Ken Bates reckons foreign owners in Prem should be banned despite selling Chelsea to Roman Abramovich

FORMER CHELSEA chief Ken Bates has claimed that foreign owners in the Premier League should never have been allowed.

The 89-year-old, who sold the Blues to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich in 2003, also wants the number of overseas players in England's top-flight reduced.


Bates shared his fears over foreign owners in the Prem after the issue bubbled to the surface during discussions concerning Project Big Picture last year.

Manchester United and Liverpool – both bankrolled by Americans – were leading the charge for a massive overhaul of English football.

Part of those proposals included an 18-team top flight, the axing of the League Cup and additional funding made available for the Football League.

They should have introduced rules preventing foreign ownership of football clubs

But Bates told the Telegraph: “Manchester United owned by Americans. Liverpool owned by other Americans.

“The first thing they said was let’s reduce the Premier League by two clubs. Let those two resign. Get out of it. Nobody asked for them to come.

“The great thing about English football is you kick off in August and all start even. What you did 20 years ago has nothing to do with what you do today.

“The trouble is that the FA are very weak. I found that when I was on the FA council and the FA board.

“They should have introduced rules preventing foreign ownership of football clubs.”

Former Leeds United owner Bates also said that the Government should tax overseas payments for transfers and agent fees.

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He added: “Too much money goes overseas and they don’t pay any tax.

“The Government should introduce tax for any payments overseas for transfer fees, players’ agents, image rights or any of that, 25 to 30 per cent.

“The other thing, they should charge outgoing transfer fees against tax. That will bring down the transfer fees, reduce the number of foreign players coming in and let the English players play in their English league.”

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