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English and French Leagues join forces over third-party ownership

The Premier League has joined forces with the French Football League (LFP) in a bid to lobby UEFA over the controversial topic of third-party ownership, reports Sport Business. UEFA this month stated it is set to investigate whether the policy of selling player transfer rights to investors discriminates against the likes of the Premier League and Ligue 1, where the practice is banned.

The policy has long been standard practice amongst Portugal's top clubs, who can raise funds by selling part of their rights to future transfer fees, and it is now spreading to Spain and Turkey as clubs are finding it increasingly difficult to secure credit from banks.

UEFA's head of club licensing, Andrea Traverso, has previously admitted the issue of selling transfer rights is a concern ahead of the implementation of financial fair play (FFP) rules by European football's governing body.

Both the Premier League and LFP believe third-party ownership poses a real threat to the integrity of European competition and could potentially see English and French sides left behind.

"Third-party ownership is prohibited under Premier League rules as we believe it threatens the integrity of the game," said a spokesman for the Premier League, according to

"We are aware that it is permitted under UEFA's financial fair play regulations and that this could create a disadvantage for our clubs competing in European competition."

The spokesman added: "We believe that restricting transparent owner equity investment while having no prohibition on third-party player investment seems at odds with the principles of FFP. The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) also restricts third-party ownership and we have had initial discussions with them to consider how we might work together to further highlight these issues at UEFA and FIFA level."

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Dave Williams

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