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The Bristol Cable

Bristol City F.C, Rugby Club and Flyers are owned by billionaire Stephen Lansdown through a web of offshore companies, the Cable can reveal.


Billionaire Stephen Lansdown appears in the Panama Papers. One of the world’s richest men, Lansdown lives on the offshore tax haven of Guernsey and is the co-founder of financial services firm Hargreaves Lansdown. The Panama Papers, the biggest financial data leak in history, reveal a number of offshore dealings on his part.

Bristol City F.C. company accounts show that the club is immediately owned by Bristol City Holdings Ltd which is registered in England. Guernsey registered, Pula Sport Ltd, then owns Bristol City Holdings Ltd, Bristol Rugby Club and Bristol Flyers.

Another Guernsey company, Pula Limited (without the Sport in the middle), controls Pula Sport Limited. Indeed, Bristol City F.C company accounts declare Lansdown as the majority shareholder of Pula Limited.

Yet the web unravels further. The Panama papers show that Pula Limited was set up by British Virgin Island registered Sustainable Technology Investments Ltd. which is also owned by Lansdown. This makes it appear that it, not Pula Ltd, is ultimately in control of Bristol City F.C., Bristol Rugby club and Bristol Flyers. This information is not listed on any of the three company accounts.

The fact that an offshore company with secretive structures owns three of Bristol’s sport teams raises serious questions. At the very least, fans should be asking why money from their local side is connected to an offshore tax haven.

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  • Steve N says:

    Think you will find that the money is going in the opposite direction so I shouldn’t worry too much.

  • Phil says:

    Ummm…..maybe the writer should double check his facts….Money for the local sides are coming FROM offshore tax haven, which is what has paid for the redevelopment of Ashton Gate and covers the annual losses each year.

    The offshore tax haven regardless of it’s location is Mr Lansdown and you’d must have been living under a rock in the Sahara desert not to have realised that the Bristol Sport are owned by Mr Lansdown.

  • Stephen says:

    More of a chain than a web! I see Sustainable Technology Investments (Guernsey) Limited is registered in the British Virgin Islands. indicates their “primary focus is renewable energy efficiency and sustainable technology” ?!?

    I see there’s a Pula Investments Limited too (though no obvious link to the sport teams)

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