How to pass the Owners’ and Directors’ Test

Following the appointment of Claudiu Florica and Marian Mihail  as directors of CAFC Ltd the EFL have commenced the assessment of them in line with their Owners' and Directors' Test (ODT).

The test in full can be read here:

We attempt below to provide an accessible summary of what it entails:

Firstly, the test exists "to protect the image and the integrity of the EFL and its competitions, the well-being of clubs and the interests of all the stakeholders in those clubs"

Basically, it "prohibits a person who is subject to a Disqualifying Condition from becoming a Relevant Person for any club"

So, who is a Relevant Person?

There is a detailed definition of what constitutes a Relevant Person but it broadly covers all Directors plus Chief Executive, Chief Operating Officer or "any other person undertaking any duties which would objectively be considered to be equivalent to those roles."

So, what are the Disqualifying Conditions?

They are listed under five headings:

  1. Associations between clubs - having the power to determine or influence the management of another EFL or Premier League club
  2. Disciplinary matters - eg suspension from a professional body; failing to provide or providing false information to the EFL; breaching prohibition on betting on football matches in England and Wales.
  3. Company Disqualification matters - being subject to an order under Company Directors Disqualifcation Act 1986.
  4. Insolvency matters - being subject to various orders (eg Individual Voluntary Arrangement, Bankruptcy Order etc) or being a Relevant Person of at least two football clubs that have suffered insolvency events or one football club that has suffered two insolvency events.
  5. Criminal matters.

A Relevant Person would be disqualified under criminal matters if:

they have an unspent conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction in England and Wales in respect of any offence involving dishonesty, corruption, perverting the course of justice, ticket touting, admitting spectators to watch a football match at unlicensed premises, a serious breach of any requirements under the Companies Acts 1985 or 2006 or for any attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the above offences.

But also - having an unspent conviction for a like offence to any of the above by a court of competent jurisdiction outside England and Wales. Or, having an unspent conviction (not limited to the above categories) by a court of competent jurisdiction anywhere in the world that results in a sentence of at least 12 month's imprisonment.

In addition, disqualification would follow if he or she:

"in the reasonable opinion of the EFL has engaged in conduct outside the United Kingdom that would constitute an offence of the sort described in this definition (i.e. dishonesty, corruption etc) if such conduct had taken place in the United Kingdom, whether or not such conduct resulted in a conviction".

The EFL may "exercise any of the powers of investigation conferred on it under the regulations to determine compliance". It may therefore require a relevant person or club to supply such information as it may require and, if this isn't supplied or false information is supplied, the person and/or club may be guilty of misconduct.

So what happens if the EFL decides that someone is subject to a Disqualifying Condition?

That person must resign within 28 days of being informed of the EFL's decision, although there is an appeal process (see Section 5.2)

We assume that, if the Relevant Person did not resign in this timescale, the club would be guilty of misconduct.

We are not clear what the implications would be for CAFC if Claudiu Florica or Marian Mihail were disqualified by the EFL and we will be seeking clarification on this.