(chairman Ken Bates celebrates his lack of accountability)
League One’s Leeds United announced a hike in season ticket prices for 2010-2011 yesterday in anticipation of securing promotion to English football’s 2nd division, the Championship. If you’re a United supporter wishing to express your dismay at such a proposition, please address your complaints to “Who Fucking Knows?”, as the Guardian’s David Conn explains.
Politicians from the three main parties and football supporters’ groups have united in calling for the Football League to make public who owns its clubs after the league approved as “fit and proper” the offshore owners of Leeds United while keeping their identity private.
The sports minister, Gerry Sutcliffe, said: “Fans of any football club have a right to know who the owners are. We want to see greater supporter representation in the running of football clubs and far greater accountability. The League should insist on clubs making public to their supporters who owns them.”
The Premier League does now require its clubs to publish the names of all shareholders with stakes of 10% or more, but the Football League does not. Instead, clubs must tell the League’s chairman, Lord Mawhinney, and three other senior executives, who the ultimate owners are, but the information is not made public.
Leeds have declined requests from the Guardian, following the League’s ratification, to say who the ultimate owners are. The only response this week came from Peter Boatman of ChÃ¢teau Fiduciare, the Geneva-based financial administrator of Leeds’ holding company, Forward Sports Fund. “It is not necessary for you to have that information,” he said.