Ken Bates Is The New Owner Of Leeds United

There's been something rather dodgy about the ownership situation at Leeds United since 2007 in that nobody really knew who owned the club and/or how much they owned. While this wasn't a huge concern in the Championship (ethics of a club being owned by entirely unknown/unknowable elements aside), it would suddenly become a major issue if Leeds were promoted to the Premier League, who would be a lot more strict about requiring transparency regarding ownership.

So, rather than divulging who exactly owned the club, the owners have opted to sell out to Leeds chairman Ken Bates, who is now claiming that they have all the transparency they need should the Premier League come a-calling. Which, well, ok, I suppose they do. But Leeds appear to be confusing the letter and the spirit of the law - Football League clubs really, really ought to be clear about who owns them and how. Instead, we're left just as confused as we've ever been about just what happened the the club after it went into administration in 2007 and the mechanics by which Ken Bates has become sole owner. It's all exceptionally odd. Here's the quote from the club:

The scaremongering arising out of the football Governance enquiry 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.

No, Leeds, I really don't think it does deliver the transparency sought. Why did the previous owners sell rather than divulging who they were? How did Bates purchase the club, and for how much? Just what has been going on at that club? Exploiting a loophole in wording just raises more questions than answers, and it puts the club in an awfully suspicious light.

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