Ridsdale ban prompts Ladbrokes list of Top 10 worst chairman
Preston North End chairman Peter Ridsdale has received a seven-and-a-half year ban from directing any company. The ban follows the revelation that the man synonymous with financial crisis owes almost £500k in unpaid tax bills following the collapse of his sports consultancy firm in 2009.
In light of this completely unanticipated revelation, we have compiled a list of the most controversial, unpopular chairmen whose ridiculous antics have cost their clubs both on and off the pitch.
10. Terence Brown – West Ham – Brown made a fortune selling off the Hammers’ golden generation and reinvested very little back into the club. This contributed to their relegation from the top flight in 2002/03 and he hardly broke the bank to see them return, driving away fans in their droves.
9. Peter Trembling – Notts County – He fronted for an alleged Middle Eastern consortium intent on making the club massive. They signed up Sven Goran Eriksson as manager before bailing out without ever showing their faces a couple of months later.
8. Pete Winkelman – MK Dons – Played a key role in the relocation of Wimbledon FC to Milton Keynes – a 120 mile round trip for fans. He is credited with the destruction of one of English football’s most iconic clubs for his own gain.
7. Mark Goldberg – Crystal Palace – His spell at the Eagles’ helm was doomed from the start when he failed to raise the money to buy the club, but bought it anyway. He (inexplicably) made Attilio Lombardo and Thomas Brolin player-managers in his first year and saw the club relegated from the Premier League. His financial backers withdrew their support as the club stormed towards inevitable administration and Goldberg was declared bankrupt in 2000.
6. John Batchelor – York City – After buying the club for £1, he instantly changed the name, badge and kit. He picked up a hefty profit during his time at Bootham Crescent, despite York going into administration. He unsuccessfully tried to buy Mansfield, Chester and Accrington Stanley with ridiculous plans in store for them and has since been banned from directing any company.
5. Tom Hicks and George Gillet – Liverpool – The American double-act made a farce of the Anfield club with undelivered promises of mega-investment, including plans for a new stadium that never got off the paper. Numerous complications eventually saw Rafa Benitez walk away from the club and one of the most vociferous supporter protests ever was enacted to get rid of them.
4. Venky’s – Blackburn – The Indian chicken farming conglomerate took over with Blackburn plodding on nicely in the Premier League under Sam Allardyce’s guidance. They then stuck their oar in and gave Allardyce the boot then, out of left-field, appointed the unknown Steve Kean to replace him. He inevitably got the club relegated, but Venky’s didn’t sack him until he had Rovers one point off the pace in the Championship.
3. Mike Ashley – Newcastle – His idiocy has been masked by Newcastle’s on-pitch fortunes, but Ashley has raised many an eyebrow throughout his time in the north east. He lowered the unprofessionalism bar by downing pints with the Toon Army on the terraces, but soon made himself a hate figure by pulling stunts like changing the name of the stadium to bear that of his own company.
2. Craig Whyte – Rangers – He took one of the world’s biggest football clubs and, incredibly, almost killed it off in less than a year. Whyte’s funding of his takeover came from the mortgaging of future club revenues, not a penny of his own money was spent. As a result, they couldn’t pay the tax man and now ply their trade in Scotland’s League Two.
1. Peter Ridsdale – Leeds – Ridsdale is renowned for destroying one of England’s most successful footballing heritages in Leeds United. Investing countless millions of other people’s pounds on the proviso that the Yorkshire club qualify for the Champions League never looked like a smart move, and it proved to be the case. They endured financial meltdown soon after failing to make the grade and almost went out of existence.