EFL Hint at Charlton League Expulsion
On Sunday I posted an article about Charlton Athletic Football Club's season and how they could face expulsion from the Football League. The English Football League (EFL) have now made a statement that warns of this possibility.
The EFL statement regarding Charlton requested further information about the current ownership of Charlton and information about the proposed new owners, the consortium headed (at least publicly) by Paul Elliott. There is a need to "clarify the ongoing ownership issues at the Club". Failing to do breaches several sections of EFL regulations.
"However, it remains the responsibility of the Club and any prospective owner(s) to demonstrate that the requirements of the EFL Regulations are met. The Club is aware of the consequences of not meeting those requirements. "
So what could these consequences be? Under their own regulations, the EFL can only really impose four types of sanctions on clubs.
Order a deduction of points
Impose a financial penalty - ether direct payment or withdrawal of payments made to the Club
Impose an embargo on registering players
Expel the Club from the league
The first option is possible but not plausible. For one Charlton are already relegated and this deduction of points is usually used when clubs could have unfairly gained an advantage, such as breaking financial fair play rules.
A financial penalty does not seem applicable in this case as it is a lack of meeting club membership requirements rather than a more direct failure of discipline, such as failing to control the behaviour of players/supporters.
The Club is already under an embargo and so this can not be the consequence that the EFl is hinting at.
This leaves Club expulsion from the Football League being the only sanction that the EFL could plausibly use against Charlton Athletic.
Precedent of Expulsion
This is all the more likely when we look at an EFL statement regarding Bury's expulsion from league football last year.
"The EFL Board continues to be frustrated at the lack of significant progress that has been made by Mr Dale in providing the information required. However, we will continue to work with the current ownership in an attempt to achieve a resolution ahead of the Notice of Withdrawal deadline of Friday 23 August."
There is the expression of more information needed, retained communication and frustration of the EFL. This shows that there is precedent for withdrawal of EFL membership being used for this type of penalty, especially considering how long this process has dragged on for.
EFL Failing Staff and Fans
The EFL, in their statement made to Charlton, does say that "the League will not provide a running commentary on this matter but will update as appropriate." But this suggests that this statement provides an update when it just restates what everyone already knew. That there was a problem with ownership and that this trying to be resolved.
The EFL needs to make some sort of commentary to clarify the consequences of the not meeting EFL requirements so that everyday staff, players and fans can plan accordingly.