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Forest owner says Richard Masters’ ‘small clubs’ comments were ‘a bit careless’

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 31 Jan 2024

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Evangelos Marinakis believes Premier League chief executive Richard Masters did not speak appropriately when appearing to describe Nottingham Forest and Everton as “small clubs” at a parliamentary hearing.

Masters, under questioning at the Culture, Media and Sport Committee two weeks ago, was criticised after seeking to justify the league’s profit and sustainability rules to MPs.

Asked whether “big clubs” were treated differently under the rules, with deliberation over the 115 charges levelled against Premier League champions Manchester City ongoing, Masters said: “The standard directions (on PSR) are for everybody, they’re not just for the small clubs.”

Forest owner Marinakis responded to those comments at the racial and gender equity in European football conference being hosted by his club.

“I think that was not appropriate,” Marinakis said. “I think it was a bit careless. I think that Nottingham Forest and Everton are very big clubs and maybe are bigger than the ones that we consider today big clubs.

“Big team and small teams is maybe not an appropriate expression.”

At the same conference Thierry Henry, Lilian Thuram, Viv Anderson and Anthony Elanga joined other prominent footballers in signing a pledge to committing themselves to publicly push for racial equality in football.

The statement comes after players and Harvard academics discussed how to further anti-discriminatory aims and references recent cases of racist abuse faced by black professionals involving AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan and Coventry midfielder Kasey Palmer.

Henry said the onus must be put on to football’s governing bodies to make change, saying: “Sometimes you have the sense that the players on the field are alone.”

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