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.
Ridsdale, 60, of Carnforth, Lancashire, is barred from acting as a company director, and from managing or controlling a company, until 18 April 2020, after breaching duties as a director of W H Sports Group Limited (WHSG).
Sophie Victoria Ridsdale, 45, Ridsdale’s wife and co-director of WHSG, has also been disqualified for three-and-a-half years.
The action follows an investigation by the company investigations team in Manchester, which forms part of The Insolvency Service, the government agency.
WHSG traded from 2003 to 2007 and was used by 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. This included £442,353 owed to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
In signing an undertaking agreeing to the ban, Ridsdale effectively admitted that he breached several directorial duties.
For example, WHSG charged £347,000 for services provided to a football club. However, Ridsdale was also chairman of this football club, and the £347,000 was paid into his personal accounts.
These payments were detrimental to WHSG and its creditors.
Ridsdale also failed to disclose the transactions to the liquidator of WHSG, who did not become aware of them until July 2010, when information was provided by the football club.
WHSG also failed to pay corporation tax, PAYE, national insurance contributions (NIC) and VAT when payments were due.
At liquidation, WHSG’s liabilities included £166,421 in unpaid corporation tax, £102,279, in unpaid PAYE and NIC, and £173,653 of VAT.
Ridsdale also failed to ensure that WHSG filed accounts with the Registrar of Companies by due dates for three successive periods.
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 If those obligations are ignored, the protection will be withdrawn, as Mr Ridsdale has found to his cost.”
Published 4 October 2012