Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

(More) trouble at Bolton

17891113

Comments

  • May I ask in what way you think the EFL has egg on its face @Shev. What would you have done differently given the circumstances?

  • But then if they award the points to Doncaster because of Bolton's pull out, and in the (hopeful) case that Bury stay afloat in this division, surely they'd have to award all those points to their opponents?

    Messy.

  • @DevC said:
    May I ask in what way you think the EFL has egg on its face @Shev. What would you have done differently given the circumstances?

    To me, to lose two historical clubs, in large part owing to the complete lack of a decent fit and proper persons test, is (or should be) highly emarassing to the EFL.

    What would I have done differently? Perhaps instituted some semblance of a coherent vetting process, with rules in place to safeguard wages, in addition to the very clubs themselves.

    The EFL may be doing everything they can now, but they are trying to extinguish a storm of their own making.

  • any points awarded will be expunged which is why bury are not being allowed to play !!

  • so if doncaster are awarded points they will be removed if bolton are expelled !!

  • In Bury’s case, the previous owner had run the club into the ground, not least because his business had failed. He sold to Dale without bothering with the fit and proper test. It seems there was no alternative buyer and anyway no legal way of stopping the sale. All the EFL could have done was expel Bury from the league killing the club then. Is that what you would have done?

  • I would add that not all bad owners can be seen coming - perhaps Leyton Orient were an example of that - but the Bolton and Bury owners came with more red flags than a communist convention.

    The EFL absolutely share the blame for this disgrace.

  • She’s you may have missed the point about Bury above as you made your last post.

    So let’s look at Bolton. Eddie Davies owned them for around 20 years. Very popular with the fans. Eventually he couldn’t fund losses. The administrator couldn’t find anyone to take on the club even for Β£1. Eventually a former player agreed to take on the club in 50-50 partnership with a dodgy character. Should the EFL have stepped in then to block this partnership and killed the club straight away? Initially the partnership appeared to be doing well. But then Holdsworth’s company also went bust. Anderson bought out Holdsworth’s 50 per cent. Should the EFL have blocked that deal (even assuming they could) what would the immediate implications have been then?

    It’s always easy to criticise authority, especially in hindsight. In both cases seems to me the EFL has to choose between a pretty unpleasant and risky option and an immediately catastrophic one.

  • I appreciate the response, @DevC, but the EFL are the governing body. It is up to them to govern, not claim to be victims of a system they are in charge of!

    If some of these issues (which start with losses being run up with impunity) are spiralling out of control, why are they being reactive instead of proactive? Why is there no push to strengthen financial rules as needed? Again, they are the governing body!

  • sorry to labour the point @shev but seems we are now in agreement at least that Bolton and Bury's issues are not in a large part owing to he complete lack of a decent fit and proper persons test.

    The EFL have to their credit tried to introduce a financial fair play regulation system. It has struggled to be effective not just in the EFL but across all levels of the football structure. Not sure the answer lies there to be honest.

    There is an old adage that kneejerk legislation to an emergency is rarely good law. The dangerous dogs act is a particularly well known example over here.

    I do wonder though if the longterm answer is to raise a levy from tv money (obviously reducing club income in the short term) to be held in reserve by the league and have some sort of override mechanism allowing them to take over failing clubs and use the levy to fund a rescue - possibly ditching the "football creditors rule" and with an automatic relegation clause for those affected to make it only used as an absolutely last resort. Loads of issues to make it compliant with the law of the land and anyway frankly cant see club owners voting it through. (at the end of the day the EFL uis jut the clubs acting collectively).

  • @DevC said:
    In Bury’s case, the previous owner had run the club into the ground, not least because his business had failed. He sold to Dale without bothering with the fit and proper test.

    >
    Why did the EFL not apply the fit and proper test when Dale bought Bury? Surely that's exactly what they did wrong there?

  • Well no not really @Last_Quarter.

    This was a club in severe financial trouble with a list of potential buyers seemingly numbering one.

    It seems what happened is that Day and Dale simply ignored the Leagues rules and transferred the shares from Day to Dale without getting the EFLs permission. Perfectly legal under the law of the land.

    What then should be the EFL response? It could throw Bury out of the league. But that would only achieve the death of the club - precisely what you are seeking to avoid. It could impose a points deduction but that does nothing to protect the club from financial meltdown. Frankly there is little it can do to stop this if the new and old owners are prepared to play hardball.

    And even if the test has been possible. What then? Even if Dale failed (far from inevitable at the time), what then? Do you ban him from ownership if there is no other alternative but liquidation or do you allow his ownership and hope he turns out OK?

    Let’s look at Bolton for a moment. Under any criteria, Bassini should fail any good owner test. But if the current bidders fail (highly likely it would appear) and the administrators report to the league that the only possibility to avoid liquidation is to sell to Bassini, would you want the EFL to block that last chance?

  • The EFL should be able to do something - if they can’t, what is the point of their existence. It is entirely possible that the fit and proper test wasn’t able to be applied in the particular circumstances, but if so then the EFL’s systems and processes have failed, and they are responsible for putting these in place. There may not have been anything that could be done under the current framework, but the EFL could (and should) operate under a different framework.

    None of this shifts the blame from bad individual actors involved in the ownership of clubs, but really the EFL do have to be assigned some level of responsibility for multiple clubs failing financially.

    I have no idea what they could have done differently, but that’s not my job. It is theirs though.

  • Well put! If a national government had very lax regulations in a certain area, that eventually led to an omnishambles that they could not control, with no effort to tighten things up in the intervening years despite repeated warning shots across the bows, would we hold them guiltless, just because they, finally, begin to "do everything they can?"

    @DevC – I agree with your point that we can’t place blame for every little thing at the feet of the EFL. But the average fan has seen this day coming for years, and the EFL have had every chance to run a tighter ship. This is all happening on their watch, and personally, the outgoing comments of Shaun Harvey hardly filled me with confidence that they even have a perspective that is grounded in reality.

    Beyond all this, I believe the situations at Leyton Orient and Blackpool (and possibly even Coventry) are ones in which the EFL should have either done more, or had a structure in place that enabled them to do more. Those situations were notable for the complete inaction of the EFL.

    The "what could they have done differently?" question is one that should be pointed many years in the past.

  • @Shev said:
    Well put! If a national government had very lax regulations in a certain area, that eventually led to an omnishambles that they could not control, with no effort to tighten things up in the intervening years despite repeated warning shots across the bows, would we hold them guiltless, just because they, finally, begin to "do everything they can?"

    Say, for example, the tax loopholes that allow revenue to pour out of so many countries while the governments in question put the blame on taxhavens instead of closing the loopholes. Or Brexit, where they faff around for years only to put the blame on the EU in the end. Will we hold that party resposible by voting them out?

    Look at how the Donald is making a mockery of US norms because the laws are insufficient to stop him. Will he be voted out against one of the masses (of Democratic candidates)?

    It is a pervading theme of our time, when scoudrels have outthought the establishment and people act shocked that "this simply isn't cricket!" Its not, its capitalist business where who dares wins.

    Rant over.

  • Bloody good rant though @NorsQuarters

  • The league should do something is always easy to say - not so easy to do in practise.

    Remember the EFL as it is currently constituted is a trade body rather than a regulator. Power lies with the individual clubs who must agree anything the EFL proposes. it would be a massive leap to switch the balance such that the central body was the power source and the clubs effectively franchisees of the central body. That would need the owners to agree to give up their power and control. Very hard to do I would have thought.

    Its hard to see quite how you can give the EFL real intervention powers within UK law. It would certainly need real money (possibly raised by withholding a percentage of EFL TV money) but even then if you wanted to save say Ipswich from a hypothetical rogue owner and a financial crisis. you could threaten them with a points deduction - but does the rogue owner really care, you could threaten them with expulsion but that would simply kill the club, you cant take over managing the club and its assets because they legally belong to someone else. Even if the resources existed to say get the EFL to set up a Ipswich United and transfer the league membership to that new entity, there is no stadium to play in.

    Easy to say "we must do something" but I really struggle to see what.

  • League (and other) football requires a proper Regulatory structure then.

  • I don't understand what that regulatory structure would look like though and how you would enforce it or how you would persuade the existing owners to vote for it.

  • Regardless of whether you think the EFL could have prevented Bury/Bolton's financial mess over the last few years Dev, are you in disagreement that they have been utterly toothless in managing the unfolding crisis since the start of the season?

  • Actually @OxfordBlue , I'd turn that around. Regardless of whether you think they should have had more powers to intervene earlier, faced with the situation that existed from say August 1st, they have acted pretty much exactly how I would have wanted them to.

    In theory they could have just thrown them out before the season started but to do so would very likely have resulted in the death of both clubs. It strikes me as absolutely right that both clubs were given as much time as possible to resolve their issues and remain alive even if it meant a little disruption.

    Plainly that cannot carry on indefinitely, so I think the deadline in Bury's case of this Friday is about right. Sadly best guess at the moment is that they will not survive.

    In Bolton's case with hindsight they probably should have cancelled Bolton's games just like Bury's and given them the same deadline. At the time though it appeared that they were further advanced to resolving their issues and that there would still be time on the Friday before our game with the takeover completed to register the players they had ready and put out a decent side for that first game. Sadly for various reasons that optimism has proven unjustified.

    Given yesterdays events, I would expect the league to sadly give Bolton the same two week final notice of expulsion that bury are currently under some time this week.

    Its obviously a very difficult situation. What would you rather they had done?

  • @DevC said:
    Actually @OxfordBlue , I'd turn that around. Regardless of whether you think they should have had more powers to intervene earlier, faced with the situation that existed from say August 1st, they have acted pretty much exactly how I would have wanted them to.

    In theory they could have just thrown them out before the season started but to do so would very likely have resulted in the death of both clubs. It strikes me as absolutely right that both clubs were given as much time as possible to resolve their issues and remain alive even if it meant a little disruption.

    Plainly that cannot carry on indefinitely, so I think the deadline in Bury's case of this Friday is about right. Sadly best guess at the moment is that they will not survive.

    In Bolton's case with hindsight they probably should have cancelled Bolton's games just like Bury's and given them the same deadline. At the time though it appeared that they were further advanced to resolving their issues and that there would still be time on the Friday before our game with the takeover completed to register the players they had ready and put out a decent side for that first game. Sadly for various reasons that optimism has proven unjustified.

    Given yesterdays events, I would expect the league to sadly give Bolton the same two week final notice of expulsion that bury are currently under some time this week.

    Its obviously a very difficult situation. What would you rather they had done?

    I appreciate them not just kicking the clubs straight out too, but what's wrong with proper communication with supporters and clubs about the rules they are meant to enforce?

    The game the Bolton players boycotted end of LAST season is still just one of many elephants in the room. Will they serve an 8 point deduction, a 6 point deduction... will they get anything at all?

    Perhaps if they had more clearly laid down precedence there on what happens when those at a c decides its not playing, everyone would have a better idea of what Bolton's unilateral 'postponement' of tomorrow's fixture will mean.

    Right now the EFL just releases vague statement after vague statement, extended deadline after extended deadline. Just seems very impotent to me.

  • It is a pervading theme of our time, when scoudrels have outthought the establishment and people act shocked that "this simply isn't cricket!" Its not, its capitalist business where who dares wins.

    Rant over.

    The worst thing is when said scoundrels Bozzer, Beery Nigel, Farage, Berlusconi, Trump have their flaws, lies and atrocious completely self-serving grasping behaviour exposed...and people still look at them and say: 'What a guy...'

    Trick me once, shame on you...trick me twice...

  • I also think like NHS Trust managements, the top echelons of the EFL should go to a secluded country hotel in the UK or perhaps a resort in the Maldives for an in-depth all expenses paid senior executive training session and seminar for let's say a week or two on recognising poor owners and what cannot be done about it because their hands are tied.

  • @OxfordBlue , I think the EFL are relatively impotent at present with both clubs. They are hoping that new owners can get over the line in time to rescue both and will help along if they can. They cant do it themselves so really have to wait to see if others can resolve this or not.

    Honestly I don't think points deductions for last season or indeed tonight's match are vaguely relevant at present. key priority is to try to ensure they survive as a club if that is possible. Giving them a little latitude has already compromised the integrity of the league this season a bit. Cant allow it to go to far. Frankly whether you take another 6 pts off their points total this season if they get to play their games doesn't feel terribly important at this point. Right in my view to wait and see what the situation is before making decisions like that that don't need to be made now.

  • Stronger regulation is hardly knee jerk after a decade of the Oystons and other petty criminals. Its a regulated industry like many othets, or should be, If Dale didn't meet the criteria he should have been given a small amount of time to sort that out or faced personal fines , expulsion as a director or other punishment. This is what happens in any other business. He can say he saved the club when nobody else would but we don't know that and they aren't saved. It may come to the stage that they do go bust and will have run up huge debts that won't be paid back in that time.
    It may be tricky to convince clubs to vote for some things that have cost and consequences but they also ensure a reliable playing field and the league should be showing leadership that fans would get behind.
    The solution is going to partly end up being canning the football creditors laws so clubs have to prove they are credit worthy like everyone else does. This will need some hardship funds and stronger regulation.

  • In answer to @DevC's question of "What would you rather they had done?"...

    1. 51/49 ownership rule like in Germany
    2. Better monitoring of spending and enforcement of spending rules
    3. Enforced financial transparency, what's being spent and on what
    4. Actual punishments for breaching said rules

    As things stand they're like the football equivalent of the Financial Conduct Authority before, during and after the 2008 financial crisis - taking the money and sitting on their hands while bad actors among their members burn everything to the ground. They're impotent, pointless and possibly corrupt. I'd rather they'd done everything differently.

  • @drcongo - With regard to item 3, ALL transfer fees should be disclosed including sell on percentages etc.

  • @drcongo said:
    In answer to @DevC's question of "What would you rather they had done?"...

    1. 51/49 ownership rule like in Germany
    2. Better monitoring of spending and enforcement of spending rules
    3. Enforced financial transparency, what's being spent and on what
    4. Actual punishments for breaching said rules

    As things stand they're like the football equivalent of the Financial Conduct Authority before, during and after the 2008 financial crisis - taking the money and sitting on their hands while bad actors among their members burn everything to the ground. They're impotent, pointless and possibly corrupt. I'd rather they'd done everything differently.

    Really good example there with banking, they did sod all for years and around the crisis but it brought so much cost and bad pr that the tighter regulation now is expected, not argued down.
    Sure some people are still up to old tricks but regulation extends to minute everyday process and systems now and fines are huge so the more enlightened institutions are falling over themselves to be seen as both compliant and ethical , and some of the others are copping huge fines.

  • The reason I brought up the FCA is Dev's repeated "What would you have done differently" question just reminded me of all the people who cheered on the bailing out of the banks while shrugging their shoulders and saying things like "nothing else could have been done" and "there was no way to prevent this". This isn't a criticism of Dev for asking those questions, but the things that needed to be done differently needed to be done a long time ago and now everyone is shrugging and saying "oh well".

Sign In or Register to comment.