EFL Independent review results into EFL handling of Bury FC

Manorlounger

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Makes for some fairly heavy reading but, interestingly, the conclusions are not, to my interpretation, damning of the EFL's decision to expel Bury FC. It's more a case of the existing rules being not fit for purpose.
Recommend reading through if you can, some of the stuff is quite hair raising in terms of how to run a football club and a football league. The EFL rules are just extraordinary in how weak and ineffective they have become.
 

Steve Gilbert

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Makes for some fairly heavy reading but, interestingly, the conclusions are not, to my interpretation, damning of the EFL's decision to expel Bury FC. It's more a case of the existing rules being not fit for purpose.
Recommend reading through if you can, some of the stuff is quite hair raising in terms of how to run a football club and a football league. The EFL rules are just extraordinary in how weak and ineffective they have become.

I found the amounts paid to premier league clubs for loan players staggering. It is almost worth investing that money into your own academy to bring through your own youth players. Short term it would mean trending water maybe in the league but long term you would begin to have a profitable model. It would also stop the top clubs from having a squad of 40 odd players and relying on clubs like ours to take 1 or 2 players on loan to keep them happy.
 

tonyw

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I skimmed some of it, but generally it was an illuminating read.

My first thought was that I'm sure I've played cricket against that guy......certainly my old team used to play his law firm every year!

Second thought was that the below paragraph was a pretty succinct and undeniably reasonable view of the general problem:

There are certainly grounds to criticise the owners who presided over Bury FC's financial ruin. With the benefit of hindsight, it can also be argued that the EFL could and should have intervened sooner and more forcefully. However, I do not see anything that the EFL could have done that would have made any difference, because the real cause of Bury FC’s collapse is the fact that Clubs are able to fund player wages not just from normal operating income but by means of cash injections from their owners. This can make Clubs completely reliant on owner funding to remain competitive on the pitch. If such an owner becomes no longer ready, willing and/or able (for whatever reason) to provide such funding, the Club is inevitably plunged into deep financial crisis. In such cases, unless a new owner comes along with sufficient funding to meet the Club's commitments, there is nothing that the EFL can do to save the Club. The real question the Bury FC case raises, therefore, is whether the SCMP rules need to be revised to remove, or at least limit, the risks attendant on reliance on owner funding to underwrite player expenditure.

Which, of course, is also the situation that we're in at OUFC at the moment - as our recent accounts so clearly illustrate.

A hard salary cap is the only way that we're going to stop this happening over and over again - and until the clubs start thinking about what's good for the game, and not wholly about the Premier League riches, and implement one.....we're inevitable going to see the Bury situation repeat itself over and over again. Possibly with Southend and/or Macclesfield as soon as next season.


Final thought is that I had thought that Steve Dale was an evil, conniving bastard who was the root cause of Bury's demise.
Having read much of that report, it's clear he really wasn't - he was just a bit of an eccentric simpleton who got in way over his head.......
 

Marked Ox

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I skimmed some of it, but generally it was an illuminating read.

My first thought was that I'm sure I've played cricket against that guy......certainly my old team used to play his law firm every year!

Second thought was that the below paragraph was a pretty succinct and undeniably reasonable view of the general problem:

There are certainly grounds to criticise the owners who presided over Bury FC's financial ruin. With the benefit of hindsight, it can also be argued that the EFL could and should have intervened sooner and more forcefully. However, I do not see anything that the EFL could have done that would have made any difference, because the real cause of Bury FC’s collapse is the fact that Clubs are able to fund player wages not just from normal operating income but by means of cash injections from their owners. This can make Clubs completely reliant on owner funding to remain competitive on the pitch. If such an owner becomes no longer ready, willing and/or able (for whatever reason) to provide such funding, the Club is inevitably plunged into deep financial crisis. In such cases, unless a new owner comes along with sufficient funding to meet the Club's commitments, there is nothing that the EFL can do to save the Club. The real question the Bury FC case raises, therefore, is whether the SCMP rules need to be revised to remove, or at least limit, the risks attendant on reliance on owner funding to underwrite player expenditure.

Which, of course, is also the situation that we're in at OUFC at the moment - as our recent accounts so clearly illustrate.

A hard salary cap is the only way that we're going to stop this happening over and over again - and until the clubs start thinking about what's good for the game, and not wholly about the Premier League riches, and implement one.....we're inevitable going to see the Bury situation repeat itself over and over again. Possibly with Southend and/or Macclesfield as soon as next season.


Final thought is that I had thought that Steve Dale was an evil, conniving bastard who was the root cause of Bury's demise.
Having read much of that report, it's clear he really wasn't - he was just a bit of an eccentric simpleton who got in way over his head.......

Disagree on the latter and SD being an eccentric simpleton. He comes across to me as an evasive chancer, who based on his past record, saw an opportunity but misjudged it because of the football creditors rule etc and the customers/media cared/got noisy.
 

tonyw

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Disagree on the latter and SD being an eccentric simpleton. He comes across to me as an evasive chancer, who based on his past record, saw an opportunity but misjudged it because of the football creditors rule etc and the customers/media cared/got noisy.

No doubt he saw an opportunity and misjudged it. But my the time he bought it, the club was already ****ed, and the only way anyone was going to save it was to sink in millions of their own money. Money, frankly, it looks like Steve Dale doesn't even have - but certainly wasn't about to part with.

Yes, he thought he could work around the problems, and was wrong. But he didn't actually create the problems himself.
 

Marked Ox

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No doubt he saw an opportunity and misjudged it. But my the time he bought it, the club was already ****ed, and the only way anyone was going to save it was to sink in millions of their own money. Money, frankly, it looks like Steve Dale doesn't even have - but certainly wasn't about to part with.

Yes, he thought he could work around the problems, and was wrong. But he didn't actually create the problems himself.

I agree he didn't create the problems, Day is to blame for that. His evasiveness dealing with the FL wanting info on funds etc and with those interested in buying the club says so much for me.
 

OUFCGav

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I skimmed some of it, but generally it was an illuminating read.

My first thought was that I'm sure I've played cricket against that guy......certainly my old team used to play his law firm every year!

Second thought was that the below paragraph was a pretty succinct and undeniably reasonable view of the general problem:

There are certainly grounds to criticise the owners who presided over Bury FC's financial ruin. With the benefit of hindsight, it can also be argued that the EFL could and should have intervened sooner and more forcefully. However, I do not see anything that the EFL could have done that would have made any difference, because the real cause of Bury FC’s collapse is the fact that Clubs are able to fund player wages not just from normal operating income but by means of cash injections from their owners. This can make Clubs completely reliant on owner funding to remain competitive on the pitch. If such an owner becomes no longer ready, willing and/or able (for whatever reason) to provide such funding, the Club is inevitably plunged into deep financial crisis. In such cases, unless a new owner comes along with sufficient funding to meet the Club's commitments, there is nothing that the EFL can do to save the Club. The real question the Bury FC case raises, therefore, is whether the SCMP rules need to be revised to remove, or at least limit, the risks attendant on reliance on owner funding to underwrite player expenditure.

Which, of course, is also the situation that we're in at OUFC at the moment - as our recent accounts so clearly illustrate.

A hard salary cap is the only way that we're going to stop this happening over and over again - and until the clubs start thinking about what's good for the game, and not wholly about the Premier League riches, and implement one.....we're inevitable going to see the Bury situation repeat itself over and over again. Possibly with Southend and/or Macclesfield as soon as next season.


Final thought is that I had thought that Steve Dale was an evil, conniving bastard who was the root cause of Bury's demise.
Having read much of that report, it's clear he really wasn't - he was just a bit of an eccentric simpleton who got in way over his head.......
Not sure about that. He got a CVA through by creating (of course his son in law did it entirely independently) a company the day before and it's only transaction happened to be buying enough debt (for a % of its value) to swing the vote.
 

Robie

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Could he not have knocked up a bank account with a few extra 0's on the end of it in paintshop to satisfy the EFL!

What a crook. Feel for the Bury fans. I would love to see the same sort of detail into the Bolton situation and what was different.
 

tonyw

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Not sure about that. He got a CVA through by creating (of course his son in law did it entirely independently) a company the day before and it's only transaction happened to be buying enough debt (for a % of its value) to swing the vote.

OK, fair enough - let me rephrase; he may still have been an evil, conniving bastard but he wasn't the root cause of Bury's demise.

By the time he took over, the only way to save Bury was for someone to sink several million of their own cash in.....almost certainly never to be seen again.

It seems very likely that he didn't fully realise this when he took over.

Dale then tried to choose Door B - which was to find a creative/crooked way around the debt to keep the club alive without blowing millions. He failed, but by that point the club likely wasn't salvagable anyways (except by a very wealthy saint).
 

OUFCGav

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OK, fair enough - let me rephrase; he may still have been an evil, conniving bastard but he wasn't the root cause of Bury's demise.

By the time he took over, the only way to save Bury was for someone to sink several million of their own cash in.....almost certainly never to be seen again.

It seems very likely that he didn't fully realise this when he took over.

Dale then tried to choose Door B - which was to find a creative/crooked way around the debt to keep the club alive without blowing millions. He failed, but by that point the club likely wasn't salvagable anyways (except by a very wealthy saint).

Indeed. He does seem a very strange man, this quote days it all "I never went to Bury. It’s not a place I frequented. So for me to walk away from Bury and never go back is a very easy thing to do. I don’t do anything up there. I didn’t even know there was a football team called Bury to be honest with you. I’m not a football fan"
if that is true, why would you take control of a football team, especially as he clearly did zero due diligence (everyone else that did DD walked away). You could see a fan making that sort of illogical move, but someone with no attachment to the team or area? It makes me think that there is more to come out.
 

horseman

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I found the amounts paid to premier league clubs for loan players staggering. It is almost worth investing that money into your own academy to bring through your own youth players. Short term it would mean trending water maybe in the league but long term you would begin to have a profitable model. It would also stop the top clubs from having a squad of 40 odd players and relying on clubs like ours to take 1 or 2 players on loan to keep them happy.

Would not stop the big clubs having the pick of the potential first though, i've already told of an 11 years old kid being paid 15k week/month to sign and his parents mortgage paid for 2 houses + other extras..That is the problem right there along with 2/3/4th fringe players being paid astronomical amounts so clubs further down the chain have no chance.
Everything in football is not the sport it's the money, there is no incentive to actual win anything as even finishing 4th is considered a success because you get more from the Golden Pot...Clubs in the prem and championship continue to take the P**s with our domestic cup competitions because keeping your nose in the honey pot is the be all and end all

With regards the academy model clubs like Crewe were well known for this but where are they now? if all that remains is to just survive then you may as well lock the gates and throw away the keys because nothing will ever change..The gap was allowed to get way beyond parity and even today some of our own fans prefer us to stay where we are as they believe clubs like ours will automatically struggle in a higher league so what is the point?
 

Marked Ox

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Would not stop the big clubs having the pick of the potential first though, i've already told of an 11 years old kid being paid 15k week/month to sign and his parents mortgage paid for 2 houses + other extras..That is the problem right there along with 2/3/4th fringe players being paid astronomical amounts so clubs further down the chain have no chance.
Everything in football is not the sport it's the money, there is no incentive to actual win anything as even finishing 4th is considered a success because you get more from the Golden Pot...Clubs in the prem and championship continue to take the P**s with our domestic cup competitions because keeping your nose in the honey pot is the be all and end all

With regards the academy model clubs like Crewe were well known for this but where are they now? if all that remains is to just survive then you may as well lock the gates and throw away the keys because nothing will ever change..The gap was allowed to get way beyond parity and even today some of our own fans prefer us to stay where we are as they believe clubs like ours will automatically struggle in a higher league so what is the point?

Tbf to Crewe, they are still producing players as their 1st team has quite a few promising players in it iirc. They are also in the automatic promotion battle in L2.
 

horseman

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Tbf to Crewe, they are still producing players as their 1st team has quite a few promising players in it iirc. They are also in the automatic promotion battle in L2.

Yes that is correct and i was not having a pop at them but with an even playing field they might just might of had chance to sit at the top table but the elite stole their players.They are one of the fixtures that i always looked forward to as they played the game the right way and were one of the first lower down the chain many years ago that understood you did not always have to have a big number 9 and with how the game is played today were way ahead of their time.
So my point was that they had the model suggested but it has not allowed them to progress in real terms as clubs bigger up the chain will still poach their players.
 

Marked Ox

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Yes that is correct and i was not having a pop at them but with an even playing field they might just might of had chance to sit at the top table but the elite stole their players.They are one of the fixtures that i always looked forward to as they played the game the right way and were one of the first lower down the chain many years ago that understood you did not always have to have a big number 9 and with how the game is played today were way ahead of their time.
So my point was that they had the model suggested but it has not allowed them to progress in real terms as clubs bigger up the chain will still poach their players.

I'm hoping things are changing because of players as a fair number of younger players appear to have moved on from top clubs to get 1st team football in recent years citing wanting to play (of course we had a few of them).

But we only hear about those who move, but don't hear about those who stay at lower league clubs unless it is your club. For instance, weren't Leeds after Fabio Lopes but he stayed with us. It would be interesting to know how many moved from lower league FL clubs to Championship/PL Academies and vice versa, broken down by Division.
 

horseman

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I'm hoping things are changing because of players as a fair number of younger players appear to have moved on from top clubs to get 1st team football in recent years citing wanting to play (of course we had a few of them).

But we only hear about those who move, but don't hear about those who stay at lower league clubs unless it is your club. For instance, weren't Leeds after Fabio Lopes but he stayed with us. It would be interesting to know how many moved from lower league FL clubs to Championship/PL Academies and vice versa, broken down by Division.

I don't think they ever will change enough to bring back near parity, if we look at our team we have the chance to grow together with the odd tinker or 2..We could change things from how is today and be that "Crewe" from years ago but it cannot happen because the default has always to be we wont stand in your way and the £££££ signs from clubs and players stays the same because it's been allowed to get this way.
What do you think would happen if there was a wage cap? or things returned to near parity, the tv money was evenly spread? many of the players would be on the first plane to pastures new or never come in the first place..Do we truly believe that players came to Man City for example for the club? Who allowed the introduction of the Premier League and why?

Have you seen the report regarding the Premiership and how they want to stop relegation and promotion and just have a play off every "5 Years" now that is Rugby but what happens if Football goes down that route and how many clubs will fold because they've been chasing the Golden Pot?
 

Marked Ox

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I don't think they ever will change enough to bring back near parity, if we look at our team we have the chance to grow together with the odd tinker or 2..We could change things from how is today and be that "Crewe" from years ago but it cannot happen because the default has always to be we wont stand in your way and the £££££ signs from clubs and players stays the same because it's been allowed to get this way.
What do you think would happen if there was a wage cap? or things returned to near parity, the tv money was evenly spread? many of the players would be on the first plane to pastures new or never come in the first place..Do we truly believe that players came to Man City for example for the club? Who allowed the introduction of the Premier League and why?

Have you seen the report regarding the Premiership and how they want to stop relegation and promotion and just have a play off every "5 Years" now that is Rugby but what happens if Football goes down that route and how many clubs will fold because they've been chasing the Golden Pot?

I think the more likely outcome, and UEFA/FIFA are looking at this, is limitations on the amount of players being loaned out by one club to stop warehousing of players that the likes of Chelsea do. Iirc, limitations on youth squad sizes is being looked at as part of this.

As I said, it would be interesting to see the players going in both directions. Iirc, we picked up Nico Jones from Fulham, Fabio Sole from Reading and wasn't Shandon Baptiste at Reading originally as well.

On your last point, I suspect a European Super League would happen before the PL stopping relegation.
 
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