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.