Football League: We cannot act over the mismanagement of Blackburn Rovers

The Football League admits that it is powerless to intervene

The Football League admits that it is powerless to intervene to halt the mismanagement which has caused Blackburn Rovers' rapid decline, with the club still to agree a pay-off for sacked manager Michael Appleton.

The League's Memorandum of Association states that it exists to "regulate the activities of member clubs and their respective officers, employees, registered players and agents" – a mandate which has led the League Managers' Association (LMA) and others in the game to urge the governing body to act, after the High Court farce which led a judge to order the payment of £2.25m to sacked manager Henning Berg, a week ago: £39,473 a day for each of the 57 days he was in charge.

The League's chairman, Greg Clarke, has not responded to The Independent's request to discuss the Blackburn situation, but the body has now issued this newspaper with a statement declaring that it simply has "no mandate to intervene in the running of individual clubs" and can only do so where specific regulations have been breached. "In the specific case of Blackburn Rovers, we have seen no evidence that the club has breached any of our regulations," the statement read.

The League's unwillingness to comment directly on Rovers' conduct will surprise supporters. Privately, the League points to sanctions it has imposed against Chesterfield, Swindon Town and Watford in the past as evidence that it will act if specific rules are broken. But it considers article 3.3 of its Memorandum of Association, governing the behaviour and activity of clubs, to be too broad to allow it to step in.

Malcolm Clarke, chairman of the Football Supporters' Federation, said last night that the lack of power available to member organisations, such as the Football League, to intervene, should compel the Football Association to introduce new rules to stop clubs being ruined, as Blackburn are. "The goings-on at Blackburn are just the latest example of a club where the normal and proper financial and personnel management don't seem to apply," Clarke said. "They're an example of the need for a much stronger regulatory framework to ensure that football clubs manage their affairs properly, but they're not the only ones.

"The problem with the League bodies is that they are member organisations. You need a body standing outside of it, to introduce a change of rules, and the FA, as the governing body of the game, is the right body to do this. All too often people on Planet Football seem to think they can live outside the rules, regulations and law that all organisations have to comply with."

With Appleton still waiting for written confirmation from Rovers a week ago about their intention to pay him in lieu of the contract which was terminated by the club on 19 March, the LMA has been ready to pursue Rovers' Indian owners for the wages, as it had for Berg. The Independent understands that the Appleton situation will not be resolved for at least another week.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions