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Former football club chairman Peter Ridsdale banned as a director for over seven years

03 October 2012 13:20

Insolvency Service

Peter Ridsdale, the former chairman of Leeds United, Barnsley and Cardiff City football clubs, has been disqualified from acting as a company director for seven-and-a-half years, following an investigation by Company Investigations team in Manchester, part of The Insolvency Service.

Mr Ridsdale, 60, of Carnforth, Lancashire, has given an undertaking to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) barring him from acting
as a company director, and from managing or in any way controlling a company, from 19 October 2012 to 18 April 2020, due to his conduct as a director of W H Sports Group Limited (WHSG).

Sophie Victoria Ridsdale, 45, Mr Ridsdale’s wife and co-director of WHSG, has also been disqualified after providing a similar undertaking which will run for three-and-a-half years from 19 October 2012 to 18 April 2016.

Investigators found that WHSG traded from 2003 to 2007 and was used by Mr Ridsdale to provide sports
and leisure consultancy services to football clubs.

The company went into liquidation on 22 April 2009 with assets of £22,592 and liabilities of at least £478,698, including £442,353 owed
to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

In signing the undertaking, Mr Ridsdale did not dispute that:

· Between May 2007 and March 2009, he acted improperly and in breach of his duties to WHSG by causing payments totalling £347,000, received for invoices raised by WHSG for services provided to a football club of which he was the Chairman, to be paid into personal bank accounts held in his own name, to the detriment of WHSG and its creditors.

· He also failed to disclose the relevant transactions to the liquidator of WHSG, who did not become aware of them until July 2010 when information was provided by the football club.

· He failed to ensure that WHSG complied with its statutory obligations to make Corporation Tax, PAYE and National Insurance Contributions(NIC), and VAT,
returns and payments to HMRC as and when they were due. At liquidation WHSG’s liabilities included £166,421 in unpaid Corporation Tax, £102,279, in unpaid PAYE and NIC, and £173,653 relating to unpaid VAT.

· He failed to ensure that WHSG complied with its statutory obligations to prepare
and file accounts with the Registrar of Companies by the due dates for three successive accounting periods.

Commenting on Mr Ridsdale’s ban, Claire Entwistle, Director of Company Investigations North at The Insolvency Service, said:

“As someone who has had many directorships, Mr Ridsdale ought to be aware of the responsibilities that come with such a position.

The protection of limited liability is available to those who comply with their obligations as company directors. If those obligations are ignored, the protection will be withdrawn, as Mr Ridsdale has found to his cost.

“One of the main purposes of the Company Directors Disqualification Act is to ensure that proper standards of conduct of company directors are maintained, and these disqualifications should serve as a reminder that The Insolvency Service will investigate unacceptable conduct and deal robustly with directors who harm creditors by using unacceptable financial practice. “

Ends

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Notes to Editors

1. W H Sports Group Limited was incorporated on 22 April 2003 and was placed into voluntary liquidation on 22 April 2009.

2. Disqualification undertakings have the same effect as disqualification orders made by a court, and are therefore legally binding. Without obtaining permission from a court, a disqualified person may not:

  • act as a director of a company;

  • take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company;

  • be a liquidator or administrator of a company;

  • be a receiver or manager of a company’s property.

Further information on director disqualifications and restrictions can be found on The Insolvency Service’s website, here.

3. The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime, investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver, to establish why they became insolvent. The Service also authorises and regulates the insolvency profession; deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures; assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees; provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds; and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice. Further information about the work of The Insolvency Service is available from www.bis.gov.uk/insolvency.

4. Media enquiries should be directed to:

Kathryn Montague, Media Relations Manager, Telephone 020 7674 6910 or Ade Daramy, Press Officer on 020 7596 6187

Ins12/Coms/076

Contact Information

Ade Daramy
Name
Ade Daramy
Job Title
Mr
Division
Insolvency Service
Phone
020 7596 6187
Fax
Mobile
Email
ade.daramy@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk