- Thanassis Stavrakis/AP
The world of soccer is no stranger to scandals, but the one Evangelos Marinakis, owner of reigning Greek champions Olympiacos, is involved in might be one of its biggest.
Even though Marinakis has been charged in a match-fixing case that has rocked the Hellenic Football Federation (Greek Football’s governing body), he is in talks to buy Nottingham Forest, one of England’s most historic clubs, and there’s nothing fans or the Football League (English football’s 2nd division) can do about it.
The Mirror reported that negotiations to sell the team to Marinakis have been going on since May, but this investigation going on in Greece has put a damper on them. Currently, Marinakis is out on $220,000 bail on charges that include “establishing and directing a criminal organization,” “fraud,” and “attempted extortion.”
Here’s the problem, as The Mirror puts it:
“The Football League Owners and Directors’ Test disqualifies those with an “unspent conviction” for corruption, fraud or perverting the course of justice in a court in England & Wales. This is extended worldwide for those who receive custodial sentences of 12 months or more. But there is no bar to those on police bail accused of such offences taking over Football League clubs since they have not yet been convicted.”
Basically, the Football League wouldn’t be able to stop the sale of Nottingham Forest to a guy who’s accused of pretty heinous crimes because he hasn’t been convicted.
This is a major cause of concern for English football because of the chaos surrounding Greek football and the fear that a similar scandal could rock English football.