High wages in directors' box

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The Independent Online
The fat cats of football are not just those out on the pitch, with six-figure salaries in the directors' box matching those in the dressing- room. The purrs of satisfaction are loudest at Leeds, where Bill Fotherby is the FA Premier League's highest paid director with an annual salary of pounds 238,995.

Fotherby is one of half a dozen directors earning a six-figure sum from their clubs, according to a survey in Labour Research magazine. His salary puts him in front of Martin Edwards of Manchester United, Chelsea's Ken Bates and Colin Hutchinson, Doug Ellis of Aston Villa and the Arsenal vice-chairman, David Dein.

The survey details business interests of the big backers and also reveals that the current England coach, Terry Venables, received pounds 357,198 when he was manager and a director of Tottenham Hotspur.

Everton's ownership is now based in Jersey through new chairman Peter Johnson, although the club still retains a Littlewoods "family" connection, as do Liverpool, under David Moores. Liverpool are one of seven clubs where directors effectively have a controlling interest - the others being Arsenal, Bolton, Coventry, Middlesbrough, West Ham and Leeds.

The survey also shows that several clubs are a subsidiary of another company; in Newcastle's case, chairman Sir John Hall's Cameron Developments. Blackburn, Everton, Queen's Park Rangers, Spurs, Wimbledon and Chelsea complete the list. Chelsea are owned by Chelsea Village, whose main shareholders are the Hong Kong-based Hei See, Mayflower Securities, based in the British Virgin Islands, and RHK Nominees, also of Hong Kong.

Sheffield Wednesday have a wide spread of ownership - the Labour MP Joe Ashton is on the board - while Nottingham Forest are the one club where no one can gain control. There are 209 shareholders holding one share each - and Fred Reacher is the pounds 12,000-a-year club chairman.

Highest paid club directors

Bill Fotherby (Leeds) pounds 238,995

Martin Edwards (Man Utd) pounds 214,000

Ken Bates* (Chelsea) pounds 164,614

Colin Hutchinson (Chelsea) pounds 133,039

Doug Ellis (Aston Villa) pounds 120,000

David Dein (Arsenal) pounds 110,219

* Consultancy fee paid to Mayflower Securities

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