Will the Blues pay back £1M?

IPSWICH Town are considering repaying an investment made by businessman Michael Anderson after discovering he had misled them about his past involvement in financially stricken football clubs.

By Derek Davis

IPSWICH Town are considering repaying an investment made by businessman Michael Anderson after discovering he had misled them about his past involvement in financially stricken football clubs.

The Blues board have also done an about turn on offering the former Aldershot and Kettering Town chairman a directorship at Portman Road after he failed to tell them of his history despite being asked in interviews.

Mr Anderson is understood to have invested almost £1m into the club in return for 15% of shares but they have not been issued and the club are considering if they should part with the shares.


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Although they have agreed to buy Gavin Williams for £300,000 from West Ham and a fee up to £150,000 for Alan Lee with Cardiff, Town insist they can repay Mr Anderson's money if they feel they cannot accept it on moral or ethical grounds.

Mr Sheepshanks last night insisted Mr Anderson had not been guilty of any wrongdoing although he had embarrassed the club by misleading them.

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He said: “The board need to consider the appropriateness of issuing the shares. I have not seen any evidence that that won't be appropriate. We have not spent all the money and could repay it if necessary.

“At this juncture the investment is in the club and Michael Anderson has confirmed that he is happy to maintain the investment in the club despite the fact that he may not be a director.

“We negotiated with Michael in good faith and we received his money in good faith and he invested with good faith.

“We have taken the measures that we have because it is not appropriate that he is on the board and he agrees with that decision. In terms of the investment it is too early to say what will happen to it.”

Some fans were last night calling for Mr Sheepshanks to resign over the issue, but he insisted that he should not quit.

He said: “We have all operated in good faith. I have asked the appropriate questions and we have run the appropriate checks with lawyers and accountants. We have undertaken a fit and proper person test with him.

“We as a board have acted entirely properly. We have standards and we continue to apply them.

“I'm embarrassed for the club and for ourselves but I don't feel we have done anything wrong and what has come to light we have taken action on.

“The whole episode is thoroughly upsetting and annoying but we have taken action and better late than never.

“Knowing what we know now it is easy to say that the research (on Anderson) should have gone further and going forward we may need to have independent researches down on any prospective director.

“We have been misled, we have plainly been misled and we have been too trusting.

Mr Anderson has admitted not telling the board of directors of his time at Aldershot and Kettering and apologised to the board but insisted he had not done anything wrong while at those clubs.

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