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A Different Kind of Fitness Test

Bury FC fans will still be recovering from the shock and upset of their club’s recent demise.

The Club, bought by Steve Dale for £1 late last year, had been known for its past financial struggles. However, matters soon spiralled out of control when rumours arose that debts were increasing and employees’ wages had been left unpaid since Dale took ownership.

Questions have now arisen, with the public wanting to know how the club could be allowed to get into such debts (especially in light of the numerous rules clubs must follow regarding finances). One such rule being the necessity to follow the ‘Fit and Proper Person Test’ for every new club owner; a rule which the Football league admitted they didn’t carry out on Dale.

The Fit and Proper Person Test

This ensures that owners or directors have ‘good character’ and have the necessary qualifications for their role.

This can include: looking into an individual’s solvency; if there have been any bans from governing bodies; and if they have any criminal convictions (among other things).

However the Test isn’t only used in football. You will also find it used in the financial and healthcare sectors too.

The Financial Sector

Although the financial sector’s ‘approved persons’ regime under the Financial Services and Markets Act was originally introduced in 2000 and following the financial crisis between 2007 and 2008, this was later reviewed. The sector currently focuses on characteristics such as honesty, integrity, reputation, competence, credibility, and financial soundness.

The Healthcare Sector

The healthcare sector is keen to ensure that members of the public are provided with the best quality of care.

Individuals aiming for the top jobs will be assessed on their character, qualifications, past activity, and fitness levels.

In Summary

It would seem that society is keen for those in top level positions to be responsible and accountable; company directors are already likely to be aware of their duties under the Companies Act, and political leaders often face scrutiny from their peers and the public alike.

In which case, the Fit and Proper Person Test could very well become a sector-wide test ensuring the very best are at the top!


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Phil Parkinson

Partner and Head of Commercial Law
Commercial Law
0113 322 1902
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Phil Parkinson Blacks Solicitors LLP