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EFL to review procedures after Bury demise

Last Updated: 05/09/19 6:33pm

The EFL is launching a review of its regulations and procedures regarding the financial sustainability of its clubs and will "consider lessons learned" from Bury’s demise.

Bury were expelled from the Football League after C&N Sporting Risk pulled out of a takeover of the club.

EFL chair Debbie Jevans hopes the review - which is an extension of an existing governance review - will "help everyone to understand what happened at Bury" and ensure mistakes made are not repeated.

Jevans said: "The withdrawal of Bury FC's membership is one of the most difficult decisions we have ever had to take at the EFL. This review will help everyone to understand what happened at Bury and ensure that, collectively, we learn and apply the right lessons for the future.

0:39 General manager Scott Johnson says the offer to buy Bury is dependent on what league the club are placed in as EFL agrees to discuss a proposal to see them put into League Two next season

General manager Scott Johnson says the offer to buy Bury is dependent on what league the club are placed in as EFL agrees to discuss a proposal to see them put into League Two next season

"The financial sustainability of EFL clubs is of vital importance to supporters and communities across the country as well as to the growth and development of the League itself.

"The EFL recognises its responsibility to examine whether we can improve our regulations and procedures in this area. In close collaboration with our membership, we want to play our part in helping to ensure a successful and prosperous future for the EFL so our clubs can contribute to their communities for many years to come."

0:40 Sky Sports News reporter Becky Williams brings details of the EFL's decision to agree to discuss Bury's potential re-entry to the Football League

Sky Sports News reporter Becky Williams brings details of the EFL's decision to agree to discuss Bury's potential re-entry to the Football League

Phase one of the review will examine Bury's financial records and management decisions, while also taking into account the role of the EFL's rules and regulations, including the application of the Owners' and Directors' Test.

The results of the initial phase will be published and will then feed into phase two, which will focus on the effectiveness of the EFL's regulations and procedures in ensuring the financial sustainability of EFL clubs.

0:55 Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham is backing a proposal for Bury to join League Two next season, rather than being expelled from the Football League altogether

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham is backing a proposal for Bury to join League Two next season, rather than being expelled from the Football League altogether

Once the review is complete, Jonathan Taylor QC will make his recommendations for modifications to the EFL's regulations and procedures.

Any changes approved by the clubs at the EFL's 2020 AGM would then come into immediate effect.

Full EFL statement:

The EFL has today announced a comprehensive review of the regulations and procedures concerning the financial sustainability of EFL clubs. The review, an extension of the EFL's existing governance review, will consider the lessons to be learned from the recent financial difficulties of Bury Football Club, which led to the withdrawal of its membership of the EFL, and will seek to identify changes that help to ensure that similar problems do not occur in the future.

The review, carried out in full consultation with clubs, will be conducted independently and led by Jonathan Taylor QC, an expert on commercial and regulatory issues in sport, who is leading the existing review of the EFL's governance systems and procedures. Mr Taylor is co-head of the Sports Group at law firm Bird & Bird and has extensive experience in advising national and international sporting bodies. The review will result in a set of recommendations being made to the EFL Board and member clubs.

The financial sustainability review will take place in two phases. Phase one will examine the background to Bury FC's insolvency including the ownership of the club, management decisions and funding arrangements. It will also consider the role of the EFL's regulations, including the application of the Owners' and Directors' Test, procedures in respect of financial viability and the approach to insolvent clubs and the EFL's efforts to help secure a long-term future for Bury FC.

The review team will consider all evidence carefully and at the conclusion of phase one, an interim report will set out the history and causes of Bury FC's financial difficulties and identify the key lessons to be learned for the future.

That will feed into the next phase where the review will focus on the effectiveness of the EFL's regulations and procedures in ensuring the financial sustainability of EFL clubs. Jonathan Taylor QC will make recommendations on modifications to the EFL's articles of association, regulations and procedures for consideration by the EFL board and clubs. Any changes approved by the clubs at the EFL's 2020 AGM would then come into immediate effect.


This news item was provided by the SkySports | News website - the original link is: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11688/11803041/efl-launches-review-to-learn-right-lessons-from-burys-demise

Huddersfield fined, ‘wanted kit banned’

Championship side fined after admitting FA misconduct charge surrounding oversized sponsorship logo on kit for pre-season match

Last Updated: 05/09/19 5:33pm

Huddersfield's PR stunt with Paddy Power has not been welcomed by the FA

Huddersfield's PR stunt with Paddy Power has not been welcomed by the FA

Huddersfield Town chairman Phil Hodgkinson asked a referee to ban players from wearing a controversial kit which has cost his club a £50,000 fine.

Despite the incident later being revealed as a PR stunt, the FA asked the Championship side to explain their heavily-branded Paddy Power shirt worn in a pre-season game against Rochdale on July 17.

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The strip featured a huge diagonal sash with new sponsors 'Paddy Power' written down it.

As a result, the club breached section C.2i of the FA's Kit and Advertising regulations, which states a jersey is permitted to have "one single area not exceeding 250 square centimetres on the front of the shirt".

The club admitted the charge and the governing body has warned Huddersfield over their future conduct.

The FA also published written reasons from the independent regulatory commission, which revealed Hodgkinson wanted the match referee to ban them from wearing the kit, which could have led to "potentially good publicity".

Huddersfield Town have been fined £50,000 after admitting a Football Association charge of misconduct

Huddersfield Town have been fined £50,000 after admitting a Football Association charge of misconduct

"The HTFC chairman informed me of the significant publicity around their Paddy Power sponsored kit and expected media attention for this match," referee Martin Coy submitted in written evidence.

"He said that the kit was not actually their real kit and it was all part of an advertising campaign. He said that he did not want the squad to wear the kit as the FA had informed HTFC by phone call that it would be a breach of their regulations. He said that he was new to the chairman role, this being his first game and he didn't want to be charged by the FA.

"He wanted me to ban them from wearing the kit and said that my decision could then potentially be good publicity and part of the advertising campaign.

"I was uncomfortable with this and felt it was not my place to ban the kit outright, but I informed them that I would recommend they followed the rules and advice from the FA. I also stated that I did not want to be part of any publicity. At this point the chairman said that the team would not wear the kit and I would not be part of any advertising…"

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The club claimed they would be in breach of a sponsorship agreement with Paddy Power if the team did not wear an oversized logo.

Hodgkinson wrote to the commission: "We were threatened with legal action and the sponsor said that it would be deemed to be a material breach of the sponsorship agreement if the team did not wear the oversized logo.

"In the circumstances, when faced with the threat of serious legal action from the club's main sponsor, and with no time to seek external legal advice, we felt we had no alternative but to wear the oversized logo in the match. This is an unfortunate event but we accept responsibility and offer a full apology."

Huddersfield Town have been fined £50,000 after admitting a Football Association charge of misconduct

Huddersfield Town have been fined £50,000 after admitting a Football Association charge of misconduct

The commission, led by Christopher Quinlan QC, wrote: "If the sponsor said that, it is difficult to see why the club felt at all threatened by it. By Clause 5.1.7 one of the club's responsibilities pursuant to the Sponsorship Agreement is that it "will comply with applicable laws and the regulations".

"By virtue of Clause 1.1 of the Sponsorship Agreement "Regulations" include the FA's regulations. Therefore, the club had a responsibility under the Sponsorship Agreement to comply with the FA's Kit and Advertising Regulations. It could hardly be a material breach of the agreement to comply with its terms. That should have been apparent to anyone who read it."

The panel said it did not receive any evidence from Paddy Power.

In asking the commission to fine the club, the FA stated: "The FA does not consider the fact that the kit was only worn in one friendly fixture to be particularly mitigating. The blatant nature of the advertisement garnered much media attention and, to use the colloquial phrase, 'the damage was already done'."

"Whilst betting companies are currently permitted to advertise on kits, The FA submits that the decision to enlarge the advertisement in such an overt manner was irresponsible, particularly in the current climate regarding gambling."

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This news item was provided by the
SkySports | News website - the original link is: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11688/11802917/huddersfield-fined-50000-over-paddy-power-shirt-stunt-but-wanted-kit-banned-by-referee

Hector to join Fulham in January

Last Updated: 05/09/19 4:55pm

Michael Hector spent last season on loan at Sheffield Wednesday

Michael Hector spent last season on loan at Sheffield Wednesday

Michael Hector will join Fulham from London neighbours Chelsea in January after signing a contract until 2022.

The 27-year-old centre-back has already started training with Fulham - who have the option to extend his deal for a further 12 months - before officially completing his move in the New Year.

After arriving at Craven Cottage, Hector told Fulham's website: "It's good to now be a part of the setup here. Hopefully things can work out well and we can get promoted.

"I know how tough the Championship is and it won't be any different for us. We'll have to work hard for it but the squad is very good and my job will be to help them push for promotion."

Hector joined Chelsea from Reading in 2015 but never played a competitive game for the club.

He spent the majority of his time out on loan, and had spells at Reading, Frankfurt and Hull.

Hector, who has 30 caps for Jamaica, spent last season on loan at Sheffield Wednesday, where he won their player of the year award.

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This news item was provided by the
SkySports | News website - the original link is: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11688/11802962/michael-hector-to-join-fulham-from-chelsea-in-january

Huddersfield fined over Paddy Power kit

Last Updated: 05/09/19 4:02pm

Huddersfield's PR stunt with Paddy Power has not been welcomed by the FA

Huddersfield's PR stunt with Paddy Power has not been welcomed by the FA

Huddersfield Town have been fined £50,000 after admitting a Football Association charge of misconduct relating to a controversial publicity stunt involving a betting company.

Despite the incident later being revealed as a PR stunt, the FA asked the Championship side to explain their heavily-branded Paddy Power shirt worn in a pre-season game against Rochdale on July 17.

The strip featured a huge diagonal sash with new sponsors 'Paddy Power' written down it.

Huddersfield Town have been fined £50,000 after admitting a Football Association charge of misconduct

Huddersfield Town have been fined £50,000 after admitting a Football Association charge of misconduct

As a result, the club breached section C.2i of the FA's Kit and Advertising regulations, which states a jersey is permitted to have "one single area not exceeding 250 square centimetres on the front of the shirt".

The club have now admitted the charge and the governing body has warned Huddersfield over their future conduct.

Huddersfield wore the controversial strip in a pre-season friendly against Rochdale on July 17

Huddersfield wore the controversial strip in a pre-season friendly against Rochdale on July 17

An FA statement said: "Huddersfield Town FC has been fined £50,000 and warned as to its future conduct by an independent Regulatory Commission after admitting a charge in relation to The FA's Kit and Advertising Regulations.

"Playing kit worn by the club's first team during a pre-season friendly against Rochdale AFC on 17 July 2019 breached FA Regulation C.2(i)."


This news item was provided by the SkySports | News website - the original link is: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11688/11802917/huddersfield-fined-50000-over-paddy-power-shirt-stunt

Derby defend £80m Pride Park value

Last Updated: 05/09/19 3:45pm

Derby County's Pride Park was valued at £80m

Derby County's Pride Park was valued at £80m

Derby County have defended their £80m valuation of Pride Park in the wake of an independent investigation initiated by the English Football League.

The EFL has commissioned valuations of the Rams' home ground as well as Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough and Reading's Madejski Stadium as part of the Profitability and Sustainability (P&S) process.

Derby have told Sky Sports News they conducted their own independent commercial valuation of Pride Park before selling it to another of owner Mel Morris's companies - a move that has been met with criticism from other Championship clubs.

Derby County owner Mel Morris sold Pride Park to another of his companies before leasing it back

Derby County owner Mel Morris sold Pride Park to another of his companies before leasing it back

And Sky Sports News has been told that a number of other second-tier sides have expressed concerns that Pride Park was overvalued in the sale, allowing Derby to spend more on their playing squad without breaching the EFL rules.

Championship clubs are currently reviewing the P&S process, which is drawing to a close for the previous financial year, and are discussing whether there should be any rule changes, after concerns were raised over Derby and other clubs selling their stadiums to third-party companies and leasing them back.

Middlesbrough have started legal action against Derby over the issue and Boro chairman Steve Gibson has complained to the EFL, saying he feels the sale and lease-back system contravenes the League's rules on P&S - but his proposal to change the rule earlier this year was voted down by the other clubs.

Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson has been among the most vocal opposition to Derby's selling and leasing of Pride Park

Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson has been among the most vocal opposition to Derby's selling and leasing of Pride Park

Separate accusations have been levelled at Derby that, if the stadium is indeed worth £80m, the football club is being under-charged in rent.

But Derby are adamant that the rent reflects the amount of use the football club gets from the stadium, which amounts to an average of 30 full days each year when they host their home matches.

Derby also remain adamant that they have not broken any financial rules.

The Midlands club have also told Sky Sports News they believe the cost of that independent review into their stadium and others will be a six-figure sum and something all 24 Championship clubs will be expected to share, which has also been met with concern from at least one other Championship club.


This news item was provided by the SkySports | News website - the original link is: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11688/11802891/derby-county-defend-80m-pride-park-as-efl-initiate-independent-valuation-of-stadium