Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Independent Review Panel - Open Letter

The reprocussions from the share out of Lottery Funds to National League Clubs continues.

An open letter has been sent from the chairman of the Independent Review Panel to the Chairman of the National League.

Dear Brian,

I refer to your letter of 18th December. We are responding with an open letter to yourself and interested parties.

I would summarise the Independent Panel’s majority view as follows:

1) We are profoundly disappointed that you have not shared our report with your clubs not least because we believe that this should be done in line with open and proper good governance and that the NL was committed to ensuring that the funding was distributed in a transparent manner. We also believe disclosure is in the public interest given that the funding was provided by Camelot.

2) We are concerned that the NL are making the December payments on the same basis as the previous two months thereby increasing the imbalance as described in our report. This is particularly concerning if, as we suspect, the arrangements for 2021 may be on a different basis. We encourage interested parties to keep a close eye on this.

3) We note the lack of response regarding governance issues and the apparent lack of concern around conflicts of interest and compliance with your own Articles of Association.

4) We note the lack of courtesy in acknowledging our efforts and in responding to correspondence and what we can only interpret as attempts to undermine the credibility of the Independent Panel.

The funding for the period from January to March 2021 will come from a different source and the terms are still to be resolved. The panel is therefore unable to consider this period. Therefore, if as you claim, our mandate was limited only to examining this 3 month period then setting up this panel was pointless. In these unfortunate circumstances, we do not propose to enter into any further dialogue with the National League and will leave it to the various complaining parties to pursue matters as they feel appropriate.

Yours sincerely,

David Bernstein