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EFL to review conduct of club owners

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The English Football League has issued the following statement: 'The ongoing issue of the conduct of club owners, directors and executives is one that has been repeatedly raised by the media, government and other key stakeholders, and has on many occasions led to public perception issues for the League, its clubs and competitions. It was therefore agreed at the Summer Conference that there was a requirement to conduct a review.

At its meeting today, the EFL and clubs formally began a consultation in an attempt to understand what the specific concerns are and whether they can be dealt with under existing regulations or if reform is required in an attempt to avoid future reputational damage.

The consultation will look to:

a) discuss with clubs an appropriate formulation of the responsibilities expected of the clubs themselves, the club owners, directors and other relevant employees;
b) begin to outline conduct which could be considered contrary to those objectives, and how the EFL would begin to assess whether that conduct falls short of what is expected at any particular level;
c) begin the process of developing guidelines on when the EFL may intervene to remind clubs and individuals of their responsibilities and where appropriate remedial action is not taken, proceed to regulatory action if it is viewed that the conduct is bringing clubs and/or the EFL into disrepute.

Clubs will now respond formally to a consultation paper and the matter will be discussed further later this season.'

It will be noted that the consultation will not talk to disgruntled fans or even to their representative organisations.   One of the longest running disputes between fans and owners has been at Blackpool.   It has been called 'the worst run club in British football'.

Other clubs where there have been serious ongoing disputes and under performance by the clubs concerned include Blackburn Rovers and Charlton Athletic.   The situation at Leyton Orient was only resolved after the club had been relegated.