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Peter Ridsdale disqualified as company director for seven and a half years

By NeilShaw  |  Posted: October 03, 2012

Peter Ridsdale

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Peter Ridsdale, the former chairman of football operations at Plymouth Argyle and 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).

Mr Ridsdale was brought in as consultant at Plymouth Argyle at the height of the club's financial problems in December 2010.

He became chairman of football, then left the club in December 2011.

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. "

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  • philofbudo  |  October 04 2012, 5:24PM

    @BrianG Yes how could I forget George Synan? Well, better for my sanity than remembering him, I guess!

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  • BrianG  |  October 04 2012, 5:20PM

    philofbudo You forgot to mention Kagami's 'girlfriend' George Synan, a truly twisted individual whose false promises nearly put the greens out of business permanently.

    |   4
  • MikeSpiligan  |  October 04 2012, 11:37AM

    Bighotel.... Would you care to expand on your Ridsdale money syphoning theory ? I'm not doubting you, in fact I bow to your superior intellect and knowledge of all things Argyle but although I would have to agree that Ridders made money and wasn't acting purely on an altruistic basis I would still need you to guide me through the process.... In the meantime, there does seem to be a train of thought which would suggest that without the intervention of PR Argyle could have gone under.... There would also seem to be an equal amount of people, who's head are still stuck in the sand, who would disagree.... Oh how quickly we forget.... I note with some interest that Luftwaffe666 has managed to get his laptop back from the pawn shop.... Welcome back on board, looking forward to more drivel in a familiar vein soon.

  • Fanofplymouth  |  October 04 2012, 10:42AM

    Best ever decision ever by the FA - everywhere he went he left a trail of disaster and as for those who felt he did a good job at Plymouth - think again

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  • PlimuffLad  |  October 04 2012, 8:54AM

    Say what you like about the Riddler, but if he hadn't turned up here in 2010, there would be no Plymouth Argyle now in 2012. Fact. For that, he will always have my thanks.

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  • P2IsABigHotel  |  October 04 2012, 12:28AM

    He made a killing out of Argyle's demise, unfortunately it was paid for indirectly by the creditors and small businesses that lost a fortune. Nice bloke!

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  • WILFWASTHEMAN  |  October 03 2012, 11:24PM

    Whatever people say PAFC would not be around today without his efforts.

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  • philofbudo  |  October 03 2012, 11:17PM

    Completely agree b_mused. It may be for the good that he isn't involved with Argyle long-term, but Ridsdale oversaw two key decisions that ensured the club both survived and remained in the Football League. Firstly, he ordered the "fire sale" of players in January 2011, which ensured that HMRC could be paid and stopped them winding the club up (without this, we wouldn't have made it as far as administration). Secondly, he sacked a popular, but failing, manager (Peter Reid) and appointed Carl Fletcher after nine games of the 2011/12 season. I'm convinced if he persisted with Reid, we would no longer be in the FL. The real villains of the piece were Campbell, Todd, Gardner and Kagami - and, to a lesser extent, Stapleton, Wrathall and Dennerly for getting that lot involved. Quite why the way the club was run has not resulted in any criminal charges is a mystery to me.

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  • b_mused  |  October 03 2012, 10:27PM

    In spite of this revelation, he was not the rogue at Home Park.

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  • Stalagluft6  |  October 03 2012, 6:17PM

    At least he is no longer involved at Home Park- the facts behind his disqualification make interesting reading.

    |   2