Doncaster Rovers: John Ryan and Louis Tomlinson takeover subject to Football League approval

John Ryan
John Ryan

The fate of John Ryan and Louis Tomlinson’s proposed takeover of Doncaster Rovers now rests in the hands of the Football League.

The pair’s takeover is scheduled to be formally completed tomorrow, following the exchange of contracts and a press conference held in London last month to unveil the Tomlinson Ryan Trust.

But the deal still hinges on gaining clearance from the Football League, who are busy examining Ryan and Tomlinson’s bid to buy approximately 85 per cent of the club.

Ryan must prove that he and Tomlinson have the financial clout to run the club.

Rovers’ finances have been under close scrutiny from the Football League since Ryan resigned as chairman last November. Their concern centred around the consequences of Ryan potentially calling in £4 million worth of loans owed to him by the club.

Those fears were eventually allayed. But the League will now need convincing that Ryan and One Direction star Tomlinson - thought to be worth an estimated £16 million - have the financial muscle to run the club.

Ryan and Tomlinson must also pass the Football League’s Owners and Directors Test, formerly the “fit and proper persons test”.

Directors, or any individual with a 30 per cent or more shareholding in the club, or any individual holding less than 30 per cent but acting “in concert” with others and together they go over 30 per cent, are subject to the Owners and Directors Test.

Prior to jetting off for Rovers’ warm weather training camp in Portugal, Paul Dickov told reporters he felt “positive” about the takeover going through successfully on July 18.

Meanwhile, the Tomlinson Ryan Trust’s Crowdfunder fundraising scheme is due to end today - £1.2 million short of its £2 million target.

The Trust have previously stated that the takeover will go ahead irrespective of how much their fundraising scheme collects.

Doncaster Rovers and Ryan have declined to comment any further on the takeover this week.

The Football League said it was not their policy to make any comment during the Owners and Directors Test process.