Premier League are set to probe Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis after club’s promotion

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Premier League are set to probe Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis after club’s promotion… with top flight keen to see if match-fixing and drug trafficking allegations in Greece would have brought UK conviction

  • The Greek shipping magnate was passed fit to own a club by the EFL in 2017 
  • That was despite investigations into alleged match-fixing and drug trafficking 
  • Marinakis was charged with several serious offences in 2019 before being cleared
  • The Olympiakos owner was charged with match-fixing but was later acquitted

Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis is facing scrutiny from the Premier League after promotion.

The Greek shipping magnate was passed fit to own a club by the EFL before completing his £50million purchase of Forest five years ago, despite being the subject of multiple investigations into alleged match-fixing and drug trafficking.

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But the Premier League are making their test more stringent as they seek to head off the threat of an independent regulator.

Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis is facing scrutiny from the Premier League

Marinakis has been charged with several serious offences in Greece before being cleared.

In 2019 the Olympiakos owner was charged with match-fixing and involvement in criminal gangs before being acquitted by the Court of Appeal two years later, and last year a Greek judge ruled there was no evidence after he was charged with heroin smuggling.

UEFA also launched an investigation into the match-fixing claims, but unlike Greek authorities brought no charges.

Marinakis was charged with several serious offences in 2019 before being cleared

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Marinakis was charged with several serious offences in 2019 before being cleared

The Premier League have concerns given the allegations and contacted the EFL after Forest qualified for the Championship play-offs. The 54-year-old, who grew a small family shipping business into a vast fleet of tankers and container ships valued at more than £2billion, does not appear in breach of any of the Premier League’s disqualifying conditions, which include unspent criminal convictions, being disqualified as a director or being subject to insolvency proceedings. 

The league’s legal team, however, want to establish if there is evidence of Marinakis having been involved in behaviour abroad which would have resulted in a conviction in the UK.

This element contributed to the long delay in the takeover of Newcastle by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, due to concerns about links to journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.

This element contributed to the long delay in the takeover of Newcastle by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund

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There is no question of Forest being denied promotion, as the owners’ test contains provision for disqualified shareholders to be given time to divest of their stake in a club.

A desire to avoid regulation has led the Premier League to consider strengthening the test by including areas such as human rights and ethical considerations.

In addition to being used before a takeover, it is applicable following a club’s promotion.

The Premier League declined to comment.

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There is no question of Forest being denied promotion after winning the play-off final

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