Football League refusal is ‘a scandal’ - John Ryan

John Ryan
John Ryan

John Ryan has slammed the Football League for rebuffing his and One Direction star Louis Tomlinson’s takeover bid - calling their decision “a scandal”.

Ryan and Tomlinson’s takeover had been expected to be formally rubberstamped today.

But Ryan yesterday revealed that the pair’s bid had been rejected due to a tightening of ownership regulations by the Football League.

“I think it’s a scandal,” said Ryan.

“I’ve not got any criminal convictions. I’ve given 20 years service to the Football League and this is the way I’ve been repaid.

“I think they’ve tightened up the regulations since a certain situation at Leeds and I feel I’ve been made a scapegoat.

“I’m finished with football now. I’m sick of it. I’ve been used and abused.

“I’ve done my best for Doncaster Rovers. That’s all I ever wanted to do. My intention was only ever to give us a good club,

“I doubt I’ll ever go to another football game now. I’m so disappointed at the way myself and Louis have been treated.

“I feel like the rug’s been pulled from beneath us.”

The matter of finance, and providing £5 million capital up front, appears to be at the forefront of why the Football League have intervened.

Ryan, however, is adamant that he and Tomlinson had the “assets” to afford the buy-out. He also denied that the takeover was dependent on the Crowdfunder scheme designed to raise £2 million, which hit deadline yesterday £1.25m short of its target.

“I’m told they [the Football League] now want clear funds of £5 million from day one,” said Ryan.

“I told them I have assets well above that figure and it’s just disregarded.

“I just feel certain clubs get the rub of the green with the Football League and others get slaughtered.

“If it had been a big club it would have been a different scenario.

“The Crowdfunder didn’t succeed and we’re bitterly sorry about that,” he added.

“But the real problem has been with the Football League.

“They’ve brought in very onerous new regulations and me and Louis are the first victims of it.”

Ryan and Tomlinson had agreed to buy the stakes of major shareholders Dick Watson and Terry Bramall along with the shares of David Blunt, Andrew Watson and Sarah Kell.

The club will now remain in the existing hands with Ryan retaining the 24 per cent stake he previously owned.