Why Weymouth should be worried
Posted by John Beech on November 21, 2009
Just how brazen can you get in flouting the Fit and Proper Person test? See my last posting for some suggestions. There is however a new contender.
Latest on the takeover at Weymouth from the Dorset Echo includes the following gem: ““We are on course to fulfil our due diligence and will make a full statement on Monday on our decision, which is to carry on and take the club on,” said …” (1)
The name that follows is not that of Chris Ryan, presented as the “prospective new owner” (2), but that of Steve Beasant, who the Echo euphemistically describe as ‘Advisor’ to the Ryan consortium. Beasant was declared personally bankrupt less than a year ago (3) following the compulsory winding-up of two of his companies, leaving debts running into millions of pounds.
Beasant happily speaks of ‘we‘, and indeed the club itself referred to the investment proposal as having come form “Chris Ryan, Steve Beasant and a group of un-named investors” (4, 13 November).
The Ryan consortium would present Beasant’s position as “purely a consultant on behalf of the consortium” (5), which is hardly compatible with Beasant’s use of ‘we‘ mentioned above.
If Beasant is not “a person who exercises or is able to exercise direct or indirect control over the affairs of the Club” (from the FA’s own rules on who the Fit and Proper Person test applies to), then what on earth is he?
Once again the Fit and Proper Person test proves itself to be absurdly ineffective. It seems anyone can circumvent it by describing themselves as a ‘consultant’ or an ‘advisor’ and owning less than 30% of the club.
If the FA does not act swiftly to plug the obvious loopholes in the test, it will be seen as an object fit for proper ridicule. It is in serious danger of bringing the game into disrepute, for want of a better expression.
Meanwhile, unless some action is taken before the Monday deadline for finalising the sale, Weymouth will be subjected to the business practices of someone whose recent track record is hardly one to inspire confidence. Hasn’t the club suffered enough?