Bates claims Leeds are in the clear over ownership

Ken Bates yesterday insisted there would be no issue surrounding the ownership of Leeds United should they get promoted to the Premier League – and suggested a House of Commons select committee should be worrying about more important things.

The Leeds chief executive, Shaun Harvey, told MPs last month the club's owners are a holding company called FSF based in the West Indian island of Nevis, owned by three discretionary trusts.

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore told the inquiry into football being held by the select committee on culture media and sport on Tuesday that Leeds would have to be more transparent about their owners should they earn a place in the top flight.

But Bates, the Leeds chairman, yesterday told Yorkshire Radio: "We are fully aware of Premiership rules because when the Football League drafted their rules they did them in consultation with the Premier League to make sure that they fitted in with each other and we satisfied the Football League. We know exactly what the requirements are of the Premier League rules and we do not anticipate any problems in meeting those requirements."

Scudamore told the committee that if Leeds were to be promoted the Premier League would apply rules in a stricter manner than the Football League have. "The Football League have chosen not to apply the rule as robustly as we think we will be applying it," he said. "The Football League have one view of how to interpret that rule and we have a more stern or harsh view of what the rule means.

"Our clubs absolutely agree unanimously that we should tell the public who owns the clubs and anything short of that is inadequate."

But Bates, a former Chelsea chairman, believes they are "missing the point": "I think it is a sad comment on this select committee when they have so many things to talk about and really look at in detail, and depth, all they are concerned about is Capello's contract and Leeds United," he said. "It says one of two things; is this select committee entirely missing the point or, alternatively, there is not a lot wrong with the state of football."

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