MPs voice 'concern' over mystery of Leeds' owners
Wednesday 16 March 2011
The chief executive of Leeds United yesterday told MPs he has no knowledge of the people behind the "mysterious trust" that owns the club – and that the club's chairman, Ken Bates, does not know either.
Leeds' ownership structure came under scrutiny at the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee's inquiry into football governance, in a hearing at Burnley FC. Shaun Harvey, Leeds' chief executive, said the club was owned by a holding company called FSF, based in the West Indies island of Nevis, and owned by three discretionary trusts. The trustees have appointed Patrick Murrin and Peter Boatman to run the club and they had asked Bates to be chairman.
Harvey told the committee: "I don't know who the beneficiaries of this discretionary trust are, no." Asked if Bates knew, he replied: "Not to my knowledge. There is no individual [owner], that's the nature of discretionary trusts – it's a perfectly legal and much used ownership structure in many different industries, not just football."
One MP, Damian Collins, queried whether that was a healthy state of affairs, saying: "With a club like Leeds United the majority shareholding is owned by a mysterious trust and we don't know who the investors are and I think that is a legitimate concern."
Harvey defended the structure and said the club had recovered from the financial problems inherited from the Peter Ridsdale era, adding: "The football club has no debt. There's no indication that there's any desire [from the discretionary trusts] to move away from the investment."
tvSteven Moffat reveals the actor was dying to take on the role of the Time Lord and says he is excited to see what he will do with the character
Latest in Sport
Transfer news round-up: Barcelona to offer £37m for Manchester United striker Robin van Persie; Manuel Neuer interests Manchester City; Luiz Gustavo on Tottenham radar
Roy Keane omits Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs from 'greatest' Manchester United team
Gareth Bale puts five-bedroom Essex mansion up for sale at £2.2m following £86m switch from Tottenham to Real Madrid
Former England captain Mick Mills 'turned a blind eye' to initiation ceremony abuse at Stoke City, which included sexual assault dubbed 'The Glove'
Manchester United player ratings: The best (and worst) performers for David Moyes during the season so far
- 1 Mountain goats' miraculous escape from avalanche captured in dramatic video footage
- 2 It’s shameful that our universities have accepted gender segregation under pressure from the most oppressive religious fanatics
- 3 Sir Ian McKellen hits back at Damian Lewis' 'fruity actor' claims
- 4 Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
- 5 Selfie at funeral: Cameron squeezes in on Obama snap at Mandela memorial