FA admit lack of Leeds knowledge

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Football News

The Football Association have sent a clarification to MPs admitting they do not know who are the ultimate owners of Leeds, it can be disclosed.

The FA have told the Culture, Media and Sport committee they do not know the identities of the people behind the three offshore trusts which own the Championship club.

The committee are carrying out an inquiry into football governance and the issue of Leeds' ownership has been one of the themes the MPs have tackled.

FA general secretary Alex Horne gave evidence to the MPs last month and said he was not directly involved in club ownership regulations, but believed that "two or three" people within the organisation knew who owned Leeds.

After Press Association Sport questioned exactly what details the FA knew about Leeds, the governing body has now clarified with the committee that they do not know the owners.

FA rules state clubs only have to confirm the identities of people with a shareholding of 10% or more. Leeds' ownership statement states no potential beneficiary of the trusts or their immediate family members have more than 10%.

FA chairman David Bernstein had told MPs: "I think supporters should know who owns any clubs, absolutely. I don't think there should be any exceptions."

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said earlier this month Leeds will be forced to reveal exactly who owns the club if they are promoted to the top flight.

Scudamore said they will apply the rules on ownership transparency more strictly than the Football League have done. Leeds chief executive Shaun Harvey told MPs last month the club's owners are a holding company called FSF based on the West Indian island of Nevis, owned by three discretionary trusts.

The owners of these trusts are unknown but have appointed two men, Patrick Murrin and Peter Boatman, to run the club, and they had asked Ken Bates to be chairman. Harvey said neither he, nor to his knowledge Bates, know who the shareholders of the trusts are.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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