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BREAKING NEWS!! EFL -12 Points - Full Written Explanation Thread


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7 hours ago, striker said:

You make a good point, especially where the EFL deliberately sought to delay, how can the current sliding scale punishment be applied fairly for an infraction which occured prior to this being agreed by member clubs. Also, considering the precedent set by the Birmingham case. 

 

They did the same thing with Forestieri in regard the the offence occurred when 5 games was the punishment. Due to delay and them changing stance since the incident, he got 6 games. 

 

I just dont think they know what they are doing and make it all up on the fly. They desparately want a club to get a maximum punishment, so they can say "we are doing all we can" and "our punishments work". But in truth they don't and are weak in both constructing rules, applying them in a democratic fair way.  

 

I have no issue with us getting a points deduction for falling foul of P&S (if we didn't win the case and I don't agree with the sale as a fan) but to me any punishment acknowledged when accounts published, should be heard and punishment applied in the next year, not delayed/chosen to inflict when the EFL want. If you are going to run the game, run it fairly. 

 

Hopefully if we appeal, the points deduction would be reduced (as no scale at time of punishment) or at least applied to the season it should have. Or like man City, get away under technicalities even though we've done wrong. But I don't think it will, and I don't think we can complain as this situation is of our own making for failing to plan for the future. 

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8 hours ago, Nero said:

Read the whole verdict now. Its appalling. 

 

Seriously the EFL though.... relying on a hand written note to defame SWFC club officials. Not using their own investigatory powers properly. Applying a different standard to DCFC than SWFC. There actually does seem to be an agenda - which you think is ridiculous - but its there in black and white. 

 

Our problem is governance. Anyone who has worked with owners getting their finger into things they dont know anything about will feel for KM, JP etc! What a nightmare that must be. 

 

One point that shouldn't be missed is at the time of the non ground sale, the points sanctions had not been written by the EFL and they were criticised for this by the tribunal. If it had been known that a 12 pointer was coming our way KM could probably have motivated DC to do things in the correct timeframe.

 

The tribunal seems to say that both sides were wrong to try to get the ground sale concluded after the end of July as the oral contract from July 15th was invalid according to law. That seems to be weird in a case where we are discussing EFL rules and not the law of the land.

 

Who is to blame if both sides come away from the August 3rd meeting with different assumptions about what happened, the ruling body or the club? Wouldn't the ruling body produce minutes as is the case in any contentious meeting - not some scribbles that they find 18 months later and haven't passed on to SWFC? Its a complete failure of governance on their part.

 

Loads of issues for NdM to unpick

It didn't appear to me that DC was meddling merely that KM and JR had not undertaken their roles successfully and DC was dragged into trying to sort things out?

 

I would have expected that KM and JR should have been capable to discharge their roles in such a way that we avoided this fiasco.

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2 hours ago, mattitheowl said:

I think the one thing I've taken from this whole sorry affair is that the EFL don't really care if you break the rules, they simply don't (or didn't) want to have to do anything if you do.  The suggestion from the ex-CEO that we should follow Villa's lead doesn't suggest to me a body keen on employing strict rules of corporate governance for the betterment of the competition as a whole.

 

The EFL are just not fit for purpose.  They come out of this looking like a set of incompetent morons once more (strike 3 now after Bury, Bolton and this).  It feels like they do their best to stop people breaking the rules (suggesting work arounds etc.) then when they do they go after clubs so hard they lose site of the issue and completely balls it up, like they see the red mist or something.  It's really odd.

Its clearly an organization that is more concerned with public perception than actually aiding and governing the game.

 

Simply not fit for purpose.

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9 hours ago, Bluesteel said:

Interesting that we are appealing. Obviously they can’t deduct points for last season now so we are safe. But can’t see us getting rid of the points deduction just because it wasn’t done years ago.

 

I don't think it is because of that...

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2 hours ago, Owls-Fan said:

It’s going to be slightly interesting what sponsors we get for the new Season, Chansiri again or something more legit...

Chansiri is a legit sponsor,The EFL have looked at this and said , as long as the amount the has put in under sponsorship is not greater than a club of our standing could attract in a normal commercial market rate its fine. I think the figure was £1.1m , if you want a comparison the stoke owner put in £4m !!! are they really four times more attractive than us ?

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9 hours ago, toooldforthis said:

Having read it, it is clear that Katrien Meire's (our then CEO) evidence, given after leaving the club to become COO of Club Brugge, was both damning and condemning.

She has her professional reputation and integrity to maintain.  I don't see how she could have done any different.

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5 hours ago, Jimbob1867 said:

I posted this on the appeal thread but should probably have posted here:

 

My two penneth.  I am a lawyer for what it's worth.  

 

Some good points made on this thread about the EFL eg failing to investigate Charge 2 properly, accusing Chansiri of faking how bad his English is, trying to pick when to deduct points so as to relegate us etc.  I won't comment on these further.  

 

HOWEVER - what seems clear to me is what an utter poo show things are in terms of how the club is run.  I also don't think they have a leg to stand on with respect to an appeal.  We brought this on ourselves and it seems to have been totally avoidable if we'd had competent people dealing with this.

 

The club keeps saying they proceeded because they had EFL and auditor sign off.  However: (i) the EFL basically said they would sign off if there was a binding contract before 31 July with sufficiently certain terms (particularly as to price) - and it turns out there wasn't; and (ii) the auditors included an Instructed Assumption that the heads of terms was a binding contract dated 15 July - which, it turns out it wasn't.  In fact it seems the heads of terms, while binding, had insufficient certainty as to price, and was not entered into before 31 July, but was entered into on 15 August and backdated to 15 July.  On that basis I don't think the EFL has done an about turn in relation to what they initially said would be acceptable, which seems to be the crux of our defence (although you can certainly question their motivation for only looking at this months and months later).

 

It's beyond all comprehension why the club thought a backdated contract would be acceptable from a legal point of view.  Apparently the club didn't take any decent legal advice on how to deal with this.  

 

We should have been on top of this well before the deadline and not be relying in August on an email exchange with the EFL to say this was all ok.  We seem to have got away with charge 2 partly because the EFL didn't investigate properly at the time and partly because of our own incompetence ie it seems the heads of terms was backdated but because in emails and meetings after 15 July we made clear there wasn't a binding agreement (why would you do that if you were trying to demonstrate everything had been signed off before 31 July?!) then we can't be guilty of having deliberately misled the EFL.  If we'd just backdated the heads of terms and stuck to the script throughout that it had been signed on 15 July, and not on 15 August as seems to be the case, I think we might have fallen foul of charge 2 as well.

 

There don't appear to be any realistic grounds for a reduction in the points deducted, only that we be found not guilty, which doesn't seem at all likely.  

 

We should just accept this and move on and PLEASE, DC, appoint some competent people to run the club.

FFS.  Posted this in the wrong thread again.  Anyway here it is:

 

These posts are pretty long but for those wanting to fully understand the judgment hopefully it’s worth the time.
 

So I’ve had chance to read the judgment fully and reflect on what I said above where I had just flicked through it.  

Anyway, conclusion is: exactly what I said above. Absolute poo show. 😫
 

A few points to clarify/raise:

 

- it wasn’t the case as I said in the previous post that the auditors signed off the accounts on the basis of the Instructed Assumption ie that there was a binding contract (the heads of terms) in place on 15 July. They signed it off based on their understanding that there was a binding contract but without enquiring as to whether actually such a thing existed. This reflects badly on them. It’s not the case they said - “Wednesday, here’s your accounts which are fine as long as you have that contract”. They just made vague enquiries about the contract without checking it existed and signed off the accounts which it appears made no reference to them being subject to the contract being in place. 
 

The Instructed Assumption appears to be something given to John Pryor, the audit expert. Basically, it seems he was told for the purpose of giving his expert evidence: “if you assume the Instructed Assumption is correct [ie there was a binding heads of terms dated 15 July in place] what would your view be on whether Wednesday breached the rules? He concluded no they wouldn’t - but the evidence then went on to show we didn’t have such a contract (it was probably not binding due to uncertainty about the price and it was signed on 15 August and backdated to 15 July which you can’t do). 
 

- I’m struggling to understand and accepting the total fizzing apathy and tardiness demonstrated by the club in sorting this out. As early as 25 April we told the EFL we were planning a sale by financial year end (which was 31 May at the time and which we extended twice by a month each time, presumably to buy us time to sort out the sale) yet we failed to deal with it. For instance, at the time when our financial year end was 30 June (by when the sale had to be agreed) and hadn’t yet being extended to 31 July, para 31 notes: “not much happened as between the Club and the EFL during June”. 🤔

 

- also the fact we appeared to take NO legal advice on such a crucial issue is mind boggling. From para 66: “neither the Club nor the auditors took any informed legal advice about how an agreement for sale of the stadium to DC that was legally binding and effective before 31 July 2018 could be fashioned (if it were legally possible) after 31 July 2018”. [Free legal tip of the day - it can’t.]. The QCs we employed came up with some arguments to the contrary of which the panel said in para 67: “While the Commission cannot say...that the arguments are completely untenable...they are sufficiently remote from main-stream property law thinking as to not have reflected the advice the Club...would probably have received...at the time...”. 
 

- there is some legal chicanery from our high flying QCs about how, if the auditors shouldn’t have signed off on the accounts because there was no binding contract re the ground sale, meaning they were not in accordance with financial reporting standards, then those accounts should not be classed as Annual Accounts and therefore the EFL can’t bring disciplinary action until we have Annual Accounts 😫. Nice try. Not having a go at counsel - they were just playing the hand they were dealt but it just shows the cards were covered in something icky and smelly. 
 

- I have to say I think the panel comes out with a great deal of credit from this. Their judgment is very balanced, detailed and they seem unswayed by some of the more dramatic actions on both sides. I actually think they gave us a bit of a pass on charge 2. It’s clear we backdated a contract which you simply cannot do, but then I guess we didn’t conceal it so looking at the charge the EFL brought technically we are not guilty. It hardly hides how poor our conduct was though. 
 

- a controversial point to end on - setting aside the reason why the EFL decided to revisit this 10 months after the event, at the time we were considering the sale they appear to have been helpful. They basically told us what was required and never made any noises along the lines of the sale of the ground itself being problematic. They merely specified perfectly reasonable requirements to put in place to show the sale occurred in 17/18 financial year. Quite simply we failed to do that. 
 

- the only ground for appeal I can see is that we argue 12 points is too many and seek a reduction. I can’t see any basis on which the deduction would be completely overturned. To seek a reduction we would have to argue that the fact the guidance was not in force at the time of the offence, ie which set out how many points are deducted depending on how far over the FFP limit you are (£15m or more for 12 points; we were at £18m) means we should get less. Unless there are other similar cases with materially lower deductions I can’t see how we have a chance. I’m not aware there are any.
 

As mentioned before, all of this smacks of there being no control or management of the club. It’s the clearest indication yet of the underlying problems many on here have suspected for some time. 


Right I’m all EFL’d out. We signed any strikers yet?

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1 minute ago, Wakefield owl said:

I’m not lawyer but when punishment is levied shouldn’t it be based on the rules/laws in place at the time of the offence?

The rule at the time was up to 12 points deduction. The issue was there was no guidance on when the panel should look to deduct eg 1 point or 12 points. This was only issued later 

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1 hour ago, splan80 said:

They did the same thing with Forestieri in regard the the offence occurred when 5 games was the punishment. Due to delay and them changing stance since the incident, he got 6 games. 

 

Do you mean the FA who waited until after the court case?

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8 minutes ago, rickygoo said:

Do you mean the FA who waited until after the court case?

Yes I did sorry. Was using that example that basically I feel the football World Live by their own rules and by rules I mean change it when they want and apply it when they want, rather than having a clear and reasonable process/acting fair. 

 

Penalising parties with/according to penalties yet to be in force at the time of incident seems strange to me. 

 

In a court I understand that is different but so is the law of guilt that must be proven. 

 

But hey hi, it's about opinions. 

 

I still think there are many many things we've done wrong and a guilty of of course. 

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1 hour ago, slinger208b said:

 

I don't think it is because of that...


That looks like the only real way of appealing. Ie that the points deduction should’ve been two seasons ago and they brought the charge too late in the context of their own rules.


Seems pretty clear we didn’t do enough on the stadium sale and left it really late.

 

I think it will be a stretch to make that stick.

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4 minutes ago, Bluesteel said:


That looks like the only real way of appealing. Ie that the points deduction should’ve been two seasons ago and they brought the charge too late in the context of their own rules.


Seems pretty clear we didn’t do enough on the stadium sale and left it really late.

 

I think it will be a stretch to make that stick.

 

I thought the argument is that we were acting with the EFLs advice and agreement and they either backtracked or just fudged it up then tried to recover ground...

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Unless Chansiri is some interfering megalomaniac i honestly do not understand how katrien Miere is coming out smelling of roses. Was she not charged with the running of the club?

 

Don't get me wrong, DC doesn't come out of this well, but it appears, from references to him being in Thailand, that the responsibility (as you would expect with the hierarchy in place) to complete, or at the very least setup with sufficient clarity to allow completion of, the transaction fell to the incumbent UK based directors? Chiefly, the CEO.

 

No? 

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2 minutes ago, Spondon Owl said:

Unless Chansiri is some interfering megalomaniac i honestly do not understand how katrien Miere is coming out smelling of roses. Was she not charged with the running of the club?

 

Don't get me wrong, DC doesn't come out of this well, but it appears, from references to him being in Thailand, that the responsibility (as you would expect with the hierarchy in place) to complete, or at the very least setup with sufficient clarity to allow completion of, the transaction fell to the incumbent UK based directors? Chiefly, the CEO.

 

No? 

 

I think there's some merit to that - she says she advised DC not to sell the ground and change the dates; but still counter-signed the documents with the dates changed. If she thought it was wrong she shouldn't have signed, and resigned then.

 

Her and Redgate's only defence would be DC is madder than a March hare and didn't delegate or communicate with them. If so, again, she should have resigned a lot early than the following February.

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20 minutes ago, slinger208b said:

 

I thought the argument is that we were acting with the EFLs advice and agreement and they either backtracked or just fudged it up then tried to recover ground...


I think that is part of it. In the sense that the former EFL chief was working with us and looking to find a way through and it was even agreed that backdating a sale could work. As long as the legals were right and they presumed HOTs were enough.

 

But since the new chief at the EFL arrived and other clubs complained they questioned whether that was right and under scrutiny the legals dont appear to have been checked or given enough time. So as part of an appeal we would need to state that the independent commission and EFL were really clutching at straws to come to the conclusion that it needed to be legally right to “count”. The legal bit is probably more of a basis to make a decision than a rushed EFL chief dying to get off on holiday so it seems difficult to hide from that issue. Especially when KM appears to distance herself and wash her hands of the retrospective sale too. Which cant have helped swfc in conceding that ground as that question could’ve been answered differently I’m sure...

 

The only area where the commission seem to gloss over is that the EFL punish us for backdating a sale incorrectly but then wish to apply our punishment after the window for punishment in their own rules and regs. That would be my focus, was that given enough of a shakedown by the commission? they were critical of that and the approach to derby and all the inconsistencies against what are established guidelines but didn’t delve any deeper. Which if successful could presumably make the process shown to be flawed and any punishment outdated/unable to be applied.

 

It seems a long shot either way. But appeals are I understand, like judicial review. Less about the decision but whether the rules are applied as they should be.

 

 

Edited by Bluesteel
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7 minutes ago, Animis said:

 

I think there's some merit to that - she says she advised DC not to sell the ground and change the dates; but still counter-signed the documents with the dates changed. If she thought it was wrong she shouldn't have signed, and resigned then.

 

Her and Redgate's only defence would be DC is madder than a March hare and didn't delegate or communicate with them. If so, again, she should have resigned a lot early than the following February.

Agreed. I'd be astonished if she didn't have delegated authority to make decisions or at least put together robust proposals (based on outsourced support where required) against these types of issues. 

 

Its all too easy to claim DC is an incompetent and yet he absolutely has made mistakes. The question is, was his oversight too lax and too reliant on the perceived competence of those working within his organization or was he the complete opposite and an overbearing megalomaniac? Certainly one of the two but the former is ironically him being more aligned to how this forum suggests he should run the club. 

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1 hour ago, Jimbob1867 said:

FFS.  Posted this in the wrong thread again.  Anyway here it is:

 

These posts are pretty long but for those wanting to fully understand the judgment hopefully it’s worth the time.
 

So I’ve had chance to read the judgment fully and reflect on what I said above where I had just flicked through it.  

Anyway, conclusion is: exactly what I said above. Absolute poo show. 😫
 

A few points to clarify/raise:

 

- it wasn’t the case as I said in the previous post that the auditors signed off the accounts on the basis of the Instructed Assumption ie that there was a binding contract (the heads of terms) in place on 15 July. They signed it off based on their understanding that there was a binding contract but without enquiring as to whether actually such a thing existed. This reflects badly on them. It’s not the case they said - “Wednesday, here’s your accounts which are fine as long as you have that contract”. They just made vague enquiries about the contract without checking it existed and signed off the accounts which it appears made no reference to them being subject to the contract being in place. 
 

The Instructed Assumption appears to be something given to John Pryor, the audit expert. Basically, it seems he was told for the purpose of giving his expert evidence: “if you assume the Instructed Assumption is correct [ie there was a binding heads of terms dated 15 July in place] what would your view be on whether Wednesday breached the rules? He concluded no they wouldn’t - but the evidence then went on to show we didn’t have such a contract (it was probably not binding due to uncertainty about the price and it was signed on 15 August and backdated to 15 July which you can’t do). 
 

- I’m struggling to understand and accepting the total fizzing apathy and tardiness demonstrated by the club in sorting this out. As early as 25 April we told the EFL we were planning a sale by financial year end (which was 31 May at the time and which we extended twice by a month each time, presumably to buy us time to sort out the sale) yet we failed to deal with it. For instance, at the time when our financial year end was 30 June (by when the sale had to be agreed) and hadn’t yet being extended to 31 July, para 31 notes: “not much happened as between the Club and the EFL during June”. 🤔

 

- also the fact we appeared to take NO legal advice on such a crucial issue is mind boggling. From para 66: “neither the Club nor the auditors took any informed legal advice about how an agreement for sale of the stadium to DC that was legally binding and effective before 31 July 2018 could be fashioned (if it were legally possible) after 31 July 2018”. [Free legal tip of the day - it can’t.]. The QCs we employed came up with some arguments to the contrary of which the panel said in para 67: “While the Commission cannot say...that the arguments are completely untenable...they are sufficiently remote from main-stream property law thinking as to not have reflected the advice the Club...would probably have received...at the time...”. 
 

- there is some legal chicanery from our high flying QCs about how, if the auditors shouldn’t have signed off on the accounts because there was no binding contract re the ground sale, meaning they were not in accordance with financial reporting standards, then those accounts should not be classed as Annual Accounts and therefore the EFL can’t bring disciplinary action until we have Annual Accounts 😫. Nice try. Not having a go at counsel - they were just playing the hand they were dealt but it just shows the cards were covered in something icky and smelly. 
 

- I have to say I think the panel comes out with a great deal of credit from this. Their judgment is very balanced, detailed and they seem unswayed by some of the more dramatic actions on both sides. I actually think they gave us a bit of a pass on charge 2. It’s clear we backdated a contract which you simply cannot do, but then I guess we didn’t conceal it so looking at the charge the EFL brought technically we are not guilty. It hardly hides how poor our conduct was though. 
 

- a controversial point to end on - setting aside the reason why the EFL decided to revisit this 10 months after the event, at the time we were considering the sale they appear to have been helpful. They basically told us what was required and never made any noises along the lines of the sale of the ground itself being problematic. They merely specified perfectly reasonable requirements to put in place to show the sale occurred in 17/18 financial year. Quite simply we failed to do that. 
 

- the only ground for appeal I can see is that we argue 12 points is too many and seek a reduction. I can’t see any basis on which the deduction would be completely overturned. To seek a reduction we would have to argue that the fact the guidance was not in force at the time of the offence, ie which set out how many points are deducted depending on how far over the FFP limit you are (£15m or more for 12 points; we were at £18m) means we should get less. Unless there are other similar cases with materially lower deductions I can’t see how we have a chance. I’m not aware there are any.
 

As mentioned before, all of this smacks of there being no control or management of the club. It’s the clearest indication yet of the underlying problems many on here have suspected for some time. 


Right I’m all EFL’d out. We signed any strikers yet?

The apparent tardiness of the club in the ground sale was probably due to the fact that EFL hadnt decided what punishment would be going forward. Remember that Bournemouth got just a £7m fine the year before. The points tariff wasnt set till September. Ground sales was last resort after player sales, the Villa method or taking a fine. It is after all a lot of cash to get liquid.

On mitigation any organisation that holds a crucial meeting (aug 3) doesn't minute it and distribute the minutes cant be surprised when everyone has a different view of what was agreed. Thats shocking governance from efl.

I agree that the panel have done a decent job in a tough situation. 

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