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New owners plan to abort Rochdale takeover after investigation launched – EFL

Rochdale AFC v Newcastle United – FA Cup – Third Round – Crown Oil Arena
(Image credit: Richard Sellers)

Rochdale’s new owners plan to abort their takeover after an investigation was launched into the acquisition of the Sky Bet League Two club, the English Football League has announced.

The proposed takeover of the Greater Manchester outfit has been a subject of bitter controversy with Rochdale MP Tony Lloyd among those criticising the intentions of the club’s new owners Morton House MGT.

The EFL issued a statement on Saturday, saying: “On 16 August 2021, in accordance with its regulations, the EFL issued notice to multiple individuals of the commencement of disciplinary investigations in respect to the acquisition of shares in Rochdale Association Football Club.

“It is alleged that Morton House MGT acquired control of the club, and a number of individuals became relevant persons without the prior consent of the EFL in accordance with the Owners’ and Directors’ Test (OADT).

“The EFL’s objective was to gather additional evidence as it continued to investigate whether the club, any official, any relevant person(s) and/or any persons wishing to acquire control of the club complied with the requirements of the OADT and whether any relevant person(s) are subject to a disqualifying condition.

“Having considered the request for information made of them, Morton House MGT, on behalf of its directors, and representatives, has now informed the League that it is formally withdrawing from the approval process and plans to divest the shares acquired in the club at the earliest opportunity.”

The EFL added: “Furthermore, Morton House MGT, its directors, and representatives, have confirmed to the League they are refusing to co-operate with the League’s ongoing investigations.

“Despite these developments, the EFL will be continuing with its disciplinary investigations into this matter and will take the most appropriate action available to it under its regulations.

“More importantly, the EFL will continue to work with Rochdale AFC as we collectively seek to ensure a successful and sustainable long-term future for the club and all those associated with it, particularly its players, staff, and supporters.”