Premier League to ban unregulated offshore firms from lending to clubs

• Everton and Southampton among clubs to have taken loans with Vibrac Corp
• Such borrowing to be outlawed from the 2018-19 season

The Premier League is to introduce a ban on clubs borrowing money from unregulated offshore finance firms from the 2018-19 season.

Everton, West Ham United and Southampton are among the clubs to have taken out loans with Vibrac Corp – an entity based in the British Virgin Islands which has provided funds against future broadcast money. Despite lending more than £150m between 2011 and 2013, Vibrac’s owners have never been revealed – a situation the Football Association chairman, Greg Clarke, was questioned over by the Chester MP, Chris Matheson, in last month’s culture, media and sport select committee on the governance of English football.

The Championship side Reading were fined £30,000 in 2013 after taking out a £10.5m loan from Vibrac because the Football League decided it contravened their rules but the practice has remained permissible for Premier League clubs until now.

“Premier League clubs have agreed to a new rule which will mean, from season 2018-19, that any assignments of central funds can be made only to FCA registered lenders,” a Premier League spokesman said.

Before the introduction of the £5.14bn television deal this season, Premier League clubs would borrow against future income as a way of building up funds to buy players. According to Bloomberg lenders typically charge around 7% interest for a loan against broadcast income.


Ed Aarons

The GuardianTramp

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