Tuesday 11 June 2013
Making an Easy £5 Million
In the words of a great comedian “I wanna tell you a story”
It is the story of sharp practices, secret meetings, misinformation, and keeping Councillors in the dark. No this isn’t Thanet but Peterborough where Shaun Patrick Keegan got involved in buying a football club.
Briefly Peter Boizot, the founder of Pizza Express, decided he needed a knight in shining armour to come and rescue Peterborough United Football Club.
Barry Fry, manager of the club, recommended his mate Colin Hill (Shaun Keegan’s son-in-law) to Peter. Colin being a self made millionaire property dealer and owner of Wetmore Foundation, registered in Lichtenstein, was obviously the right man for the job. In Barry Fry’s own words “Colin Hill is a SHREWD businessman with no interest in football”.
Was it because there was plenty of land to build houses? I doubt it but it might have been the original intention however Wetmore’s (Colin Hill) solicitor would have pointed out the Restrictive Covenant 1 (see below) at the time of purchase.
Could it be they wanted to hold the Council to ransom? Maybe because there was a further Restrictive Covenant 2 which should have allowed the council a six month window in which to buy the football club and land attached to it.
Wetmore (Colin Hill) bought the club on the 29th April 2003 (start of six month window) and transferred the land to a holding company in November 2003. During this six months there was a private meeting with the Council Leader (10th October) and 4 days later the offer to buy was declined by the Council (leader). There were NO public consultations nor were there any discussions in Council. The transfer to the holding company took place in November 2003. Shaun Keegan resigned his directorship of the football club and became a director of the holding company at the same time.
Eventually Peterborough Council, on the 29th June 2010, come to their senses and bought back the land from Shaun Keegan for the sum of £8M netting Colin Hill and Shaun Keegan at least £5M profit for sitting on the land and doing nothing.
Sharp business practice or amoral behavior I will let the reader decide
Stated the land could only be used for football, athletics or sports ground not housing.
“If....the Purchasers (PUFC Ltd) shall desire to sell the property comprised herein......The Vendors (PCC) shall have the option of repurchasing the same in manner and on the terms following.....the purchasers shall make an offer IN WRITING to sell the property aforesaid....” and that PCC should be allowed 6 months to make an offer.
PCC (Peterborough Council)PUFC (Peterborough United Football club)