Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur could be the next club that is taken over by the deep pockets of the Qatari Government
Qatar sports minister Salah bin Ghanem bin Nasser al-Ali has told The Associated Press that the Gulf state is keen to purchase a Premier League club, although I am not sure how Uefa will handle that as they already own Paris Saint-Germain.
Al-Ali said the Qatari government has been approached about investment in the English top flight and added:
“Some of the opportunities are really good.”
Asked whether Qatar is looking to own a Premier League club, he told AP journalist Rob Harris:
“Yes, of course. Personally speaking, I like the English Premier League, personally speaking. Since I was young I have jerseys. I’m not going to tell you which clubs — I said it once and the guy was upset with me because he was an Arsenal … I like all jerseys of Tottenham and I had two of them.”
On whether he would like to be a Premier League club owner, he added:
“Of course. Definitely — 100 percent — [but] it’s very challenging. I don’t know if at that time I would have the energy really to be in the spotlight, especially the English league — you are under pressure always.”
Since the state-founded Qatar Investment Authority bought Paris Saint-Germain in 2012 they have invested hundreds of millions into the squad, and have won back-to-back French titles.
Al-Ali suggested the state’s aim would be to replicate that kind of success with an English club, which would be music to the ears of Spurs fans:
“Here in Qatar, we are very, very good in taking something and really transforming it into something very, very good,” he said. “We take it to another step. Even if it’s good, we take it to another step.
“Paris Saint-Germain for 20 years did not win the championship. With respecting the culture, we became better now understanding the concerns of the people. In any investment really. In real estate, we have now a good experience in England and we understand the concerns and their hopes. We understand that very well. We are learning.
“I don’t think we are going to stop. We are just going to continue looking for good opportunities. Of course, England, the emir was there, and of course it’s one of our best hubs for Qataris.”
The challenge for the Qatar Investment Authority is that UEFA regulations do not allow owners to have two clubs playing in the Champions League. One way around that would be for the Qatar Investment Authority to take a minority position in Spurs, or use a third party as their proxy. Such a move might upset Uefa, but Spurs fans would not care if White Hart Lane became home to some of the biggest names in world football.