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Bury FC Review

The EFL has published the independent report by Jonathan Taylor QC into the circumstances leading to the withdrawal of Bury FC’s membership of the EFL.

The EFL’s Board of Directors commissioned the Bury FC Review in September 2019 with a remit, in particular, to consider the manner in which the EFL’s regulations and procedures, and the EFL’s policy in respect of insolvent clubs, were applied by the EFL to Bury FC, and to what effect.

For the purposes of the Review, the EFL gave Mr Taylor unrestricted access to its personnel and files, as well as an opportunity to obtain information from 3rd party stakeholders. Mr Taylor and his team examined more than 2,000 documents relating to Bury FC and interviewed current and former EFL executives and directors, as well as stakeholders including supporter group Forever Bury and the Football Supporters Association.

In his report, Mr Taylor sets out in detail the chronology of events at Bury FC, assesses the causes of the Club’s financial difficulties and makes a number of observations about potential changes to EFL regulations.

The EFL’s Board is committed to ensuring the effectiveness of its regulations and procedures in promoting the financial sustainability of member Clubs. Working in conjunction with Clubs, the EFL’s Board of Directors has established a number of processes to examine potential changes to ensure that problems similar to those at Bury FC do not occur in the future. The observations made by Mr Taylor in the Bury FC report will feed into these processes.

As part of this work, EFL Clubs are currently reviewing the cost control measures for their respective divisions (Profitability and Sustainability rules in the Championship and Salary Cost Management Protocols in Leagues One and Two) to consider how the rules should evolve to safeguard the long-term viability of Clubs.

In addition, the EFL Board, with support from the newly formed Regulations Committee, is leading a review of the regulations which include procedures undertaken relating to a change in control of a member Club. These include the provision of future financial information and the Owners’ and Directors’ Test, which is currently based on a specific set of objective criteria and does not seek to make a judgment as to the suitability of an individual to own or manage a Club.  This work will consider whether the regulations should be modified in order to strengthen the powers of the EFL or to increase the range of sanctions available for non-compliance.

The EFL will discuss any possible changes to the Owners’ and Directors’ test with both the Football Association and Premier League.

The report of the Bury FC Review can be found here - Bury FC Review

The review (Bury FC review) has been conducted in accordance with Terms of Reference that can be viewed here.


Governance Review

The EFL has also published the report prepared by Jonathan Taylor QC in relation to the EFL’s Governance processes and structures.

Mr Taylor and his Review team reported to, and took instructions, from a Governance Working Group (GWG) consisting of Debbie Jevans CBE and Simon Bazalgette, the independent directors on the EFL Board, and three EFL Club Divisional representatives, being Nick Randall QC (Nottingham Forest, Championship), Mark Palios (Tranmere Rovers, League One), and Colin Garlick (Port Vale, League Two). The recommendations made in the report are those of Mr Taylor and the GWG.

Following consideration of the report, the EFL Board and Clubs have endorsed a number of proposed changes to strengthen the EFL’s governance procedures and the formal process to enact these changes is set to commence.

The report of the Governance Review can be found here - Governance Review

The Governance Review has been conducted in accordance with Terms of Reference that can be viewed here.