BCFC: EFL Charges

9 Mar 2023 | 12 comments

Blues Trust

Several members have been in touch to ask about the current and potential charges the club is facing. Below is a summary of what we know at the moment. And what we don’t.

Charges relating to the proposed takeover by Maxco

The EFL has rules which require anyone making and/or influencing decision making at a club, known as a “relevant person”, to have passed the owners and directors test administered by the EFL itself. The EFL has charged the club and some individuals with breaches of these rules regarding people that have not passed the test acting as relevant person(s) during the Maxco due diligence period. 

At some future point there will be a hearing in front of an independent panel, where the EFL present the charges and the sanctions they wish to impose. The club and the individuals concerned will offer their defence, and the panel will arbitrate and decide the outcome. Either party could then appeal the panel’s decision. It is not expected that the panel will be arranged for several months.

Alternatively, the club and the individuals could agree to the charges and accept the EFL’s proposed sanctions rather than go to a hearing.

Whilst it is unclear who the individuals being charged are, Birmingham Sports Holdings Limited (BSHL), Blues’ parent company, has issued statements saying that “none of the Company and the Directors are charged by the EFL”. Press speculation suggests that some of the individuals charged were associated with Maxco, and Paul Richardson himself has announced on Instagram that “we will defend any alleged breaches of the regulations vigorously”. It is also possible that individuals outside of BSHL but involved in the ownership of BCFC could have been charged.

Further investigations by the EFL

There is a separate investigation where the EFL has asked the club/owners to explain the discrepancy between the submitted ownership information, where a Mr Wang Yaohui does not appear, and an affidavit obtained from a Singapore court case which states that Wang Yaohui is the beneficial owner of Dragon Villa, a company which holds significant shares in BHSL. The club and BCFC Board members have denied knowing the existence of Wang Yaohui publicly, both at fans meetings and to the press. Charges relating to the Wang Yaohui enquiry have not yet been made by the EFL, although the Daily Telegraph has recently reported that it believes charges are likely. If charges are brought then the same process regarding a hearing  will ensue.

What we do not know

Regarding the current charges relating to Maxco, we do not know the detail of any charges and who has been charged. However, the Daily Telegraph again claims that Paul Richardson, Maxi Lopez and former Charlton chairman Matt Southall have all been charged. 

We also do not know what sanctions are suggested for the charges, although there is a recent precedent in a case the EFL brought against Rochdale, which has similarities to the charges brought against Blues. In that case, persons were selling shares without EFL approval and without the knowledge of club officials, causing people to act as relevant persons that had not been approved. Rochdale had to admit wrongdoing even though the share transactions actions were out of their control. As a result the club was given a 6 point deduction, suspended for two years, and individuals were banned from being a relevant person for two years. The points deduction was suspended presumably because the EFL agreed that the wrongdoing was out of the club’s control.

Given the timescales it seems unlikely that any punishments will take effect until next season.

On the further investigation into beneficial owners we know little more, although what has crucially changed in the last year has been the affidavit in the Singapore court case which gives the EFL some concrete evidence to examine. We will have to wait to see what the EFL decides, but any charges on this subject are likely to be without precedent in English football.

Blues Trust


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  1. John P

    It does make me wonder who passed the EFL board as fit and correct people to run a league, after all it was them that passed our present owners as fit, responsible and relevant to own the club. Though the blame for how the club has been run has to be put on the present owners the EFL must take their share of the blame for their disgraceful decision making, did they actually do any checks? They have a lot to answer for though they will deem themselves as the untouchables.

    As always it’s the fans who will suffer.


    • Peter Bates

      Correct j p efl law unto themselves kro

    • peter paul mangan

      I’ve said exactly the same many time before John,they seem above scrutiny and reproach,just like FIFA.

  2. Peter Bates

    Do the efl know who they passed as fit and proper when bshl took over the club ,it seems to me that the efl messed up that process and are now trying to cover up there mistakes,if the owners of the club have nothing to hide then they should fight the efl all the way through the courts and again the efl passed bshl as fit and proper kro

  3. Gary Sheriff

    Once again, the fans and genuine people at the Blues will pay the ultimate price ‘whatever the outcome’?

  4. Clive Rathbone

    Many thanks to the Trust for attempting to decipher a most almighty mess. The blackest day was when foreign owners were allowed to come into English Football. The entire game has been ruined by greed from players demanding ridiculous wages to tv companies paying out stupid sums to cover games resulting in extortionate ticket prices.
    Is the key in the name Dragon Villa a secret campaign by the club in B6 ?
    Joking apart i agree with the above comments Yes the EFL should carry some blame and it is us the genuine fans who will pay the price.

  5. Mark R

    If the ‘independent panel’ reviewing this ultimately level charges against BCFC (that affect the football side of the business in any way at all), maybe they can also investigate whether a ‘Fit and Proper Persons Test’ ever existed in the first place, and if it does, then the EFL should be charged for incompetence and letting down a great club and it’s fantastic fan-base! If it doesn’t actually exist in any workable form (as most people suspect) then the EFL should be charged for lying as well as incompetence!!
    In other words our football club itself and us fans are the victims here not the wrongdoers, let’s be clear about that.


  6. Fletch

    Who to blame?..Sullivan for selling to Carson …Carson for getting caught or the elf for not holding up the sale to present owners …how come Chelsea get new owners so quick while we have been scratching our backsides for months??

  7. jaejay

    Will the Government football charter examine the EFL I wonder??

  8. Paul A

    Historically, under the leadership of Alan Instone, the Wisemans, Coombs and even Karren Brady, Blues enjoyed a deserved reputation as a well run club and business. The current ‘ownership’ dispensed with a whole tier of club administration and governance ( in fact anyone with a shred of credibility walked away) and are probably now the most disreputable bunch in the game (and that’s saying something).

    We have to get these charlatans out.

    • susan allen

      Why only even Karen Brady The club never has been or will be run as well as Karen run the club Cannot understand why anyone would think otherwise It is the only time this club has ever been run well Coombs and Wisemen only kept it ticking over and sold are better players kro

  9. Ronald clive

    The English football league are a disgrace they pasted the owners in thefirst place.it’s not the first time they have cocked up I remember clubs sold for a pound players not payed pensions not payed into them clubs are not in the football league anymore.when they come to discuss Birmingham city case they should take a long hard look at themselves could we have done better for the clubs i think so. Kro

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