EFL says it is "yet to see evidence" of potential investor funds in Rochdale AFC
Date published: 13 July 2021
The English Football League says it is “yet to receive” evidence that potential investors in Rochdale AFC have the necessary funds
The English Football League says it is “yet to receive” evidence that potential investors in Rochdale AFC have the necessary funds.
Both the club and Dale Supporters Trust released statements last week saying they had had meetings with the prospective new majority shareholder.
According to the Dale Trust, the investor said he has provided proof of funding to the EFL and is currently awaiting EFL approval.
However, the EFL has said in a statement that it was “still to receive any evidence of the source and sufficiency of funding on behalf of any potential purchaser.”
It said: “The EFL is aware of the continuing reports relating to a possible change of control at Rochdale AFC and wishes to clarify it remains in regular dialogue with representatives of the club, as well as the Dale Supporters’ Trust.
“Throughout these discussions it has been made clear to all parties what obligations must be met under EFL regulations.
“That includes the requirement that approval, as set out in Appendix 3 of the regulations (the owners’ and directors’ test), must be obtained from the EFL before acquisition of control, and not doing so renders both the club and individuals concerned subject to misconduct.
“At present no approval has been granted as a result of the specific requirements not being met. The EFL is still to receive any evidence of the source and sufficiency of funding on behalf of any potential purchaser, and, in addition, the club is yet to submit the necessary Future Financial Information (FFI).
“The EFL will continue to work with the club to ensure it can meet the necessary criteria, with the long-term viability of the club the primary focus in the interests of all key stakeholders, particularly the staff at the club, supporters, and the local community.”
The Dale Trust has since released another statement (on 9 July) after contact with the EFL over the trust’s previous statement: “We now believe that the shares are not ‘acquired’ until the share transfers have been signed by the club. As such, we immediately amended the article [on the trust’s website] changing the first point [“has acquired over 40% of the shareholding”] to ‘agreeing to purchase’ rather than having ‘acquired’.”
The trust has also redacted the point that ‘the investor has provided proof of funding to the EFL’ in the same article: “Having previously informed our members that proof of funding had been provided [given to the trust via an email from the investor], it is important that we provide our members and fellow supporters of Rochdale AFC with what the EFL has confirmed to us. We have informed the investor on Friday evening with the information provided to us by the EFL.
“Should proof of funding be provided to the EFL, we will update our members at the earliest opportunity but only when we have received full confirmation from the EFL.”
Recently three new directors joined the board at the football club and a new chairman was installed, following the departure of directors David Bottomley and Graham Rawlinson who were voted out by shareholders at an EGM on Tuesday 1 June.
The club has recently appointed former Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion coach Robbie Stockdale as manager on a two-year deal, replacing Brian Barry-Murphy, who left at his own request last month.
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