Leeds will have to reveal owners if promoted

If Leeds are promoted they will have to reveal who owns them; there will (probably) never be another financial collapse like Portsmouth's; and the Premier League will neither cut matches nor move to the summer schedule to create a winter break. Those were the headline revelations from yesterday's evidence session of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee inquiry into football governance at the Houses of Parliament.

MPs finally interrogated the men whose tanks are often said to be parked on the Football Association's lawn, the chairman and chief executive of the Premier League. They failed, though, to extract any confessions of guilt from either Sir David Richards or Richard Scudamore.

That was only to be expected of the latter, who showed the customary polished command of his brief. Richards, however, tends to be kept out of the public gaze for fear he shoots himself and his employers in the foot. Having been well prepped, he largely managed to avoid this, partly by leaving the complicated answers to Scudamore.

It was Scudamore who admitted the league should have been more pro-active with regard to Portsmouth entering administration, but said they never anticipated a club with Premier League income streams could get into such financial difficulties. He said procedures had now been strengthened to ensure such a situation never arose again. Among these is the requirement that all owners, including beneficiaries of discretionary trusts, are identified to the league.

This will become relevant should Leeds, currently in a promotion play-off position, go up. Last month Shaun Harvey, the club's chief executive, told the committee that as far as he was aware even chairman Ken Bates did not know the identity of the people behind the trust which controls 73 per cent of the club.

Scudamore said the league would "require disclosure from Leeds United". If that was not forthcoming, an independent disciplinary committee would assess punishment. Penalties ranged from a fine to expulsion, though Scudamore insisted the latter was unlikely.

Questioned about the possibility of a winter break being brought in to aid the England team, Scudamore said the problem was fixture congestion, and "the culprits" were Uefa and Fifa. He added there was "no way" the league would be cut to 18 clubs [a stipulation in the FA's original prospectus for the league] and "we would fight strongly against a summer calendar to protect the UK's sporting culture", by which he meant cricket.

Richards denied he had "bullied" the FA Board, an allegation made to the enquiry by former FA chairman Lord Triesman. He said he was "saddened and dejected" by the claim which "hurt" as he had campaigned against bullying for the NSPCC.

"It is a fair and democratic vote," said Richards, "to think the [three] Premier League chairmen could block nine others is ridiculous." This defence was undermined when he revealed that in his 16 years on the FA Board there had only been four issues put to a vote. That suggested Triesman was right to claim the game is governed by deals, threats, and meetings in corridors.

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star