Thought I'd try to work out what may be going on since W63 lives in the area and might be interested.
First of all the EFL statement -
Barnsley Football Club has been charged with multiple breaches of EFL Regulations.
The charges relate to the Club:
1 - failing to provide the League with correct and/or complete information regarding the beneficial ownership of shares in the Club despite a request for such information being made by the League;
2 - failing to provide the League with the necessary notifications regarding the ownership position at the Club;
3 - failing to publish accurate information on the Club’s website concerning the ultimate owners of the Significant Interest in the Club;
4 - allowing individuals to acquire a position of Control without prior clearance from the EFL; and
5 -failing to act towards the League with the utmost good faith.
Paul Conway and Chien Lee have also been charged with causing the Club to be in breach of EFL Regulations.
Right so who are Conway and Lee and what exactly are we talking about?
The BBC tells us this bit of information -
The English Football League has charged Barnsley with multiple breaches of their regulations.
The charges relate to the period the League One club was under the ownership of Paul Conway and Chien Lee between 2017 and 2022.
The Tykes said the charges "are the result of an investigation initiated by the club" and that they have fully co-operated with the EFL.
So what happened in 2022 to spark all this off?
Once again the BBC helps with this article -
Barnsley announce major changes to board, with Jean Cryne joining as director
12 May 2022
Barnsley have announced that Paul Conway, Chien Lee, Dickson Lee and Grace Hung have all left the club's board.
Chinese billionaire Chien Lee, Conway and Hung were all part of a consortium that took over at Oakwell in December 2017.
Jean Cryne, the wife of late owner Patrick, has joined the board as a director, along with their son James.
The Tykes were relegated to League One this season.
Jean Cryne told the club website: "As a collective, we will bring leadership to help the club reach its potential, providing a clear and transparent purpose.
"James and I love this football club and we will continue Patrick's legacy in building a true community club. We are proud Barnsley fans and truly understand the emotion and connections associated with being a Red."
So in simple terms Barnsley was owned by Patrick Cryne and seemingly sold in 2017 to a consortium called BFC Investment Company Ltd in which PMG (Pacific Media Group) was apparently the largest share holder.
The EFL problem seems to stem from who owned BFC Investment Company Ltd - as whoever did were the ultimate owners NOT BFCIC Ltd.
It now seems even PMG were NOT the end owners as PMG was owned by individual investors.
This article I've found explains the position and seems to show that PMG were never the 'end' owners but merely a company acting as a 'nominee' for them...
BARNSLEY co-chairmen Paul Conway and Chien Lee have left the club's board with immediate effect following a boardroom shake-up
Alongside Conway and Lee, fellow directors Dickson Lee and Grace Hung have also stepped down.
Existing board members Neerav Parekh, James Cryne, chief executive officer Khaled El-Ahmad and finance and operations director Robert Zuk will be joined on the board by Jean Cryne and Juile Anne Quay, pending EFL approval.
Quay is the founder and CEO of New York-based VFILES Foundation, a digital creative platform organisation.
A club statement read: "The Barnsley Football Club Limited (Club) today announced a reconstitution of the club’s board of directors, following changes in ownership at its parent company, BFC Investment Company Limited (BFC).
"At the time of purchase of the club from the Cryne family in 2017, the majority of Pacific Media Group’s (PMG) shares in BFC were owned by several individual private investors (investors), who had agreed to the appointment of PMG as their temporary nominee.
"Upon the expiration of this nominee arrangement, the investors directly registered their ownership interest in BFC. As a result, the investors and other existing BFC shareholders, have reconstituted the club’s board."
Commenting on the rearrangement, Indian technology entrepreneur Parekh, who joined the club in 2017, said: “Barnsley Football Club is an anchor institution of this town and we, as custodians, are aware how much this club means to the people of Barnsley.
Owner and newly appointed club director Jean Cryne commented: “As a collective, we will bring leadership to help the club reach its potential, providing a clear and transparent purpose.
"James and I love this football club and we will continue Patrick’s legacy in building a true community club. We are proud Barnsley fans and truly understand the emotion and connections associated with being a Red.”
Full article here -
Now we have to look at it from the EFL point of view -
From Companies House filings it would seem to me that up to the 12th October 2018 Patrick Cryne owned the controlling shares in the club (through his Oakwell Holdings Ltd) and BFC Investment Ltd was the new company that took the club over with Chien Lee shown as the significant owner.
(For the record I've not been able to find Oakwell Holdings, Pacific Media Group or BFC Investments registered with Companies House and assume they are register elsewhere in the world (the last two possibly Shanghai?).
So in summary it would look as though BFC Investment Company Ltd still owns the club BUT the EFL seems to have been misled as to who ultimately is the end beneficiary and consequently on the 20th April, 2023 Chien Lee ceased becoming the significant owner (no significant owner has been registered since (Neerav Apurva Parekh was shown to have significant control on the 24th October 2022)
It would seem on the face of things that Lee, Conway and Hung kept such information (if they knew it?) away from the EFL and presumably implied that PMG was the end owner(?) rather than PMG simply being a nominee company for those who actually did own it.
The contract duration of PMG acting as the nominee company has now expired and the true owners have reported registered their own details directly to BFCCI Ltd and presumably cut PMG (Lee and Conway) out of the loop altogether?
I think in simple words Lee and Conway apparently made out they were the owners of the club when in reality they were just being employed by the real owners to run the club on their behalf and now are no longer required.