Tottenham owner Joe Lewis would like to sell his entire stake in the club as he ‘seeks an exit strategy’ after 23 years in control. The ultimatum would reportedly make it unlikely that Qatar Sports Investment (QSI) will pick up any share in the north London side as they would be restricted to a minority stake under UEFA laws given their ownership of PSG.
Earlier this month, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy held a meeting with Chairman of the QSI Nasser Al-Khelaifi with the group reportedly keen to invest within English football. Spurs are not believed to be the only Premier League club that Qatar are interested in with a widescale search launched over the best opportunity.
However, it appears increasingly unlikely that anything will come from Levy’s initial meeting with the group. The Daily Mail reports that Tottenham owner Lewis will only look to sell up if a buyer takes up the entirety of his majority stake in the club something which is likely to deter the QSI.
UEFA rules dictate that the QSI’s ownership of PSG means they cannot hold a majority stake at any other European football club, ruling them out of the running for Spurs if Lewis sticks to his guns. A mooted deal for naming rights to the Tottenham Hotspur stadium has also been downplayed by the group.
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“Whether or not these talks are confirmed and actually lead to anything,” the organisation’s economic affairs director Peter Frankental told the Press Association. “This is another wake-up call to the Premier League to get its house in order when it comes to the ownership of our top clubs.
“We said before, during and after the hugely controversial Saudi buy-out of Newcastle United that the Premier League needed to significantly tighten up its ownership rules so that those implicated in human right violations couldn’t buy into English football as an exercise in sports washing.
“As we know from the World Cup, Qatar is intensely involved in the use of sport to refashion its image on the international stage, and Qatar’s possible involvement with Tottenham should be seen in this context – as more potential sports washing.”