Burroughs' 4% in Manchester United seized

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The Independent Online
A 4 PER CENT stake in Manchester United owned by Nigel Burroughs, the former director of the group's football club subsidiary, has been sold by his creditors to the BBC Pension Fund.

Mr Burroughs, a former financial adviser, fled the country in April but returned a month later and is now living with his parents in a council house in Blackpool.

He owned the holding though a trust registered in the Channel Islands. But the shares were pledged as security for a loan at the Bank of Scotland branch in Morningside, Edinburgh.

The bank took possession of the stake and last week sold it for an estimated pounds 1.27m to the BBC Pension Fund, despite a clause in Manchester United's flotation prospectus, issued 13 months ago, that Mr Burroughs' shares would not be sold for two years.

The sale of the shares, however, has not ended Mr Burroughs' troubles. He is being pursued by other creditors, including a current director of MUFC, Alan Gibson, who is suing Mr Burroughs for the return of pounds 475,000 that Mr Gibson claims is owned to him.

Mr Burroughs has indicated that he wants to come to some voluntary arrangement regarding his debts, but may face bankruptcy proceedings in the near future.

When his problems first surfaced in late March, Mr Burroughs left the country. Bills received on his credit card indicated that he went first to France and then the US.

On 7 April a handwritten note, on Mr Burroughs' headed notepaper, was passed to Martin Edwards, Manchester United's chairman, tendering Mr Burroughs' resignation from the board of the football club. He had not been seen since 18 March, when he attended United's one-nil defeat at Nottingham Forest.

His disappearance was also taken as an effective resignation from the board of his other company, IFG Financial Services, in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.