Thursday, 8 October 2009

Football League to discuss ownership of Leeds United

The Guardian today Reports that the Football League, under chairman Lord Mawhinney, will discuss the ownership issues surrounding Leeds United.

They also provide some useful questions and answers:

Q: Why is Leeds United on the agenda: doesn't Ken Bates own the club?

A: Leeds United's actual owner is the Forward Sports Fund, which is registered in a tax haven, the Cayman Islands, where shareholders' identities are kept anonymous. Earlier this year, Bates stated that he and his financial adviser, Patrick Murrin, co-owned the only shares in Forward, but now he has said that was "incorrect".

Q: What has Bates said now about who owns Leeds?

A: He has now said that in fact Forward Sports Fund has 10,000 shares, held by people who have not been identified. Bates stated it was "an error on my part", when he previously said he and Murrin jointly owned Forward.

Q: How did Bates make such an "error" over whether or not he owned the club himself?

A: He has not explained that, either in answers to questions from the Guardian or in his match programme notes, a regular treat for Leeds fans, who can read their chairman's insightful views on people and subjects of significance to the club.

Q: What does the Football League have to consider regarding Leeds?

A: Two different questions. If Leeds previously supplied Bates and Murrin as the owners of Forward, have the club and their directors broken the rule which requires them to state truthfully and accurately to the league who the owners are? Also, the league needs to discover who the actual owners of Forward are, and make sure they are "fit and proper people".

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