Former Leeds board may not face sanctions

The men blamed for the financial crisis at Leeds are unlikely to face sanctions for their actions, according to one of the administrators for the club's plc.

The former Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale and his board have been pilloried for overseeing the cash crisis which almost forced the club into extinction. Ridsdale, now in control at Barnsley, has been blamed for the mess at Elland Road which forced the plc into administration, although the football club has been salvaged.

The administrators for the plc are about to embark on an inquiry into the actions of the previous board. But Garry Wilson, a spokesman for the administrators Ernst and Young, claimed there was "a difference between malpractice and bad judgement".

He said: "My job first of all is to explain to the shareholders what has happened and the first thing, unfortunately, I have had to explain is that they are not going to get any money. I know the vast majority of the 24,000 shareholders are supporters and I hope they take some comfort from the fact that the football club has been saved.

"Clearly I do not want to pre-judge what our findings are going to be. But what we have seen at Leeds is that the gamble that was taken for Champions' League football did not pay off and that has resulted in the very heavy losses that the group have incurred."

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