The takeover of Doncaster Rovers by John Ryan and One Direction star Louis Tomlinson is ‘in serious doubt’ after the pair’s crowdfunding trust failed to meet its £2million target.
According to a statement from the Tomlinson Ryan Trust, the failure of the fundraising project means Ryan will now not pass the Football League’s Owners and Directors Test, formerly the fit and proper person’s test.
The deadline for pledges to the Trust passed today, more than £1.24million short of the ultimate target and, as part of the initial trust agreement, all donations made so far will be returned, leaving the pot empty.
The statement said: “The Tomlinson Ryan Trust Crowdfunder project has failed to reach the target as set out under the terms of the funding arrangements.
“The result of which will be that all pledges will be cancelled and funds returned to the relevant parties.
“As a result of the funding not being available from Crowdfunder for the DRFC project, John Ryan is unable to meet the requirements of the Football League Fit and Proper test.
“The consequence of this is that the deal to takeover the club is now in serious doubt.”
The Trust had previously stated the takeover of the club would go ahead irrespective of the success or failure of Trust’s crowdfunding project.
It is understood former Rovers chairman Ryan met with Football League representatives this week in a bid to reassure them he and Tomlinson had the finances to run the club.
The Football League’s approval was the last hurdle Ryan and Tomlinson needed to clear after agreeing to purchase the stakes of Terry Bramall, Dick Watson, David Blunt, Andrew Watson and Sarah Kell.