EFL talks tough on Morecambe Football Club takeover

Morecambe FC fans await

The English Football League has said it still needs financial information from Sarbjot Johal, the prospective buyer of League One strugglers Morecambe Football Club, before it can sanction a sale.

The League also hit out at “inaccurate and unhelpful” public comments, just days after the Shrimps Supporters Trust met with Johal and expressed their concerns.

‘’The EFL notes some of the inaccurate and unhelpful public comments being made in respect of a prospective acquisition of control at Morecambe Football Club,’’ said the EFL in a statement, thought to be a dig at the fans.

‘’As with any proposed change of control at an EFL Club, there are a number of requirements that need to be met in accordance with EFL Regulations which primarily relate to the Owners and Directors’ Test self-declaration, providing Future Financial Information, along with evidencing the source and sufficiency of any funding.

‘’Whilst some of the information requested several months ago has been received, further details are still required, and the League has invited Mr Johal and his advisers to a meeting later this month to discuss further the proposed transaction.

‘’No approval on any change of control at Morecambe will be made until the proposed purchaser and Club satisfy in full the requirements of the EFL’s Regulations and the appropriate levels of due diligence are completed.’’

Last week the Shrimps Trust, confirmed they had met with Johal and had expressed the view that they couldn’t see evidence to back up the hype that he was a tycoon.

“During the meeting, we were able to raise some of the concerns that have arisen over the last few weeks,” said the Shrimps Trust.

“Sarbjot was keen to impress upon us that the financial position and performance of the trading entities within the Sarb Capital group are vastly changed from the financial statements currently on public record at Companies House.

“Whilst no further evidence was provided in the meeting, in our discussions it was mutually understood that the evidence to support the financial viability of the takeover will be provided to the EFL, who will perform the appropriate due diligence through the EFL Owners and Directors Test.

“We understand Sarb Capital have already invested an amount of equity into the club and their intention would be to invest further equity through share issue.

“As part of the due diligence process, we would expect the EFL to clarify the source of the investment funds given that this information is not publicly evident from the results of Sarb Capital, its group and associated companies.

“Sarbjot told us of his ambitions for the club, subject to approval from the EFL, which are aspiring and would involve significant investment both on the pitch and off it.

“Sarbjot is keen to maintain a close relationship with supporters if his application is successful, and build on our community foundations.

“Our understanding is that the process is now with the EFL and the Trust look forward to a diligent and decisive response in due course. While we await further information after a constructive meeting, the Trust is in continued close dialogue with the Football Supporters’ Association.”

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