Bates becomes owner of Leeds

Updated: 04 May 2011 10:12 IST

Former Chelsea chairman Ken Bates became the major shareholder in second-tier English football club Leeds United on Tuesday.

Bates becomes owner of Leeds

London:

Former Chelsea chairman Ken Bates became the major shareholder in second-tier English football club Leeds United on Tuesday.

Leeds said they hoped the move by club chairman Bates would end the "scaremongering" surrounding the club after the previous owners refused to reveal their individual identities.

The Premier League had said they would require full disclosure of the shareholders of the three offshore trusts that had owned Swiss-based FSF Limited, the previous registered owners of Leeds, while a committee of MPs also put the Yorkshire club's ownership under the spotlight.

Bates became chairman of Leeds in 2005, after selling his stake in Chelsea to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, and was at the helm when United went into administration in 2007.

Leeds said in a statement: "The scaremongering arising out of the football governance inquiry has not been helpful and, whilst the board were always confident that there were no issues, recognise the concern the unknown outcome of any Premier League questions may have on our members.

"To address this issue and in the hope that this brings an end to the speculation, the chairman, Ken Bates, has completed the purchase of FSF Limited for an undisclosed sum. FSF Limited is now owned by Outro Limited which is wholly owned by Ken Bates.

"This change in ownership structure makes Ken Bates the controlling shareholder of Leeds United and delivers the transparency sought."

With one game of the regular season left, it now looks as if Leeds will just miss out on a playoff place and the chance of promotion this term to the Premier League.

Leeds, one of England's leading football clubs in the late 1960s and 1970s, last played in the top flight back in 2004 and they won promotion from the third tier League One last season.

Former chairman Peter Ridsdale was held responsible by many fans for saddling the club, who reached the Champions League semi finals a decade ago, with debts of some £79 million ($130 million) by the time of his exit in 2003.

Topics : Leeds United Football Arsenal Manchester United Cardiff City
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