Gary Neville has reiterated his concern at the growing number of American owners of Premier League clubs amid the potential takeover of AFC Bournemouth.
Last week it was reported that Bill Foley, owner of the Vegas Golden Knights NHL franchise, was leading a consortium that was in talks to buy Bournemouth.
The Cherries current owner, Maxim Demin, is understood to be open to selling the club in a deal worth £150million, though talks are still at an early stage.
Should the takeover go through however, it would mean that more than half of the current Premier League clubs have majority or minority US shareholders.
Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and West Ham, all have American investment on some scale.
There has been increasing worry over the amount of foreign investment in England’s top clubs over the last couple of years, in light of the much maligned European Super League and the ethical questions that arose from the Saudi Arabia-backed takeover of Newcastle.
Manchester United legend Neville has been heavily critical of the Red Devils’ American owners, the Glazers, and in recent weeks has repeatedly slammed new Chelsea owner Todd Boehly.
Now, in the wake of the news surrounding Bournemouth, the former defender has spoken up again, responding to an article about the takeover on Twitter.
‘I think we know what’s happening here!!’ he posted.
‘@DCMS [Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport] please accelerate the Regulator!’
The Government is set to introduce a tough regulator in addition to the Owners’ and Directors’ Test, in order to prevent a repeat of the ESL fiasco that threatened to change football as we know it.
Neville also went onto to clarify that his issue was not with American owners specifically, but rather those who intend to disrupt ‘the fabric of the game’.
He added: ‘I am getting the “xenophobic” accusations.
‘If there were 14 PL owners from Bury with intentions to change and alter the fabric of the game I would be speaking up in the same way! I don’t think everyone understands the power the 14 US owners would have!’
Under current regulations, a majority of 14 clubs is enough to change fundamental rules surrounding the Premier League.
This will be particularly alarming to opponents of Boehly, after the American controversially suggested the introduction of relegation play-offs and a North vs South All-Star game.
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