Leeds Get Share Back, But At A Price

Last updated : 04 August 2007 By Kevin Markey
The most severe punishment in English football history, just a week before the start of the club's League One campaign, has stunned the shell-shocked Elland Road outfit and their fans.

And while chairman Ken Bates immediately promised he would appeal against the punishment, Leeds face the prospect of disappearing as a professional club unless they accept the unprecedented penalty.

Football League chiefs acted over the way Bates had bought back the debt-ridden club for a fraction of the £35.5m it owed creditors when the chairman put it into administration in May, following relegation from the Championship.

Administrators KPMG controversially accepted Bates' bid, through his new Cayman Islands registered company, to buy the club's assets and pay just 11.2 pence in the pound to the creditors.

But the new holding company, Leeds United 2007 Ltd, failed to agree a Company Voluntary Arrangement to pay off an acceptable amount of their debts.

Football League chiefs decided the club must not be allowed to write off its debts by simply calling in the administrators.

It is the harshest points penalty ever imposed against a club, dwarfing the six-point deduction initially levied against Spurs in 1993 over illegal payments to players.