There has been a lot of discussion recently about foreign takeovers of British football clubs. My opinion is that if football is a business, as we are constantly being told it is, it cannot protect itself from globalisation which is a natural part of free-markets. Having said that, we don't want any old Johnny Foreigner running our clubs. There must be a certain probity about the character of any potential investors.
I believe the two Birmingham clubs have done well here. I doubt any Villa fan would want to go back to the bad old days of Deadly Doug. Randy Lerner, as well as having a great name for a student of sex education, has humbly said he is a steward of the club and it appears that the club is finally moving in the right direction after many years of neglect. There are a few question marks over Carson Yeung, not least as to whether he will actually take over at St Andrew's, but he seems to have an understanding of the city and football and could be an important contact in the emerging superpower that is China, giving the city and the club access to the huge Premier League marketing potential available in the country..
Other cities have been less discerning however. Manchester City have allowed the former Thai Prime Minister, Thaksin Sinawatra with his questionable record on human rights to take over the club. Meanwhile in London, the probity of the Arsenal-owning hopeful Alisher Uzmanov has been questioned recently by quite a few blogs concerned at his recent efforts to silence certain online critics, which affected among others Tim Ireland and local councillor Bob Piper's fine weblogs.
Many club owners are now saying foreign investment is vital to be able to compete at the highest level. However, should we be more careful about the types of people who are taking over our national sport?