According to the Sunday Times
, the Serious Fraud Office and West Yorkshire police are to launch a criminal inquiry into the financial dealings of Leeds United whilst Peter Ridsdale was at the helm.
They will examine the arrangements under which the then Leeds United board, under Peter Ridsdale's chairmanship, paid £3m in legal fees for the defence of Jonathan Woodgate (Real Madrid) and Lee Bowyer (Newcastle United) during their trial on affray charges over an incident in which an Asian youth was seriously injured.
They will also investigate the circumstances surrounding both the sudden financial implosion of Leeds United and the transfers of Rio Ferdinand to Manchester United and Robbie Fowler to Manchester City
This investigation by the SFO was prompted by a confidential inquiry by the Department of Trade and Industry into the Directors' running of Leeds United plc up to March 2003 when Leeds had debts of over £80 million pounds.
Finger on the pulse as always, Ridsdale knew nothing about the SFO investigation when questioned by journalists. As usual, Ridsdale trotted out the usual denials that anything went wrong (and presumably if it did it was not his fault, he was merely the Chairman?) At least he spared us his Martin Luther King impression, "We lived the dream". Ridsdale insisted that Leeds United plc was run properly under his chairmanship and that he is willing to help investigators in their enquiries, if need be.
"I have no knowledge of this [investigation], nobody has spoken to me about it," said Ridsdale. "I am more than happy to co-operate with any investigation.
"While I was there, it was run properly. I have no problem with that at all". [No problem with a bankrupt club? - Ed]
"That which I have knowledge of, was done properly." [Hint of a wriggle there? -Ed]
Ridsdale, who recently ended his association with League One club Barnsley, has revealed that he is looking into new roles with three different clubs. "I would like to talk to them, look forward and put the past behind me." We all would Ridsdale, but first, Leeds fans want some payback for the destruction of their team and club, and maybe we're gonna get it!
Read our story on Ridsdale's attempts to find footballing employment - Burning Crosses, Satan & Changes of Underwear
Justice at last? Have your say on our Leeds fans' forum
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