What is The Owners and Directors Test?
The Owners' and Directors' test is concerned with ensuring that Clubs are not managed or controlled by individuals who may present a risk to the Club's position.
It is self assessment which is undergone by Owners' and Directors' where they declare that there are no circumstances (''Disqualifying Conditions'') that apply to them.
''Owners and Directors Test'' means the provisions set out in Appendix III of The League's Regulations which can be found via by clicking here.
Who does it apply to?
Directors of the Club
Directors of any associated, parent or group companies
Persons in accordance with whose directions or instructions the Club's management are "accustomed to act"
Persons exercising "control" over the Club
What is Control?
A 30% or more shareholding in the Club
The regulations also allow us to consider shareholders holding less than 30% if they are acting "in concert" with others and together they go over 30%
For example, if there is a 25% shareholder and they are someone in accordance with whose instructions the Board of the Club are "accustomed to act" they still qualify as a Club Director and have to submit to the Test.
How do we identify who should be tested?
Information collated form Cubs at the start of the season
Companies House filings
Copies of information supplied to the Football Association
Note: The onus is on the Club to ensure it has submitted the appropriate forms for ALL persons who are subject to the test.
Someone is disqualified if:
They have an "interest" in more than one Club
They are banned by a sport's governing body (worldwide)
They are found to have committed a breach of the prohibition on betting on football in England and Wales
They have unspent convictions for offences of dishonesty, corruption, perverting the course of justice, serious breaches of the Companies Act or conspiracy to commit any of those offences
This applies regardless of the country in which the crime occurred, or the date of the offence (worldwide)
They have unspent conviction for any offence that resulted in a sentence of imprisonment of 12 months or more
They are being a registered sex offender
They are disqualified under the Company Directors Disqualification Action 1986 (or having given an equivalent undertaking)
They are struck off by a professional governing body e.g. the Law Society
They are being subject to an Individual Voluntary Arrangement or Bankrupt
They have been a director of a football club which has suffered two insolvency events past June 2004 or separate football clubs which have each suffered an insolvency event past June 2004.
How do we find out if someone is disqualified?
Confirmation by Club
Information from third party sources
NB Primarily this is a self certification test
What if a Club fails to disclose a director, or makes a false declaration?
Fixed Fines for failing to complete declarations
Persistent failure is misconduct and can render the Club subject to withdrawal of membership
Negligent or intentional provision of false declarations is misconduct
Failing to obtain prior approval for new directors is misconduct
What if a Club has a Disqualified "Club Director"?
The Club is liable to be served with a notice of withdrawal of membership, thus ending the Club's participation in The League
PUBLICATION OF OWNERSHIP
All Clubs must publish on their website details of the owners (directly or indirectly, legally or beneficially) of 10% or more of the Club.
Failure to do so is a breach of Regulations and would be referred to the FDC. Any Club in breach would be charged and would have to appear before a disciplinary commission. We do not have the power to serve a notice of withdrawal of membership in such circumstances.
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