Takeover of Doncaster in doubt
The takeover of Doncaster by One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson and former chairman John Ryan is in "serious doubt," the Tomlinson Ryan Trust has announced.
The takeover was scheduled to be formally completed on Friday, following the exchange of contracts and a news conference held in London last month.
The Trust set up a funding scheme with the aim of raising 2 million pounds, but the deadline for pledges passed on Thursday with the total more than 1 million pounds short of the target, which means Ryan will now not pass the Football League's "fit and proper person's test."
"The Tomlinson Ryan Trust Crowdfunder project has failed to reach the target as set out under the terms of the funding arrangements," said the Trust via a statement. "The result of which will be that all pledges will be cancelled and funds returned to the relevant parties.
"As a result of the funding not being available from Crowdfunder for the DRFC project, John Ryan is unable to meet the requirements of the Football League fit and proper test. The consequence of this is that the deal to take over the club is now in serious doubt."
The Trust had previously stated the takeover of the club would go ahead irrespective of the success or failure of its crowdfunding project.
It is understood Ryan, who last November stepped down as Doncaster chairman thus ending a 15-year association with Rovers, met with Football League representatives this week in a bid to reassure them he and Tomlinson had the finances to run the League One club.
A Football League spokesman said: "In any club takeover it is a requirement for the prospective purchaser to provide a business plan and to demonstrate that the funding is in place to deliver on that plan.
"This is part of the League's ongoing efforts to ensure the financial sustainability of our clubs. In this case, this fundamental requirement has not yet been met. We are in close contact with the club and will continue our dialogue."