This is what Sunderland's potential new American owners will have to do to satisfy EFL owners' and directors' test
The group of American investors looking to take a controlling share in Sunderland AFC will need approval from the Football League before any deal can be complete.
Glenn Fuhrman, John Phelan and Robert Platek are the main prospective buyers, with tech magnate Michael Dell the fourth investor, though he will be a passive, minority shareholder.
Once a final deal has been struck with Stewart Donald – who will maintain an ownership stake and remain integral to operations along with Charlie Methven –then the other hurdle is the EFL owners’ and directors’ test, otherwise known as the fit and proper persons’ test, which is not expected to be an issue.
We take a look at what the test involves, the rules that govern takeovers in the EFL and how long the process could take:
WHAT IS THE EFL OWNERS AND DIRECTORS TEST?
The test is an assessment of the individual, or group, looking to take on the running of the football club.
It is designed to assess whether the potential owners can run the club in a suitable manner and that they have the required funds in order to do so.
The EFL state that any “directors and individuals exercising ‘control’ over a Club, as well as any shareholder with a 30% stake in a Club (or greater)” have to undergo the test.
WHAT INFORMATION IS SUBMITTED AS PART OF THE EFL OWNERS AND DIRECTORS TEST?
Potential owners have to submit a variety of information to the EFL, with the league able to request any details they feel are necessary to ascertain whether they are able to take control of a club.
They may be also asked about their involvement in any other football club, should that become apparent.
HOW LONG DOES THE EFL OWNERS AND DIRECTORS TEST TAKE TO COMPLETE?
When a club intends to appoint a new director, or complete a takeover, they must inform the EFL at least ten working days before the director is anticipated to be appointed.
Within five working days, the EFL will respond stating whether or not they feel there are grounds on which to disqualify the potential director.
WHAT COULD LEAD TO A TAKEOVER BEING BLOCKED?
The EFL will disqualify potential directors - and in effect block a takeover - for a number of reasons.
These include: the individual has convictions that are not spent, they are involved in another football club, or they have been the subject of bankruptcy proceedings