EFL Fit and Proper Owners Process | Vital Football

EFL Fit and Proper Owners Process


Vital Squad Member
Good afternoon all, Wigan fan here.

The reason for my post is to make you aware of a petition, started by Wigan fans, to get the EFL Fit and Proper Owners Process debated in parliament with the hope that the EFL will be forced to review, revamp and make it fit for purpose to protect the future of football clubs in England.

For those of you not familiar with Wigan Athletic's current problems, very briefly, Wigan Athletic was sold by one offshore business to a second offshore business during June this year. Within days of acquiring the club, the new owners put it into administration resulting in a 12 point EFL penalty and ultimately relegation from the Championship.

The club was well managed, did not have any outstanding bills, there was no notice or rumour that this was going to happen and currently no sensible explanation why this was done so quickly. However, the new owners had been approved by the EFL.

Subsequently, many people have lost their jobs, charitable projects have ceased, fantastic work within schools and the local area has been adversely affected and the whole community is in a state of shock and devastation. The club is having to sell players to pay wages and bills and even if we survive and win our appeal against the 12 point penalty, it is very likely that our current squad will be decimated.

If this can happen to Wigan Athletic, it can happen to any club.

In recent times we have seen other Football League clubs suffer similar problems, some even go out of business altogether (eg Bury) and each time the EFL states that we must learn lessons......... but nothing ever changes.

Wigan fans feel this is now a watershed moment. Many clubs are likely to experience serious financial problems due to the effects of the Covid 19 crisis. We need a governing body that will look after and protect its members in the best possible way, starting with the Fit and Proper Owners review.

If you feel you would like to support our cause then please follow the link below and sign the petition.

This is not about getting Wigan's 12 point penalty removed, it is about demanding the EFL take responsibility and become accountable for their actions.

Thanks for your time.



Vital Reserves Team
I can't remember Wigan giving us much support when we had a go at the EFL over changing the regulations over ownership of clubs, in fact some of their supporters actually took the piss over the Oyston affair.
However I appreciate it was only a limited number of fans and could apply to most other clubs where a small number will always be confrontational, I wouldn't dream of tarring the whole fan base because of some thick individuals who believe it can never happen to their club.
There needs to be a radical shake up on this subject it is well overdue and I support the Wigan action.
Not because I have any great affection for Wigan (been punching above their weight for years) but because the Fit and Proper test is an absolute waste of time and desperately needs overhauling


Vital 1st Team Regular
16k signatures at the moment. Says it needs 100k for it to be discussed in Parliament.

Surely getting this circulated among fans of Charlton, Bolton, Bury, Southend, Blackpool etc etc would get that number up.


Vital Squad Member
The problem is, if the new would-be owners are legal and above board financially then the football authorities declaring them inappropriate could be considered slander and libelous depending on the reasons given. Things like asset stripping might be considered immoral but it is a perfectly acceptable business practice under the eyes of the law.

The football authorities might be able to block someone if they think the funding came from dubious means, but they would need solid evidence that would stand up in court before pointing the finger at the potential new owners.


Vital 1st Team Regular
The EFL don't need to risk legal action because it's not a commentary but a decision. This is a competition with limited numbers with rules agreed by the paricipants. If you fall foul of the rules, tough. The EFL is only deciding whether an individual, or group has sufficient funds, whether those funds are from a known and legal source and whether the actors have judgements, liabilities, or history suggesting they would not, or could not maintain their responsibilities.

There has not been a long list of messy court cases and climbdowns. There has been some success when, after drawn out attempts at taking control, individuals have failed the tests of ownership. There has also been a steady succession of dubious actors taking the piss, the stadium and the cash and leaving unsustainable debt behind. Time the EFL applied their own rules properly, or made some tougher ones. If they don't legislation may well follow.