Video: Leeds Utd fans have their say as MPs demand Customs probe into Ken Bates takeover

LEEDS United face an investigation into the club’s tangled ownership history after fierce criticism from MPs.

The Culture, Media and Sport Committee called for a Football Association inquiry into the “blatant…lack of transparency” surrounding the ownership of the club.

In May, Ken Bates announced he had bought control of the club from offshore company FSF, based in the Caribbean.

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However, the ownership of FSF itself has remained unclear since the company bought the club out of administration in 2007 – with a proviso that Mr Bates, who was chairman at the time of the financial collapse, remained at the helm.

At the time, MPs and creditors questioned why major offshore creditors were willing to waive millions of pounds owed to ensure FSF retained control.

Now the committee has raised concerns Mr Bates may have played a role in the trusts behind FSF, and called on the FA to unravel the ownership saga, calling on the help of HM Revenue and Customs if necessary.

The report said Leeds United chief executive Shaun Harvey told MPs the club was owned by discretionary trusts, “but that neither he nor, to his knowledge, Ken Bates, knew who they were”.

It added that the subsequent announcement Mr Bates had bought the club for an undisclosed fee raised further concerns, as it was not clear why the trusts would sell “without at least seeking alternative bids to find the best price”.

It adds: “The manner of the sale raises concerns, which cannot be substantiated or disproven given the lack of transparency, that Ken Bates, who took the club into administration, was a participant in the discretionary trusts who took the club out of administration.”

But a club spokesman said: “There can’t be much wrong with football if the biggest concern is the ownership of Leeds United.”