July 19, 2024

Clubs’ ownership jeopardizes future of Persepolis and Esteghlal

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TehranTimes – TEHRAN, Clubs’ ownership dispute threatens Iranian giants Persepolis and Esteghal’s AFC Champions League’s participation.

As the March 30 deadline looms for Esteghlal and Persepolis to obtain AFC professional licenses, the issue of ownership of these two clubs is gaining increased attention.

Recent discussions suggested that the Social Security Organization (SSO, known as Sazman-e Tamin-e Ajtema’i) could be the main buyer for Persepolis, but an SSO official, Jamshid Mehrabi, dismissed these claims and stated that they have not requested to purchase the property.

While this statement comes from a Social Security Organization official, Aref Norouzi, the CEO of SHASTA, a subsidiary of the Social Security Investment Company, previously contacted Iran’s Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs to inquire about Persepolis’ ownership and the possibility of the organization having a stake in it.

The ownership of both Persepolis and Esteghlal has historically been under the purview of the Ministry of Sports of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Both clubs faced significant challenges in obtaining the necessary licenses to participate in the AFC Champions League (ACL) competitions in recent years. The fact that both Esteghlal and Persepolis were removed from ACL 2022/23, and Esteghlal were excluded again in 2023/24 due to unpaid debts, highlights the need for rigorous club licensing requirements.

With less than a month remaining until the AFC deadline for the issuance of professional licenses, the fate of the clubs hangs in the balance.

Will the Ministry of Sports find a solution to the joint ownership of Esteghlal and Persepolis?

Despite the Ministry of Sports officials hinting at the official transfer of Persepolis’ ownership this week, the future of the Iranian giant clubs’ participation in the AFC Champions League and obtaining the AFC professional license is uncertain.