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New Owners' Charter for Premier League

The English Premier League (EPL) announced plans in April 2021 to introduce a new rule known as the 'owners' charter'. It follows the failed breakaway of a European Super League and aims to protect the principle of open competition by preventing any future attempts to detach.

Rule to Prevent a Breakaway Super League

Six English football clubs agreed to join the failed breakaway league:

  • Arsenal
  • Chelsea
  • Liverpool
  • Manchester City
  • Manchester United
  • Tottenham Hotspur

Nevertheless, the Football Association expects all six club owners to sign a new ruling that addresses the ‘core principles’ of the game.

As a result, breaches of any ‘appropriate legislation’ introduced to prevent a breakaway European Super League will be subject to significant sanctions.

After stating they have already started an inquiry into the sudden and ‘ignominious failure’, the Premier League and the Football Association issued further comments and said:

  • Establishing the truth behind what exactly happened is essential. We also intend to hold the relevant clubs accountable for their decisions and their actions.
  • We can’t allow the actions of a few English football clubs to create a division that developed into a disruption of this magnitude.
  • After writing to all six clubs involved in the attempted breakaway, we expect to receive relevant information and further evidence about their participation.
  • We will consider the most appropriate action and punitive steps to take once we get the required facts from the club owners.

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The European Super League Proposal

The original proposal to create a Super League included six of the teams in the English Premier League and some of the biggest clubs from Europe.

But, it collapsed within three days after fans and players displayed widespread criticism. It also attracted notable condemnation from several governing bodies of football and many prominent politicians.

Following its demise less than seventy two hours later, some of the toughest calls for sanctions to be handed out against the clubs included:

  • Points deductions
  • Relegation
  • Bans from European competitions

Yet, the toughest punishment we have seen so far was the ‘forced’ resignation of six executives from the English clubs involved. Simply put, they resigned from their advisory roles at the Premier League.

Following the public apology given by most of the clubs, we also saw the executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward resign from his role at Manchester United.

Note: A statement released by the Premier League stated they would be introducing what they referred to as “additional rules and regulation to ensure the principles of the EPL and open competition are protected.”

Protecting the Integrity of Footballing Communities

The Football Association (FA) and the top-flight in English soccer both said they will seek further assistance from the government in the United Kingdom.

They want help bringing in legislation that will protect the football pyramid as well as “the integrity of the football community”.

Comments provided by a spokesperson at the Premier League also said that a failed attempt of creating a Super League had “challenged the foundations and resolve of English football”.

It certainly appears that measures designed to stop the threat of breakaway leagues will help to dissuade clubs from conducting similar events in the future.


In a nutshell, it is clear that the Premier League recognises the fans’ strength of feeling. But, any protests about the way clubs have handled the situation should be done in a peaceful environment.

To prove a point, Manchester United fans protested at the ground before the scheduled start of the game against Liverpool on Sunday 2nd of March.

It resulted in a postponement of the game – mainly due to injuries caused to two police officers who were trying to disperse the angry crowd.

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English Premier League to Introduce New Owners’ Rule