vote on certain issues). Although the Premier League is a company incorporated in England under the Companies Acts, it differs from a normal company in how it manages its affairs.
In contrast to a normal commercial company, the Board of Directors has less power to manage the Premier League's affairs, with the shareholders being more active in the decision-making process, in that they are consulted on and make all significant commercial and operational decisions.
Shareholder meetings, where such decisions are made, are held at regular intervals during the course of the season with the AGM taking place at the close of each season. During shareholder meetings decisions have been made on matters such as youth development, governance, solidarity payments and media facilities.
The 20 clubs who will gather for the AGM this year will include the three promoted clubs, Cardiff City, Hull City and Crystal Palace. Before then, the Premier League asks the three clubs who were relegated from the Barclays Premier League at the end of the season (Wigan Athletic, Reading and Queens Park Rangers) to transfer back their share certificates that confirmed their status as a shareholder in the Premier League, which then cancels them.
Before the AGM, the Premier League Board of Directors meet and confirmation is made of the cancellation of the relegated clubs’ shares and the three new share certificates for the promoted clubs are signed by the Premier League directors and company secretary. The clubs are entered into the share register, as required under company law.
At the AGM, Anthony Fry, the new Premier League Chairman, formally welcomes the new clubs to the League and the clubs are awarded their framed share certificates.
Then they will await with anticipation the release of the fixtures for the 2013/14 season on 19 June to see who their opponents will be.