Premier League statement: Owners’ and Directors’ Test

30 Mar 2023
Premier League Statement purple lilac new

Clubs unanimously approve changes to the League’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test (OADT)

Premier League clubs unanimously approved a number of changes to the League’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test (OADT) at a Shareholders’ Meeting today.

Following a comprehensive review of the OADT, and consultation with clubs and a range of stakeholders, clubs agreed the following Rule amendments and reforms to the OADT assessment process, which will come in with immediate effect:

  • Decisions taken by the Premier League Board under the OADT will be subject to review by a new Independent Oversight Panel
  • The threshold for ‘Control’ will be lowered to 25 per cent from 30 per cent
  • Club Chief Executives to be brought within scope of the OADT, as will a new concept of ‘Relevant Signatories’, being individuals responsible for signing a range of key regulatory documents
  • Owners’ and Directors’ Declaration form (Form 4) to be tailored to address individual and corporate directors
  • A range of new Disqualifying Events have been added to the test, including:

- A new Disqualifying Event for individuals/companies subject to Government sanctions

- A new Disqualifying Event for human rights abuses, based on Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020

- Extending the list of criminal offences resulting in disqualification, to include offences involving violence, corruption, fraud, tax evasion and hate crimes

- Extending the list of regulatory authorities, suspension from which will result in disqualification, to include the Charity Commission, FCA, Prudential Conduct Authority, HMRC and Gambling Commission

- Broadening the scope of the insolvency provisions, to enable the League to take action against individuals involved in previous insolvencies in a wider range of circumstances

- A new power for the League to stop those who wish to become ‘Directors’ where they are under investigation for conduct that would result in a ‘Disqualifying Event’ if proven

  • Greater clarity and transparency over the due diligence to be conducted by the League on a takeover, with an agreed, published list of ‘Acquisition Materials’ that must be provided to the League to facilitate its due diligence
  • Additional annual due diligence to be undertaken by the Premier League on incumbent Directors to ensure ongoing compliance with the OADT
  • A range of increased transparency measures, including the requirement to publicly disclose individuals/companies disqualified under the OADT and an obligation on the League to create an annual report of compliance

Following the adoption of these measures, the League will now consult with its clubs and other stakeholders on a further, final package of reforms, to be considered by clubs at the League’s AGM in June.

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