Ridsdale banned for 7 years after probe into financial irregularities during time at Cardiff
14:45 GMT, 3 October 2012
Former Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale has been banned from any company director roles for seven-and-a-half years.
It comes after an investigation into financial irregularities regarding Ridsdale, who also held positions at Cardiff and Plymouth.
An Insolvency Service probe centred on payments totalling 347,000 to Ridsdale by Cardiff between May 2007 and March 2009.
These should have instead been directed to his company WH Sports Group.
Probe: Peter Ridsdale has been handed a long ban from directorships
The inquiry also concluded the money was paid into bank accounts in Ridsdale's name as WH Sports Group was liquidated with tax debts.
Ridsdale's wife Sophie, who was a co-director of WHSG, has also been banned until 2016.
A statement from the Insolvency Service read: '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, 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.
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.'