When the owner of title chasing Accrington Stanley wanted to reward his players for their sixth straight league victory, there was only one place for it – a meal at McDonald’s.
Their regular outings to the fast food chain or similar restaurants may even be behind their remarkable run in League Two. To incentivise his side, Andy Holt settles the £200 bill – and the players have to pay for their own dinner if they lose.
But while he may well have expected to notch up another three points on Easter Monday at home to Notts County on their way to a likely promotion, one thing that caught him by surprise was a letter from the English Football League.
Mr Holt, it turns out, has been breaching the rules on bonuses by buying his team burgers. Officials have warned him to stop his unusual incentive of fast food meals because they are not written into their contracts.
Not that he will take any notice of it, as Mr Holt says he will defy football bosses and continue to treat his players to burgers when they win.
He says he “reserves the right” to buy his players food to fuel their victories after revealing on Twitter that EFL bosses wrote to him “demanding an explanation” over the post-match bonuses.
The burger bonus at Accrington goes against EFL regulation 61.6, which states that “full details of all payments to or benefits paid in cash or in kind on behalf of players must be included in the standard contract”.
Bonuses “form part of the contract” and are to be included in players’ signed deals before the start of each season, but the rules state exceptions can be made if the league receive written notice in advance.
Ahead of the club’s crucial game against fellow promotion hopefuls Notts County, which Stanley won 1-0, Mr Holt said on Twitter: “I reserve the right to buy anyone a burger with my own money”.
Following receipt of the letter, Mr Holt tweeted: “Sometimes when we win I give £200, less the £21.37 I get back in change, to get the lads McDonald’s or the like. If we lose they get their own. It’s just the way we roll.
“Then I receive a letter from the EFL demanding an explanation because the McDonald’s is not specified in the players’ contracts.
“You have to wonder what these folk would do with their lives if it weren’t for my errors of judgement.”
In response to another tweet, he said: “I don’t for one minute think anything untoward in my actions. At least the EFL keep an eye on my twitter feed.
“I’m relaxed about it. Should put an expenses claim in, but I’d have to pay the bill either way.”
He also said: “It’s my money not the club’s. I spend it how I want, been known to give a free bar to our fans for 10 minutes too on the odd occasion.”
An EFL spokesman confirmed the League Two leaders had responded to their enquiry, adding: “As a result of a communication made by Mr Holt in relation to the payment of additional monies, the EFL has written to Accrington Stanley and asked them for their observations.
“The club has provided its response and the matter will be considered further in due course.”
Article Source : https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/02/football-club-owner-investigated-revealing-buys-players-mcdonalds/