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All three parties agree!

March 4, 2010

For once all three political parties are in agreement over something.

According to the latest news Leeds United’s owners have  been declared fit and proper by the Football League but they are to be allowed to remain anonymous.   Another victory for Uncle Ken and a complete and utter farce particularly given the situation when Leeds went in and out of administration back in 2007.

As The Guardian made clear at the time the whole way in which Leeds came out of administration was unusual

Ken Bates won control of Leeds United despite KPMG being presented with bigger cash offers, documents released by the administrator showed yesterday. The bid on behalf of Bates’s Leeds United 2007, the company demanding the transfer of the Football League share which would endorse its takeover, was for an unconditional £1.8m. A tender from Redbus Group and Simon Morris offered almost double that sum – £3.501m.

What apparently swung the process in Bates’s favour was that Astor Investment Holdings, an offshore company, stated its willingness to waive the £17.6m it was owed. Had any of the three rival bids won, Astor would have stood firm on the £17.6m. This meant the £3.5m offered by Redbus-Morris would have been spread much thinner, across £30.25m as against the £12.6m being demanded of Bates. “The key factor is the Astor waiver of the debt for one of the bidders, which at the least is unusual,” said Dean Dorrell, the chief executive of Redbus. “Coming across insolvencies as often as we do, it’s unusual for an unconnected party to make that offer to a bidder. The whole process was extremely unsatisfactory.”

There were many questions which needed answering at that point in time  and to the disgust of most Leeds fans most of them remain unanswered now.  Perhaps most pertinent was this question :

Who are the owners or beneficiaries of the Forward Sports Fund, Astor Investment Holdings and Krato Trust, and why have they chosen to register their companies in offshore tax havens where they are not legally required to declare their identity?

It looks as if this question is to remain unanswered.  Personally I think the fans have a right to know who owns their club…and the politicians agree.

Categories: Football, Leeds
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