Privatisation in store for Iran’s two biggest football clubs

Privatisation in store for Iran’s two biggest football clubs

Tehran’s two top clubs have a decades-old rivalry (Esteghlal defender Saeed Baghvardani comes to the rescue of goalkeeper Nasser Hejazi when he heads out a humdinger by Persepolis striker Safar Iranpak (fourth left). Aryamehr [Azadi] Stadium, Tehran, May 1975. Esteghlal was then named Taj).
By bne IntelliNews December 18, 2018

Attempts are to be made to sell Iran’s two largest football clubs, Tehran’s Esteghlal and Persepolis, to the private sector.

The Iranian government on December 17 approved a Ministry of Sport and Youth proposal for the sale of the clubs, known for contesting the major crosstown derby in the Persian Gulf Pro League, known as the Red-Blue Derby. The plan was approved by President Hassan Rouhani earlier this week.

Hossein Mazari, vice president of the Iranian Chamber of Commerce, said private buyers would be willing to acquire the clubs but added that the acquisition terms must be clear and reasonable, Iran Student News Agency reported.

Disagreements within the clubs’ present ownership structures over shareholding transparency and meeting rules set down by international organisations like Fifa have kept the sale proposals on the back burner for several months.

Mazari mentioned international standards set by Fifa on television broadcasting rights and ticket sale rules as requirements that must be safeguarded and met.

The Cabinet said in a resolution that the Iranian Privatisation Organisation would carry out all stages of evaluation, pricing, determination of conditions and procedures for assignment to applicants in the sale of Esteghlal and Persepolis.

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