Explained: Why John Ryan and Louis Tomlinson’s takeover bid failed

New Football League regulations have hampered John Ryan and Louis Tomlinson's takeover.
New Football League regulations have hampered John Ryan and Louis Tomlinson's takeover.

John Ryan and Louis Tomlinson have fallen foul of new Football League rules, introduced only last month.

Takeover regulations which already applied to clubs in the Championship were extended to clubs in League One and League Two at the Football League’s AGM in Portugal during the first week of June.

Those regulations relate to providing evidence of the ‘source and sufficiency of funding’ - a separate test to the Owners and Directors test (formerly fit and proper persons test) which has been cited in much of the fall-out from yesterday’s announcement.

An article posted on the Football League website, following the AGM reads: “Going forward, any application for a change of control at clubs in Leagues 1 and 2 will require the purchasers of the club to provide ‘Future Financial Information’ demonstrating the club’s ability to trade and evidence of the source and sufficiency of funding.”

The Football League’s chief executive Shaun Harvey is quoted as saying: “Having operated these rules in the Championship for the last four seasons it is logical to now extend their implementation throughout our competition.

“They will assist our efforts to ensure that anyone taking control of a Football League club has the necessary funds, from a legitimate source, to support its business plan.”

Last night the Football League released a statement which revealed that Ryan and Tomlinson had failed to provide a suitable business plan and/or failed to demonstrate that the funding is in place to deliver on that plan.

The Football League’s assertion that they are still in dialogue with the club implies that the door is still open for the takeover to be completed, and an appeal would not be necessary to complete the process.

What Ryan and Tomlinson need to do is provide more thorough ‘Future Financial Information’. The ball is in their court.