Given the number of clubs who have experienced financial difficulties this season, there is perhaps now room for the EFL to look at the way in which they tackle the problems of their members.
The rule concerning the ‘fit and proper persons test‘ is surely due for an overhaul as it has been shown to be unfit for purpose on numerous occasions. It can investigate legal and financial details, it can check the structure and economic viability but what it cannot ask is: are you a clown?
This puts the game at a great disadvantage because as far as clowns are concerned, there has been an entire circus of them involved in football at various levels.
As some sort of fix for this and to serve as a warning to others, the EFL have imposed a 12 point penalty on Bolton next season for putting the club into administration. The EFL will now ‘commence discussions with the administrators with the aim of achieving a long-term future for the club‘.
Starting a season 12 points adrift of everyone else leaves Bolton fans in a position they have little control of. Whilst concern must be directed at the staff who haven’t been paid and are relying on food banks, the fans must feel hard done by especially if they’ve bought season tickets for the 19/20 season.
It is almost beyond belief that serious thought was given to the interest shown by Laurence Bassini, the clown prince of football owners. His inability to show that he had any funding in place to purchase the club was the reason talks collapsed, and Bolton found themselves back at the High Court.
It would be perhaps a wise move for the EFL to consider giving potential new owners a trial period. In which to prove they had the best interests of the club at heart because, at present, few people have much faith in the ruling body to sort out the mess.
Whilst the lawyers and advisers argue over the millions owed, the bleak outlook for the staff is one of debt and empty food cupboards, and something really needs to change soon to avoid it happening elsewhere.