Former Luton Town directors banned from running businesses

Former Luton Town directors banned from running businesses

The benefits of talking to insolvency practitioners and doing things by the book when your firm is in trouble can be seen in the story of four former Luton Town Football Club directors who were recently disqualified from managing or controlling limited companies.

According to Debt Management Today, the men were guilty of breaching the rules of both Fifa and the Football Association (FA).

Having not done things properly, they put themselves and their company – in this case Luton Town FC – at risk.

An FA enquiry into payments to football agents found that the club had dealt with unlicensed parties and made payments through a holding company when it should have processed the dealings through the FA.

The charges relate to the period between July 2004 and February 2007, with the directors also having allowed the club to trade while in debt to Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs to the tune of £3.5 million.

Former Luton chairman William John Tomlins was disqualified for six years, while ex-chief executive Robert Peter was struck off for seven years.

Meanwhile, Richard Sidney Bagehot and John Mitchell were both given three-year bans, with Insolvency Service head of investigation and enforcement services Robert Burns noting that the Company Directors Disqualification Act aims to ensure certain standards are met.

"These disqualifications should serve as a reminder that the Insolvency Service will investigate unacceptable conduct by company directors regardless of the nature of the business involved," he said.

The story could have directors at Rangers Football Club slightly concerned after it was recently reported that the Glasgow side is currently fighting HMRC over two cases, one said to be worth in the region of £45 million.

Former chief executive Martin Bain this week managed to convince a judge to freeze almost £500,000 of the Scottish champions' assets while he fights his own case for breach of contract.

The judge said he was acting due to the possibility of insolvency in future.

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