Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Vow over 1D Doncaster pledge cash

Louis Tomlinson of One Direction was involved in a joint bid to buy his hometown football club Doncaster Rovers

One Direction fans who pledged to pay into Louis Tomlinson's failed crowd-funding attempt to take over Doncaster Rovers football club will not lose any money, according to the website.

Tomlinson and his takeover partner John Ryan's attempted takeover of the League One football club is now in "serious doubt" after only amassing £757,796 of their £2 million target from 514 backers on Crowdfunder.co.uk by today's deadline.

But in line with the website's investor rules, people who pledge money to a scheme that does not reach its target do not part with their cash.

A spokesman said: "Crowdfunder is an all-or-nothing model. If a project doesn't reach its target, no money is taken from backers."

The takeover was scheduled to be formally completed on Friday, following the exchange of contracts and a press conference held in London last month.

But in a statement released today by Tomlinson and Ryan, an ex-Rovers chairman, the pair said the failure to reach their target meant they were unable to meet the Football League's Fit and Proper test for club ownership.

The statement said: "The Tomlinson Ryan Trust Crowdfunder project has failed to reach the target as set out under the terms of the funding arrangements.

"The result of this will be that all pledges will be cancelled and funds returned to the relevant parties.

"As a result of the funding not being available from Crowdfunder for the DRFC project, John Ryan is unable to meet the requirements of the Football League Fit and Proper test.

"The consequence of this is that the deal to take over the club is now in serious doubt."

The Trust had previously stated the takeover of the club would go ahead irrespective of the success or failure of its crowd-funding project.

It is understood Ryan, who last November stepped down as Doncaster chairman thus ending a 15-year association with Rovers, met with Football League representatives this week in a bid to reassure them he and Tomlinson had the finances to run the Sky Bet League One club.

Following the news, 1D fans have expressed disappointment on Twitter, and user 1D updates tweeted: "Since the Tomlinson Ryan Trust did not meet its £2 million target, all donations will be returned to the donors."

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