THE BLOG

Are Some Premier League Owners Bringing the Game Into Disrepute?

03/01/2014 16:11 GMT | Updated 05/03/2014 10:59 GMT

This season, more than ever, has seen owners of Premier League sides under intense scrutiny for their media-attracting antics when altering the fabric of a club.

Cardiff City are certainly the biggest example of this as the Bluebirds have been recently involved in a highly-publicised fallout between chairman Vincent Tan and manager Malky Mackay - with disagreements about playing style, money spent this summer, and comments made about 'promised funds' for the January transfer window.

Reports had even suggested that Tan had given his input on team tactics midway through a game. However, there are many more instances of owner interferences most especially in the Premier League. Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley and Chelsea's Roman Abramovich are both renowned for their meddling with transfers and their ruthless hiring and firing approach to managers.

Ashley will be remembered for the publicised manner in which he put Newcastle up for sale at the start of the 2008/09 season, citing how the supporters hounded him out. He ended up staying with the club, and this season hired the controversial Joe Kinnear as director of football who embarrassed the side by getting player and staff names wrong in his first interview.

In 2006, Abramovich famously signed his friend, Andriy Shevchenko, for the club against manager Jose Mourinho's wishes, and it was such actions which saw the pair spectacularly fall out. Mourinho found himself sacked after Shevchenko was a monumental flop in his time at Chelsea - with the side taking a £30million hit on the striker as he was eventually released.

This season, Hull City have had to deal with their owner Assem Allam seeking out a name change for the newly-promoted Premier League side. Allam even suggested fans who protest his proposals should die.

The negative effect such disputes behind the scenes can have on the side can be disastrous - not to mention highly unethical. The risk club owners are making when selling their side to foreign ownership is clear for all to see. If they're unaware of the history and tradition of the side they're buying, which in itself should've been heavily researched by them, then they'll have no problem in changing the fabric of the club to better its prospect as a business venture. Hardly fair.

Significant investment to be plunged into transfers is why many are excited at the prospect of new ownership, but these rich groups haven't made their money by playing fair. And if their money is on the line, many owners are often ruthless if a return on their investment isn't instantly apparent. Such actions are in danger of bringing the game into disrepute.

25% of the clubs in the Premier League have already sacked their managers this season, and as a result, suggestions have been raised about having a managerial transfer window where coaches can be hired and fired. A strange concept, but one concocted by many like-minded people who are tired of seeing such harsh treatment of managers season after season while the FA and LMA fail to act upon it.

How a manager can sign a long-term deal with a club, but be sacked just months into his job certainly isn't right, and the compensation afforded to them does little to repair their pride and reputation.

Ignorant owners are now at risk of becoming a scourge in the game as a result of their thoughtless actions in proposing changes to the side which supporters don't agree with. The price to pay to have club investment is telling. No more are they just content with plundering money into the side with no input, they want to pull the strings and meddle with the manager's affairs.

It isn't fair that managers work their socks off to make the Premier League great and then they're forced to contend with behind-the-scenes antics which are taking up their own time, while affecting the players too.

Little is done to act as a deterrent to the owners, so they'll continue to be a virus on the side until contract clauses are introduced which will force the owners to refrain from meddling after they buy a club.

More often than not, the people who run a football club are business people who have little knowledge about football prior to taking over, so why they feel they can undermine the manager by giving their own input on matters they have little knowledge on is beyond many.

In the heat of the Cardiff situation, manager Malky Mackay revealed he was in contact with a member of the LMA in order to protect himself from more harsh treatment from owner Vincent Tan, but until the association actively seek out chairmen who are bringing the game into disrepute for unethical antics, it will continue.

If you want to read more articles by Crippy Cooke visit www.ftbpro.com